Tag Archive | "Nicol"

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

PREVIEW: Chivas USA @ New England

Posted on 05 August 2011 by Matty Jollie

Goats Make Cross-Country Trip to Face Revs

The newly-rejuvenated New England Revolution (4-9-9, 21pts) return home on Saturday night after an unbeaten three game road swing to take on Western Conference foe Chivas USA (6-8-8, 26pts).  After draws at Sporting Kansas City and Colorado, in addition to a victory at D.C. United to kick off the trip, the Revolution are beginning to pick up steam, as well as hope to sneak into the 2011 MLS Playoffs. Saturday night marks their first home game since a July 17th loss to Philadelphia Union, and the home turf can only help a side trying to claw their way back into the Eastern Conference picture, where New England has climbed into 7th.

GOALKEEPER:  Has anyone had a more maddening season than Revolution goalkeeper Matt Reis. Arguably in the midst of his finest season, the Revs’ backbone has had a few instances this year that have driven supporter’s mad (that fluke goal against Colorado where the ball bounced over his head and into the net is the first that comes to mind).  A few late challenges and decisions have only been minor specks on an otherwise great season for Reis, most importantly, he’s remained healthy, which has had a huge impact on his form.  Relatively unknown keeper Dan Kennedy is between the pipes for Chivas USA, but if his current run of form continues, Kennedy won’t be unknown for long.  Surrendering only 3 goals in their last three matches, Kennedy and the strong Chivas USA defense have formed a solid bond in the defensive third, which has led to their ascension up the Western Conference table.  Kennedy moves well, communicates well with his defensive back four, and isn’t afraid to throw his size and weight around when needed in a crowded penalty area.  ADVANTAGE: It’s pretty even. Both are healthy, and producing results in the dog days of summer.

DEFENDERS: There’s no denying the Revolution backline is currently a M.A.S.H. unit. Alston has an awful case of turf toe, Coria is out for over a month due to an MCL, Soares is out on a red card suspension, and the Front Office bid “au revoir” to Didier Domi, their only natural left back. So, while they haven’t started holding open tryouts for defenders, New England is incredibly thin at the back, and will have to piece together a back four on Saturday night.  Alston will most likely fight through the pain, and you’ll see  Darrius Barnes and Ryan Cochrane at CB, and left midfielder Chris Tierney will slide to left back, where he has admittedly done a nice job filling in all season.  Chivas USA has been anchored all season by recent USA call-up Heath Pearce at CB, and it’s been reported Pearce will join the US team on Sunday, after the match with New England, so expect to see Pearce in the lineup on Saturday night. How much Pearce will play remains to be seen, but with Jimmy Conrad still doubtful while battling his concussion, Pearce’s leadership and quality will be needed. Another defender to look out for is Ante Jazic, who not only solidifies the back four, but often times will join in on the attack as well (Jazic assisted on two of Justin Braun’s goals against Houston, giving him 5 on the season).  ADVANTAGE: CHIVAS USA. Even at full strength, New England would have a difficult time matching the quality of Chivas. With Pearce staying with the club for the match, there’s a clear advantage.

MIDFIELDERS:  The USA friendly has affected the Revolution as well, but in a good way. Jurgen Klinsmann left Revs’ midfielder Benny Feilhaber off of his first camp roster, keeping the creative attacking midfielder in Foxboro for the match.  Feilhaber will certainly be joined by captain Shalrie Joseph, but who partners with them is a bit of a mystery.  Rookie Stephen McCarthy is most likely out with his dislocated shoulder, so depending on which way coach Steve Nicol wants to go, it could be another defensive minded midfielde like Pat Phelan, or he could opt to go with the speedier Sainey Nyassi as well, with Chris Tierney having to slide back to defense.  Chivas USA is bolstered in midfield by dynamic players, most namely recent internet sensation Michael Lahoud, who’s on the field talents are purely evident in the midfield.  Lahoud is joined by midfield  mainstays Blair Gavin and Jorge Flores, as well as Simon Elliot. This midfield quartet has played together quite a bit over the season, and when you add a proven veteran like Alejandro Moreno coming off the bench late in matches, it’s a midfield that not only has talent, but depth as well. ADVANTAGE: NEW ENGLAND, slightly. Feilhaber and Joseph are clearly the two best players in the midfield on Saturday. However, due to all of the injuries and holes in the roster, New England has had a hard time building chemistry in the middle of the park to create a better possession game. Chivas USA will need to use their superior speed to overwhelm the Revs’ midfield.

FORWARDS: New England made a huge splash in the headlines earlier in the week when they signed their first ever Designated Player, bringing in Argentinian striker Milton Caraglio from Rosario Central in Argentina.  The move certainly shows the Revolution are clearly trying to bolster their offensive output (New England has signed Danish striker Rajko Lekic, and used their allocation spot to acquire Feilhaber earlier in the year) and when news cam down that not only did Caraglio receive his ITC (basically clearing him to play), Steve Nicol also announced that the new signing will start on Saturday night.  Caraglio will almost certainly partner Lekic up top, giving New England two international strikers for the first time in recent memory. Chivas USA has found gold in youngster Justin Braun, whose recent hat trick against Houston Dynamo announced his arrival with some authority. Braun is a strong forward, garnering more goals with his physical play and hustle than with bursts of quality.  Braun is often joined by Nick LaBrocca, who hasn’t yet hit his stride, but does well to partner Braun with his more dynamic offensive style.  ADVANTAGE: Even. It’s too difficult to get a feel for what Caraglio will bring into the fold in his first match in a Revolution uniform, but if you’re looking for an edge, Braun just barely beats out Lekic heads-up.

