The attacks on the Boston Marathon hit close to home for Foxborough’s Major League soccer franchise as two New England Revolution players had loved ones injured in the explosions near the finish line at Copley Square Monday.
on Boylston Street and remains in critical condition Wednesday, according to Reis via Revolutionsoccer.net.
“[Odem is] doing OK, he’s still in critical condition,” Reis said during an interview with media at Revs’ practice Wednesday. “He was alert this morning but he’s been through three surgeries now in the last 40 hours or so and hasn’t really stabilized yet and we are still hoping but he’s progressing. We are talking about footsteps here and not very big strides.”
Reis says Odem was roughly 10 feet from Monday’s explosion in front of Marathon Sports – a location the goalkeeper and others in their group had been a minute before the blasts.
“We were right there, probably about a minute before [the explosions] and we had moved closer to the finish line,” Reis said. “There were seven us in our group and only one of them was injured. It’s good and bad but we are all pulling forward and just trying to fight.”
Reis said he, Odem and their group were at the finish line cheering on his wife – Odem’s daughter – Nicole, who was running in her first marathon.
“My wife was running in it and we were all there to help and support her and wanted to get some pictures of her at the finish line and we were all milling around that area in front of Marathon Sports and that’s where the bomb went off,” Reis said.
Reis said the blast of the first bomb sounded like a cannon firing.
“Looking back to where it had gone off I could tell that it was right where we were and I wanted to get back there and try to help out as much as I could,” Reis said. “My son was on my shoulders and I handed him off to my brother-in-law and knew [the explosion] was right back where we were so I wanted to try and get back in there and help.”
Just over 48 hours after the bombings, Reis said he and his family remain focused on Odem’s health.
“We just want John to get better and turn the corner and start to really show some strides of recovery,” Reis said. “We still don’t know if he is going to make it so that’s definitely the hardest part.”
Reis and his family have received support from their extended family in Foxborough, the New England Revolution.
“I think right now, where we are with Matt Reis’ father-in-law, we are in pray mode,” Revolution head coach Jay Heaps told Revolutionsoccer.net Tuesday. “We are in a situation where we are asking each other and asking anyone that’s in the area to pray for John because this is a tough time and there he was to celebrate Nicole Reis’ triumph and something like this is devastating.”
Revolution player A.J. Soares, who lives in Boston, says it’s important to support anyone who has been affected by Monday’s tragedy, including Reis and his family.
“One of ours, Matt Reis’ family was affected, and he’s part of our family,” Soares said. “Everyone is there for Matt. Anything he needs he knows we are there. All of our thoughts and prayers are with the Reis family.”
Another Revolution defender, Chris Tierney, was affected by Monday’s attacks as his girlfriend was injured from the explosions. On Tuesday, Myfoxboston.com reported she was in stable condition.
“It was mayhem,” Tierney recalled. “There was a bunch of us down in the area obviously enjoying the day and it was just chaos down in the Back Bay. Some of us on the team just randomly ran into each other on the streets and were just happy to see we were OK.”
Tierney said he spent Tuesday making sure friends and family was OK following Monday’s incident.
“It was a tough day all around,” Tierney said.
Heaps, a Massachusetts native, said the bombings brought him back to the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.
“You can’t fathom the event itself and something happening there,” Heaps said of Monday’s bombings. “It brought me back to 2001 and actually being on the field here [in Foxborough] and knowing there was terrorist attacks happening.”
Heaps played for the Revolution during the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorists attacks and said events like these make you feel helpless.
“you feel devastated and the only thing you can do is find your faith and pray for everyone that was affected on the front lines of it,” Heaps said. “For us, obviously it is hitting really close to home.”
New England Patriots and Revolution owner Robert Kraft issued the following statement Tuesday after his family announced it will match $100,000 in donations to support Boston Marathon victim recovery efforts.
“We are grieving for the victims of this senseless act,” said Kraft. “It is not lost on us that this tragedy occurred on Patriots Day, at an event where our own staff and their families were participating, and where thousands of runners were raising money for charities with which we are associated either through our Foundation, our alumni or our friends. Our focus is on helping those in need and beginning the healing process. We hope by matching donations we will encourage more people to give.”
To watch Reis' interview in its entirety, click here.