Freddy Adu appears set to return after his absence last weekend fueled speculation about his future with the Philadelphia Union.
Adu and the Union play the first of three 2012 meetings Sunday night against the New England Revolution, who are winless in their last eight on the road.
Philadelphia (6-10-2) saw its three-game league win streak end with a 2-0 loss at New York on July 21. Adu did not accompany the Union to New Jersey for what interim coach John Hackworth called a "team matter."
"It was difficult for me watching the team lose against New York," Adu told the league's official website. "But I have to try to forget about that and get myself ready for Sunday. I'm ready to go. I have no injuries, no problems and hopefully I can help the team out."
There were rumors circulating that Adu, who started every game during the win streak, would be traded to FC Dallas and that he had a rift with Hackworth. The midfielder denied the friction.
"I get along with my coaches and teammates," he said. "There's no problem here at all."
Hackworth indicated that Adu would play Sunday. Adu posted Friday on Twitter that "The BEAST has been unleashed. #ADUit"
Philadelphia is 2-0-2 all-time against New England (6-9-5), but these teams had different coaches last year. Hackworth replaced Petr Nowak on June 13 while Jay Heaps took over for the Revolution before this season.
"I think they're a very different team with coach Heaps in charge now," Hackworth said. "I think anything that happened in the past is not going to be reflective of this game on Sunday."
New England is in eighth place in the Eastern Conference with 23 points - three more than Philadelphia. Although these teams are way down in the standings, the Revolution have a goal difference of zero and the Union are at minus-one.
"They, like us, have had some up and down results a little bit but have been a really good playing team," Hackworth said.
The Union have four victories and three defeats in Hackworth's seven games in charge.
"John Hackworth has certainly brought a new breath to the locker room," Revolution coach Jay Heaps said. "Petr Nowak brought all those guys in but it's been John Hackworth who's opened up the way they play differently."
The Revolution have gone 0-5-3 on the road since beating Los Angeles 3-1 on March 31. They were pleased to get a point last Saturday in a scoreless draw at Sporting Kansas City despite being outshot 16-9.
Top scorer Saer Sene has eight goals, but has gone a season-high four straight games without one. Sene had started in his previous 10 appearances before he logged 32 minutes as a substitute last weekend.
The statuses of New England midfielders Benny Feilhaber and Clyde Simms are unclear. Feilhaber is questionable with a right ankle sprain suffered in Kansas City while Simms is probable with a right calf injury.
The Revolution are without forward Jerry Bengtson, who is with the Honduran Olympic team.