PREDICTION: There is nothing more difficult than the cross country road trip to play a match. That being said, with such a makeshift back four, New England is going to struggle at the back, and a clean sheet seems unlikely.  The balance of the match is going to fall on the new strike tandem of Caraglio and Lekic, and with the Dane struggling with a toe injury, and Caraglio with only a few days on American soil, it’s hard to see New England continuing their run of form. CHIVAS 2 – REVS 0.

 

 

Comments (1)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

RAPIDS 2 – REVOLUTION 2

Posted on 25 July 2011 by Matty Jollie

Photo Courtesy of MLSSoccer.com

Commerce City, CO – Playing their second game in four nights, the New England Revolution (4-9-8, 20pts) fought to a wildly entertaining 2-2 draw with defending champion Colorado Rapids (7-6-10, 31pts) on Saturday night.  Coupled with their victory over D.C. United on Wednesday, the Revolution put together their best road trip of the season, and vaulted themselves out of the basement of the Eastern Conference and into seventh place, and only six points back of fourth place Sporting Kansas City.

Revolution head coach Steve Nicol once again opted for the 4-3-3 formation, playing Benny Feilhaber and Zack Schilawski up top with Rajko Lekic for an added offensive spark.  The three man midfield mirrored the one seen earlier in the year, with veterans Shalrie Joseph and Pat Phelan joined by rookie Stephen McCarthy. The only change seen in the back line was Darrius Barnes, replacing the injured Ryan Cochrane, who returned to Boston to have his injured foot examined by the team medical staff.

It was Colorado who began the game on the front foot early, creating good possession and pace throughout the first ten minutes.  Kosuke Kimura almost found the scoresheet in the just the second minute, creating his own opportunity by exploding down the right flank and cutting inside to the top of the box before firing on net, but it was once again Matt Reis to the rescue, as his athletic save kept the Revs level.

Despite having the edge in possession early on, Colorado found themselves trailing in the 25th after Benny Feilhaber scored his first goal for New England on a great hustle play.  Right-back Kevin Alston employed the long throw-in deep in Colorado territory, which found the head of McCarthy who used his height to flick the ball on to Feilhaber, who buried the chance  into the back of the net past Matt Pickens.

The 1-0 scoreline almost instantly inspired Colorado, as the Rapids increased the pace of play through their speedy flank midfielders.  Once again it was Matt Reis keeping the Revolution ahead, stopping Sanna Nyassi after the Gambian used his speed to get to the Revolution penalty area.  Colorado could only muster one other opportunity through Brian Mullan late in the half, but his full-fledged volley whistled just by the goal-frame, and Colorado went into half time trailing.

After absorbing most of the pressure late in the first half, it was New England who came out the aggressor when the match restarted.  After dominating possession through the first few minutes, an occurrence not too familiar, Shalrie Joseph unleashed an audacious, curling attempt on net that just barely missed the net in the 51st minute.

After a fairly timid ten minutes following the Joseph effort, the direction of the match took an unexpected twist, when Chris Tierney was judged to have taken down Sanna Nyassi from behind in the box. Nyassi received the ball in the box after a clever one-two pass, and got in behind the Revolution defense before Tierney left his feet and took down the Rapids’ striker. It was a straight red-card for the left-back, and not only was Matt Reis faced with a penalty kick, but now the visitors were a man down.

Caleb Folan stepped to the spot for the subsequent penalty kick, and as calm as you’d like, beat Matt Reis, leveling the match, and instantly gaining all of the momentum for the hosts.

Much to his credit, Steve Nicol didn’t fall back into too much of a defensive shell, making good substitutions late on in the match, most noticeably bringing on Kenny Mansally for Rajko Lekic, a move that would come into the spotlight later on.  The match also saw the inclusion of Franco Coria to shore up some defensive holes, and finally Sainey Nyassi, which, in turn, marked the first time the Nyassi twins has ever shared a pitch in MLS.

New England kept control of the match for most of the remainder of the match, staying organized defensively and moving forward when presented the opportunity, but unfortunately it would be the strangest goal seen in some time that would be their undoing.  It was Kimura again who controlled down the right flank, and when the Japanese midfielder played the ball into space in the Revolution box, ‘keeper Matt Reis came out to cut off the pass, only the ball took the biggest of bounces, and hopped directly over Reis and into the net.  Certainly the play can be described as a howler from the goalkeeper, but it deserves to be said the bounce the ball took was incredibly awkward, however each goal counts the same, and it was New England down not only a man, but now a goal as well.

Despite being down, New England continued to push and probe the Colorado defense late in the match, and in the dying moments, the Revolution struck gold.  Second half substitute Kenny Mansally found space at the top of the box and wriggled free, and was then judged to have been taken down by Scott Palguta inside the box.  New England was awarded a penalty kick in the 90th minute, and it was captain Shalrie Joseph who stepped to the spot and buried the late equalizer, giving the Revs their fourth point on the road trip.

With a bit of momentum on their side, New England now travels to Sporting Kansas City for what can be easily described as a huge six-point match on Saturday night. New England, fresh off their four point week, trail SKC by six points in the standings, and a victory over the Midwest club would pull them even closer to fourth place.

******************************

 

New England Revolution at Colorado Rapids

July 23, 2011 – Dick’s Sporting Goods Park (Commerce City, Colo.)

