Revolution left back defender Kevin Alston was diagnosed with chronic myelogenous leukemia, a rare but treatable form of the disease.
The team announced Monday that Alston is taking an indefinite leave of absence to undergo treatment.
Alston is not expected to require hospitalization, and he expects to return to the team. However, he and his family have requested privacy while he undergoes treatment.
“The Revolution fully support Kevin as he begins treatment,” said Revolution general manager Michael Burns. “Right now, the most important thing for Kevin, and his family, is to concentrate on returning to full health.
“Kevin’s had a tremendous attitude since the diagnosis and his positivity is an inspiration for all of us.”
The 24-year-old native of Washington, D.C., started all four games as the Revolution got off to a 1-2-1 start this season.
Alston, who was selected 10th overall in the 2009 SuperDraft, has started all 116 games he has played for New England.
He ranks ninth in games played and eighth in games started in franchise history.
Alston also started the 2010 MLS All-Star Game.
Fans wishing to send Alston get-well messages can e-mail him at GetWellKevinAlston@gmail.com or tag tweets with #GetWellKA.