New England Revolution 2, Colorado Rapids 2

 

Scoring Summary:

NE – Benny Feilhaber (Stephen McCarthy, Kevin Alston) 25

COL – Caleb Folan (penalty kick) 65

COL – Kosuke Kimura (unassisted) 82

NE – Shalrie Joseph (penalty kick) 90

 

New England Revolution: Matt Reis, Chris Tierney, A.J. Soares, Darrius Barnes, Kevin Alston, Stephen McCarthy (Sainey Nyassi 68), Shalrie Joseph ©, Pat Phelan, Benny Feilhaber, Rajko Lekic (Kenny Mansally 75), Zack Schilawski (Franco Coria 66)

Substitutes Not Used: Bobby Shuttleworth, Ryan Guy, Diego Fagundez, Zak Boggs

STATS*: Shots: 6; Shots on Goal: 3; Saves: 2; Corner Kicks: 1; Offside: 6; Fouls Committed: 9

 

Colorado Rapids: Matt Pickens, Drew Moor, Scott Palguta (Andre Akpan 91+), Marvell Wynne, Kosuke Kimura, Wells Thompson (Omar Cummings 46), Jeff Larentowicz, Pablo Mastroeni, Brian Mullan (Ross LaBauex 86), Sanna Nyassi, Caleb Folan

Substitutes Not Used: Steward Ceus, Joseph Nane, Mike Holody, Tyrone Marshall

STATS*: Shots: 7; Shots on Goal: 4; Saves: 1; Corner Kicks: 5; Offside: 2; Fouls Committed: 12

 

* Note that all statistics are unofficial

 

Misconduct Summary:

NE – Chris Tierney (ejection) 64

NE – Sainey Nyassi (caution) 82

 

Team Records:

New England Revolution – 4-9-8, 20 pts.

Colorado Rapids – 7-6-10, 31 pts.

 

Referee: Geoff Gamble

Assistant Referees: Frank Anderson, Brian Poeschel

Fourth Official: Silviu Petrescu
Weather: Partly Cloudy and 95 degrees

Attendance:  12,273

 

NOTES

-With the draw, the Revs moved to 11-18-9 all-time against Colorado, including a 3-12-4 mark in games played in Colorado

-The draw was the second of the season between the two teams after the clubs played to a 0-0 draw at Gillette Stadium on May 7

-The Revolution is now winless against Colorado in its last eight games (0-3-5) since the team’s last win against the Rapids, which was a 1-0 victory at Gillette Stadium on Sept. 29, 2007

-The draw allowed the teams to split the season series for the seventh time in league history (2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2009)

-The tie extended the Revs’ winless streak in games played in Mountain or Pacific time zones to 15 games, dating back to September 2009 … during that span, the Revs went 0-10-5, with their last win coming on Sept. 20, 2009 – a 1-0 victory at Seattle

-The Revs’ two goals are the team’s most scored in Colorado since the 2006 season when they fell, 3-2, at Invesco Field on July 4 behind goals from Clint Dempsey and Taylor Twellman

-Darrius Barnes returned to the starting lineup after spending two games on the bench to start the game … however, tonight he made his start at central defense – his preferred position – for the first time in 2011 … he has previously started games at left back and right back this season, but not his natural position

-Benny Feilhaber returned to the lineup after missing Wednesday’s win in D.C. while serving his mandatory one-game red-card suspension

-With his start tonight after drawing the starting assignment in D.C. on Wednesday, Zack Schilawski has started back-to-back games for the first time since April 9 vs. Real Salt Lake and April 17 at Houston

-Benny Feilhaber scored his first goal of his MLS career in the 25th minute … he entered the game with a team-high three assists … it took Feilhaber 10 games to score his first goal

-Stephen McCarthy recorded his first-career MLS assist with his headed flick to Benny Feilhaber for the Revs’ first goal … he came into the game with two goals, including the game-winning goal on Wednesday in D.C.

-Kevin Alston recorded his first assist of the 2011 season and his first assist since Sept. 4, 2010 in a 3-1 win against Seattle at Gillette Stadium … Alston how has three career assists, one in each of his three professional seasons so far (2009-present)

-Benny Feilhaber’s goal snapped a 175-minute scoreless streak for the Revolution at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park … the last goal the team scored came in the 29th minute on Oct. 3, 2009 from Kheli Dube off a Kenny Mansally free kick

-Tonight’s game marked just the third time this season – in 21 games – the Revs have led at the half, and just the second time on the road

-Chris Tierney’s red card ejection in the 64th minute was the first of his career and just the third card of any kind – yellow or red – in his four-year career spanning 63 games

-Tierney’s red card was the team’s sixth of the season (in just 21 games), and tied the club’s single-season record for red cards … in 1998, the Revolution were shown six red cards in the 32-game season

-The Revs surrendered a penalty kick for the second consecutive game and for the sixth overall time this season … New England’s opponents are five-for-six from the spot this season with the only miss coming on Wednesday night when Charlie Davies sent his attempt high

-When Sainey Nyassi came into the game in the 68th minute, it marked the first time that the Nyassi identical twins (Sanna plays for Colorado) faced each other … in five previous meetings (two each in 2009 and 2010 while Sanna was with Seattle, and earlier this year on May 7 when Sanna did not travel with the Rapids to Foxborough), they never were on the field at the same time … they came the closest in 2009 in Seattle when Sainey came off the field and Sanna went on two minutes later

-Shalrie Joseph scored his team-leading sixth goal in the 90th minute … three of his six goals have come from the penalty spot … with his successful penalty attempt, he extended his club record penalty-kick mark to 11

-Tonight’s game is the second of two straight road games … the Revs traveled to Colorado directly from Washington, D.C., and spent an extra day in Colorado … the D.C.-Colorado trip is the team’s only multiple-game road trip of the 2011 season

-After kicking off on Wednesday being 91 degrees with a dew point in the mid-70s, tonight the teams kicked off at 95 degrees, despite being much less humid … this marks the first time in Revs club history that they’ve kicked off back-to-back games in 90+ degree temperatures

-Ryan Cochrane, who started the trip in D.C. with the Revs, did not travel to Colorado after returning home on Thursday to have his left foot further examined … Cochrane left the game in the 22nd minute on Wednesday against United with persistent pain in the foot.

-The Revolution wore white tops with blue shorts and white socks for just the second time this season in a uniform that paired items from their standard primary and back-up unis … the last time the team work the white/blue uniform was on April 2 in a home game against Portland … in that game, the referees determined the Revs’ primary home blue uniforms were too close a match to Portland’s primary green uniforms and the Revs needed to switch tops less than one-hour before kickoff… tonight, Colorado’s primary uniform includes white shorts, so the Revs needed to switch to their dark shorts, however those uniform assignments were noted well before game night

Comments (0)

Tags: , , , , ,

Revs Home Schooled by Philadelphia in 0-3 defeat

Posted on 17 July 2011 by Hank Alexandre

The New England Revolution were embarrassed at home tonight, as they fell to the Philadelphia Union 3-0. This was the 10th game in a row that the Revs have failed to win,not including Manchester United, with their last win coming against Vancouver on May 14th.

Without Shalrie Joseph in the line-up, and Ousmane Dabo back on the injured list, Head Coach Steve Nicol elected to start Stephen McCarthy and Pat Phelan in a central midfield position, with Benny Feilhaber on the left, and Sainey Nyassi on the right. Nicol must have had confidence in his backline of Alston, Coria, Soares, and Tierney after watching them keep a clean sheet against Manchester United earlier in the week.

But Philadelphia was quick to expose the Revolution’s lack of quality on the field. Carlos Ruiz opened the scoring with a beautiful goal in the 12th minute off a headed ball from Keon Daniel. Justin Mapp started the play off by challenging Chris Tierney in the left hand corner and beating AJ Soares. Mapp’s ball found Daniel on the far post, and Daniel did well to deflect it across the face of goal to Ruiz.

In the 24th minute the Union doubled their advantage off of a free kick. Kyle Nakazawa found Sebastien LeToux open on the far post, who headed it across the face of the goal in almost an exact replay of the first goal. This time it was Carlos Valdes who put it in the net as Matt Reis was pulled out of play.

The Revolution looked out of sorts from the beginning of the game. The central pairing of McCarthy and Phelan struggled from to maintain possession. Lekic barely had any touches, and Benny Feilhaber at times looked lethargic and disinterested. With the lack of quality in the midfield, the Revolution were not able to get out wide to generate any attack from the flanks, and failed to register a single shot on goal in the first half.

The 2nd half saw a New England formation change to a 3-5-2 which immediately put the Revolution on the front foot. Barnes came in for Franco Coria, Boggs came on for Nyassi, and Chris Tierney moved in to the left midfield. With a two goal lead the Union were more than content to sit in their own end of the field to weather the attack.

However, the Revs would be again be on the back foot as the Union began to press. Benny Feilhaber, already on a yellow card, recklessly challenged Carlos Ruiz and was promptly issued a second yellow. The Revs had to finish the game a man down.

Despite having some more of the possession in the second half, the Revs could not sustain any meaningful attack with just 10 men. Philadelphia did well to shut down the middle of the field and limit New England’s opportunities. And to add insult to injury, Philadelphia defender and Dorchester native Sheanon Williams beat Matt Reis on the far post in the final minute to make the game 0-3.

It is safe to say at this stage that the Revolution are in dire straits. Coach Nicol wants new faces, but it may be too far gone at this point. The whole organization seems to be failing at some level. The front office has alienated their supporters groups. The Player Development staff can’t attract or sign players. The Team can’t execute the basics and the Coaches can’t seem to fix it. If this keeps up, New England is destined to finish dead last in the league.

Coach Nicol said after the game “I think the first half is about worse as I’ve been here. It was like watching a bunch of schoolboys.” Well, the schoolboys may find themselves failing or even expelled, but sooner or later the responsibility has to fall to the teachers.

Scoring Summary:
PHI – Carlos Ruiz (Keon Daniel, Justin Mapp) 12
PHI – Carlos Valdes (Sebastien Le Toux, Kyle Nakazawa) 24
PHI – Sheanon Williams (Danny Mwanga) 93+

New England Revolution: Matt Reis ©, Kevin Alston, Franco Coria (Darius Barnes 46), A.J. Soares, Chris Tierney, Sainey Nyassi (Zak Boggs, 46), Pat Phelan, Kenny Mansally (Zack Schilawski 79), Stephen McCarthy, Benny Feilhaber, Rajko Lekic

Substitutes Not Used: Bobby Shuttleworth, Otto Loewy, Alan Koger, Ryan Guy

STATS*: Shots: 6; Shots on Goal: 0; Saves: 4; Corner Kicks: 6; Offside: 2; Fouls Committed: 10

Philadelphia Union: Faryd Mondragon ©, Sheanon Williams, Danny Califf, Carlos Valdes, Gabriel Farfan, Justin Mapp (Danny Mwanga 63), Brian Carroll, Kyle Nakazawa, Keon Daniel (Stefani Miglioranzi, 79), Sebastien Le Toux, Carlos Ruiz (Michael Farfan, 73)

Substitutes Not Used: Zac MacMath, Jack McInerney, Amobi Okugo, Roger Torres

STATS*: Shots: 12; Shots on Goal: 8; Saves: 0; Corner Kicks: 5 ; Offside: 0; Fouls Committed: 8

* Note that all statistics are unofficial

Misconduct Summary:
NE – Benny Feilhaber (caution) 49
NE – Benny Feilhaber (caution) 66
NE – Benny Feilhaber (second caution/ejection) 66
PHI – Keon Daniel (caution) 71

Referee: Chris Penso
Assistant Referees: Hector Vergara, Eric Boria
Fourth Official: Mark Geiger
Weather: Clear, 85 degrees
Attendance: 13,414

Comments (0)

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Revs Earn Draw with RSL in Six-goal Thriller

Posted on 05 July 2011 by Matty Jollie

Sainey Nyassi and the Revs failed to protect three separate one-goal leads

Sandy, UT – In one of the most wildly entertaining matches in recent MLS memory, the New England Revolution (3-8-7, 16pts) battled to a 3-3 draw with hosts Real Salt Lake (7-3-6, 27pts) on Independence Day. The draw earned the Revolution their first ever point at the Rio Tinto Stadium, however given the circumstances in which the match played out, New England will take the point, but will rue the missed opportunity to take all three.

Revolution head coach Steve Nicol remained in the 4-5-1 formation to start, with Rajko Lekic once again the lone striker, backed up by the recently healthy Benny Feilhaber up the middle.  The back four remained unchanged, as Darrius Barnes started once again at left-back for Dider Domi, who still has yet to recover fully from his injury.

The match was turned upside-down almost immediately, when a long goal kick from Revolution goalkeeper Matt Reis in the 3rd minute somehow squirted through to an onside Feilhaber, who got behind the Real defense, and was taken down in the box from behind by RSL center-back Nat Borchers. Feilhaber was awarded a penalty kick, while Borchers was shown straight red for his tackle, reducing Real to 10 men with nearly 86 minutes left to play.

Rajko Lekic strode to the spot to take the resulting penalty, and the much-maligned Danish striker calmly, and ever-so-cheekily faked out Real goalkeeper Nick Rimando, and chipped the ball into the net to the opposite side.  The goal was Lekic’s third of the season, and second in three matches, and it gave the Revolution an incredibly desired early lead.

Real Salt Lake coach Jason Kreis was forced into making an early substitution in the 9th minute, when he replaced Collen Warner with Chris Schuler, trying to give Real a more balanced 10 man squad. The move, however, didn’t have the exact desired effect, as evidenced by New England doubling their lead almost 8 minutes later through a Chris Tierney free kick.  The kick came from the top of the Real box, and the left-footed Tierney fired a well driven shot that hugged the ground and managed to find enough space under the defensive wall and it found the right bottom corner passed a diving Rimando.

The hosts did manage to pull within a goal before halftime, when Real was awarded a free kick just to the outside left of the Revolution box.  MLS journeyman Andy Williams stepped up to the free kick and curled a magnificently crafted ball to the top corner but it was stopped by both Reis and the goalpost, however the Revolution defense was caught ball-watching, and Will Johnson all-too-easily tapped in the rebound.

After a few close calls in the Revolution defensive third, the match hit the halftime mark with New England still up one goal, and one man on the field, however both advantages  would be relinquished not soon after the second half began.

Real Salt Lake found their equalizer ten minutes after the second half whistle, when match referree Yader Reyes awarded the home side with a penalty kick after an apparent hand-ball by Revolution right-back Kevin Alston.  The spot kick was taken by Alvaro Saborio, who froze Matt Reis in his track and buried the penalty into the bottom right corner, evening the match.

Much to their credit, New England managed to find a third goal just seven minutes later off of yet another set piece.  Revolution midfielder Benny Feilhaber stepped up to take a medium-range free kick to the outside left of the Salt Lake box, and his resulting cross somehow found Shalrie Joseph amidst a sea of cobalt-clad defenders, and the Revs captain found the back of the net after his glancing header deflected off of the right post and into the net.

With a one-goal lead and only 24 minutes left to play, Revolution defender Ryan Cochrane committed a crucial defensive error when he fouled Andy Williams from behind by tugging on the Jamaican’s jersey. The foul earned Cochrane his second yellow card, and the match was then turned into a 10v10 affair, which seemingly ignited the Real Salt Lake team as well as their fans.

The match equalizer was finally found in the 83rd minute through second half substitute Fabian Espindola, after Saborio managed to retain possession at the top of the box, fought off two defenders, and slotted a great through pass to Espindola, who buried the chance and tied the match.

The match ended at 3-3, giving both sides a hard-fought point, although each side felt incredibly differently about the draw. New England certainly will feel they missed a huge opportunity to not only earn three points, but to give themselves a bit of a statement game to build from, while Real Salt Lake will unquestionably revel in their gutsy, come-from-behind performance.

New England now returns home to Foxboro for a July 13th meeting with European juggernauts and 19-time Premier League champion, Manchester United. The match is part of the HerbaLife World Football Challenge, pitting some of the top clubs from around the World against MLS competition, as well as each other.  The next league fixture for New England, comes on the following Sunday, when they host Easter Conference rival Philadelphia Union.

 

*********************************

New England Revolution at Real Salt Lake

July 4, 2011 – Rio Tinto Stadium (Sandy, Utah)

New England Revolution 3, Real Salt Lake 3

Scoring Summary:

NE – Rajko Lekic (penalty kick) 4

NE – Chris Tierney (unassisted) 16

RSL – Will Johnson (unassisted) 24

RSL – Alvaro Saborio (penalty kick) 56

NE – Shalrie Joseph (Benny Feilhaber) 63

RSL – Fabian Espindola (Alvaro Saborio, Jamison Olave) 83

New England Revolution: Matt Reis, Darrius Barnes (Kenny Mansally 46), A.J. Soares, Ryan Cochrane, Kevin Alston (Didier Domi 86), Chris Tierney, Benny Feilhaber, Shalrie Joseph ©, Pat Phelan, Sainey Nyassi (Zak Boggs 65), Rajko Lekic

Substitutes Not Used: Bobby Shuttleworth, Franco Coria, Ryan Guy, Zack Schilawski

STATS*: Shots: 7; Shots on Goal: 5; Saves: 10; Corner Kicks: 1; Offside: 1; Fouls Committed: 12

Real Salt Lake: Nick Rimando, Tony Beltran, Nat Borchers ©, Jamison Olave, Robbie Russell (Kyle Beckerman 46), Will Johnson, Collen Warner (Chris Schuler 9), Ned Grabavoy, Andy Williams, Alvaro Saborio, Luis Gil (Fabian Espindola 63)

Substitutes Not Used: Kyle Reynish, Jean Alexandre, Chris Wingert, Nelson Gonzalez

STATS*: Shots: 20; Shots on Goal: 13; Saves: 2; Corner Kicks: 4; Offside: 0; Fouls Committed: 14

* Note that all statistics are unofficial

Misconduct Summary:

RSL – Nat Borchers (ejection) 3

NE – Shalrie Joseph (caution) 13

NE – Ryan Cochrane (caution) 23

NE – Rajko Lekic (caution) 55

NE – Ryan Cochrane (caution) 67

NE – Ryan Cochrane (second caution/ejection) 67

RSL – Kyle Beckerman (caution) 85

RSL – Alvaro Saborio (caution) 93+

Team Records:

New England Revolution – 3-8-7, 16 pts.

Real Salt Lake – 7-3-6, 27 pts.

Referee: Yader Reyes

Assistant Referees: Peter Balciunas, Mike Kampmeinert

Fourth Official: Allen Chapman

Weather: Cloudy and 81 degrees

Attendance:  16,139

NOTES

With the draw, the Revs improved to 4-6-4 all-time against Real Salt Lake, including a 2-3-2 mark in matches played in Utah

The Revs’ three goals in the road match marked the first time that the team has scored three (or more) goals on the road since a 3-1 win at Kansas City on April 9, 2008

The Revs’ three goals marked just the third time this season the team scored more than one goal in a game, and the first time since April 23 in a 3-2 win over Sporting Kansas City at home

This was also the first game this year in which the Revs scored more than one goal on the road, and the first multiple-goal game away from Gillette Stadium since Oct. 10, 2010, in a 2-1 win at Houston

Shalrie Joseph became just the second player in Revolution history to play 20,000 minutes with the team … he entered the game with 19,946 minutes played, and by playing into the 54th minute, Joseph reached the 20,000-minute mark … Jay Heaps (21,619 minutes) is the club’s all-time minutes played leader

Chris Tierney returned to the lineup at left midfield after missing the team’s last game – at Seattle on June 26 – with a left foot contusion … Ryan Guy, who started in his place against the Sounders, returned to the bench

Rajko Lekic’s successful penalty attempt in the fourth minute marked the first time since 2009 that a Revolution player other than Shalrie Joseph had stepped to the spot for the Revolution … Steve Ralston went 4-for-4 in 2009, before Joseph took over primary PK duties for the team later that season and into 2010 and 2011

Rajko Lekic’s successful penalty kick was the second penalty kick drawn this season by Benny Feilhaber … he also drew the Revs’ PK chance on May 14 at home against Vancouver, which was successfully converted by Shalrie Joseph

Rajko Lekic’s goal was the Revs’ first-ever at Rio Tinto Stadium … the team had been held scoreless in their first two visits in 2009 and 2010

With his caution in the 13th minute, Shalrie Joseph picked up his fifth caution of the season and will be forced to sit the Revs’ next league match – on Sunday, July 17 against Philadelphia – while serving a mandatory one-game yellow-card accumulation suspension

Chris Tierney scored his second goal of the season and his second directly off a free kick … he previously scored straight off a free kick at San Jose on May 21 … the goal was Tierney’s third of his career overall

When Kenny Mansally came into the game at the half, he moved into the left midfield spot and Chris Tierney moved back to left back

Shalrie Joseph scored his fifth goal of the season with his redirected header off Benny Feilhaber’s free kick in the 63rd minute … it was his first goal since May 14 against Vancouver, a span of eight games

Joseph’s five goals mark his third-highest season goal production in his MLS career, behind his eight goals (in 27 games) in 2009, and six goals (in 31 games) in 2005

Benny Feilhaber recorded his third assist as a member of the Revolution, and his second in as many games

With his two yellow cards in tonight’s game, Ryan Cochrane will also miss the July 17 match against Philadelphia while serving his mandatory one-game yellow-card accumulation suspension

With Ryan Cochrane’s ejection, Pat Phelan dropped back into central defense, leaving the Revs in a 4-4-1 formation

When Didier Domi came into the game in the 86th minute, he moved into the left back position and Chris Tierney then moved to right back for Kevin Alston

Didier Domi’s appearance was his first since June 10, when he started at left back against New York

Matt Reis made 10 saves on the night, one shy of his career high – 11 against Kansas City on July 11, 2009

With the draw, the Revs are now winless in their last eight games (0-5-3) … the eight-game winless stretch is the second-longest in club history, one game shy of the club-record nine-game winless streak in 2009 (0-9 between May 13 and July 1)

With the draw, the Revs moved to 0-6-3 in away games this season … the last game in which the team picked up a point on the road was at Vancouver on April 6

The draw also extended the team’s winless streak in games played in the Mountain and Pacific times zones to 14 games, dating back to September 2009 (0-10-4)

With the 3-3 score line, the Revs have now been out-scored by a combined line of 14-3 in their three visits to Rio Tinto Stadium (6-0 loss in 2009 and 5-0 loss in 2010)

Tonight’s game was the team’s 12th match against Western Conference opponents this season – in 18 games

After tonight’s match, the Revs will have a bye weekend in the schedule next weekend, before playing a friendly against Manchester United on Wednesday, July 13, and returning to the MLS schedule on Sunday, July 17, against Philadelphia … both matches will be played at home

After tonight’s game, the Revs will play three of their next four league matches on the road with the only home game coming on July 17 against Philadelphia … the Revs will then play a midweek match on Wednesday, July 20 at D.C., before heading straight to Colorado to face the Rapids on Saturday, July 23

Comments (0)

Tags: , , , , ,

Revs lose possession, and game, in Seattle

Posted on 30 June 2011 by Hank Alexandre

Sainey Nyassi’s 3 minute strike to give his team an early lead was wasted in Seattle as the struggling New England Revolution fell to the Seattle Sounders on Sunday.  The Sounders dominated the run of play for the majority of the match, scoring twice in the first half to take the lead.

Tyson Wahl notched the equalizer and his first career MLS goal with a stunning free kick that caught the left corner which could be goal of the week.  The Sounders then went ahead on a strike from Alvaro Fernandez, taking advantage of a defensive lapse from Revs defender Kevin Alston, who was busy attending to his defective cleats.

Despite the return of Benny Feilhaber and the addition of Ryan Guy into the line-up, the Revs were disjointed at best.  The Sounders were missing 6 key starters and lost a player early on to injury and New England could not muster any form of sustainable attack.

For a team that focused on maintaining possession in the preseason, the Revolution seem to be regressing and are now struggling in the midfield as well as in the final third.

Overall the Revolution had few shining stars. Pat Phelan’s overall performance in the middle of the field was left wanting, and his slide tackle in the 23rd minute was atrocious.  Rajko Lekic seems to struggle with his first touch, often resulting in a giveaway or a miskick.  Benny Feilhaber was not involved in any meaningful way and Shalrie Joseph was playing too far back to orchestrate any kind of attack.

But the formation is the fault of head coach Steve Nicol.   After seeing some modicum of success with a 4-4-2, Nicol opted to return to his preferred 4-5-1.  His insistence on two holding midfielders at the expense of meaningful attack, and playing Benny Feilhaber out of position as a forward where he was ineffective, has in fact hindered the Revolution more than it has helped.

A glimmer of hope for the team was when Steve Nicol moved to a 3-5-2 in the final minutes, subbing off Ryan Cochrane for Zack Schilawski.  Schilawski had a great impact on the game, unleashing a rocket of a shot in the 85th minute that deflected off the wrongside of the crossbar, and the quality of the Revolution’s overall play improved as they looked for the equalizer. But in the end it was just not enough, and the Revolution were once again on the wrong end of the scoresheet.

If the Revolution hope to make a push to the playoffs, they need to start winning yesterday.  However, that is not going to happen under Steve Nicol’s current system.  Nicol has to find a way to get Benny Feilhaber involved quickly, so he can generate more offense.  Furthermore, he must shelf his lone striker tactics permanently and give Lekic a true striking partner. Kenny Mansally and Zak Boggs have both shown tremendous energy over the last few weeks and have just missed on a number of chances, but a consistent striking partner will help Lekic develop a true rapport with his teammates, allowing him to anticipate and react more efficiently, and less emotionally.

Lastly, Nicol must find a designated player THIS SEASON that can have an immediate impact on the team’s overall performance.  So far Nicol’s big signings (Lekic, Domi, Dabo, and even Feilhaber) have had little impact on the team.  Granted Domi and Dabo have been injured more often than not, but that would have to be expected considering their age.  Rumors have circulated over the last few months that the team has their eye on a designated player, and Nicol himself has flown across the Atlantic to talk to him on numerous occassions.  One can only hope that the player Nicol has in mind, if he should sign with the Revs, has the fitness level where he can not only contribute right away, but contribute on a regular basis.

Steve Nicol has proven throughout his career that given the right players, he can produce results.  However, time is running out on Nicol to find the players that can save the season, and maybe his job.

Seattle Sounders FC 2, New England Revolution 1

Scoring Summary:

NE – Sainey Nyassi (Benny Feilhaber) 3

SEA – Tyson Wahl (unassisted) 34

SEA – Alvaro Fernandez (Roger Levesque, Mauro Rosales) 40

 

New England Revolution: Matt Reis, Darrius Barnes, A.J. Soares, Ryan Cochrane (Zack Schilawski 81), Kevin Alston, Ryan Guy (Kenny Mansally 62), Benny Feilhaber, Shalrie Joseph ©, Pat Phelan, Sainey Nyassi (Zak Boggs 62), Rajko Lekic

 

Substitutes Not Used: Bobby Shuttleworth, Franco Coria, Otto Loewy

 

STATS*: Shots: 11; Shots on Goal: 3; Saves: 1; Corner Kicks: 5; Offside: 1; Fouls Committed: 13

 

Seattle Sounders FC: Kasey Keller, James Riley, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Jeff Parke (Patrick Ianni 17), Tyson Wahl, Lamar Neagle, Servando Carrasco, Erik Friberg, Alvaro Fernandez (Pat Noonan 69), Mauro Rosales (Nate Jaqua 89), Roger Levesque

 

Substitutes Not Used: Terry Boss, Mike Fucito, Michael Tetteh, Zach Scott

 

STATS*: Shots: 9; Shots on Goal: 3; Saves: 2; Corner Kicks: 3; Offside: 3; Fouls Committed: 7

* Note that all statistics are unofficial

 

Misconduct Summary:

NE – Pat Phelan (caution) 23

SEA – Servando Carrasco (caution) 26

NE – Ryan Cochrane (caution) 72

NE – Rajko Lekic (caution) 78

SEA – Tyson Wahl (caution) 87

NE – A.J. Soares (caution) 90

Comments (0)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

PREVIEW: Revolution @ Seattle Sounders

Posted on 25 June 2011 by Matty Jollie

CenturyLink Field is ALWAYS a tough environment

The New England Revolution (3-7-6, 15pts) travel to newly re-named CenturyLink Field in Seattle on Sunday afternoon to take on the Seattle Sounders (7-4-7, 28pts) for the fifth time in MLS history. Despite their early success in MLS, Seattle has seemingly always had trouble with the Revolution, amassing a 1-3-0 record, splitting the two meetings in Seattle.  New England is heading out west for the fifth time this season after their brief two game homestand last week that saw them earn two points from their matches with Chicago and Toronto FC.  New England has always had trouble with the difficult cross-country trip, and this season has been no different, going 0-2-2 thus far, with the two draws coming at the Los Angeles Galaxy and Vancouver Whitecaps earlier in the year.  Seattle is coming off a wild affair on Thursday night, defeating New York Red Bulls in a six goal thriller, 4-2.  Seattle has once again proven that they are an incredibly tough out at home, losing only twice in nine games at CenturyLink Field thus far in 2011, and if the Revolution are to earn a result on Sunday, it certainly won’t come easy.

 

*************************

 

GOALKEEPER: You cannot find a better head to head match up at this position than you will experience in this one. Two of the most decorated and veteran goalkeepers face off on Sunday, as Matt Reis mans the net for New England, and he will be staring across the field at one of the most celebrated keepers in American soccer history, Kasey Keller.  Keller’s pedigree is incredibly well documented, playing all over Europe, captaining his German club for an entire season, leading the United States in World Cup play, and of course, his impressive streak of 59 straight MLS matches played as the team’s captain and leader.  Seattle has been solidly defensively, amassing a 1.00 goals against average in their last 7 matches, with most of the credit going to Keller, whose positioning and command of his back four is second to none.  While New England has struggled in the first half of this season, it certainly can’t fall upon the shoulders of ‘keeper Matt Reis. Reis, finally healthy, has found a great run of form of late, leading the Revolution to a 1.19 GAA this season, good for fourth in the Eastern Conference.  Reis has shown great command of his back line, and has always been an imposing force in the box.  Both goalkeepers are playing well coming into Sunday, which will make for a great match. ADVANTAGE: Push. Hard to believe when you’re dealing with Keller, but while the Seattle man may be far more decorated, there may not be a hotter hand in MLS than Matt Reis.

DEFENDERS: Both sides have found their stride defensively of late, and both boat their share of youth and experience. Throughout their struggles this season, the New England Revolution have been solid defensively (the Revs have played 10 matches in which they’ve surrendered 1 goal or fewer), and as the season progresses and young players like A.J. Soares and Franco Coria gain more experience, the defense is only poised to continue to improve.  New England will once again be without Didier Domi, so it will be Darrius Barnes once again assuming the role of left back, a position Barnes has begun to adapt well to, as he has had plenty of opportunity to earn minutes at that position.  Kevin Alston will man the right back spot, and as the Revs’ spark plug continues to remain healthy, his run of form continues to improve.  Seattle is anchored by veteran presence, with former Revolution pick James Riley, as well as Jeff Parke. The two have been the more visible influences on the Seattle back line, often joined by Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, a strong, physical presence in the center of defense. Seattle are giving up just a shade under a goal a game this season, but are always tough at home in front of their great support and atmosphere.  With their full compliment of defenders at their disposal, it will be up to Head Coach Sigi Schmid after a quick turnaround from Thursday night’s match on who will defend the Sounders’ net, but look for mainstays Riley and Parke to be a part of the match.  ADVANTAGE: Seattle. The Rave Green outfit are incredibly tough at home, and with the struggles of New England offensively still ongoing, it’s easy to see the advantage at the back.

MIDFIELDERS: New England will most likely be welcoming back USMNT midfielder Benny Feilhaber on Sunday afternoon (the newly acquired Feilhaber is listed as Probable on Friday’s injury report) and his addition couldn’t come soon enough. Just Feilhaber’s presence and creativity is sure to bolster a struggling Revs’ offense, and he will look to regain the chemistry that was beginning to emerge with Revolution captain Shalrie Joseph.  Sainey Nyassi had arguably his best match against Chicago on Saturday night, and with Zak Boggs still struggling through injury, Nyassi should get the start at right midfield. Left midfield will be a bit of a question, as Chris Tierney is listed as  doubtful for the match, so it may be newcomer Ryan Guy, whose brief cameo on Saturday night showed great promise from the California native, taking over and getting his first start in MLS play.  Seattle’s midfield has an incredible propensity to just continue to fire on all cylinders throughout each match, with Mauro Rosales and Osvaldo Alonso seemingly having tireless energy.  The two have combined for three goals and three assists, but it’s their midfield partner Brad Evans who leads the team in scoring, with four goals and an assist thus far in 2011. Evans has a knack for finding the goal, and his strong presence in the midfield and blue collar approach always make him a formidable foe in the center of the park.  It’s going to fall upon Shalrie Joseph to create and set a tone early in this match, and allow Benny Feilhaber to flow and create in the final third to help with the struggling Revs’ offense.  ADVANTAGE: Seattle. It’s too early to put too much pressure and expectation on Feilhaber, add to that the Sounders’ ability to create and finish through the midfield and you can see where the advantage will lie.

FORWARDS: The lack of offensive firepower in New England has been well-documented, however, since Revolution head coach Steve Nicol switched to a 4-4-2 (effectively giving striker Rajko Lekic a partner in attack instead of being the lone man up top), New England has seen an improvement in the quality and frequency of its’ chances.  Lekic ended a long goal-less drought against Chicago on Saturday night (the Danish international hadn’t scored since April 23rd), and with the addition of Kenny Mansally up top, New England is looking slightly more dangerous and likely to find an offensive breakthrough.  Seattle’s attack is anchored by a very familiar figure in Freddy Montero, and the Colombian international hasn’t disappointed, firing in three goals and four assists in 2011. Montero is the type of player that always needs to be accounted for on the field, and can spring up in attack at any time, so it will fall upon Matt Reis and company to keep track of him at all times.  With Steve Zakuani out for the season, the other forward slot has been manned by committee, with veteran big man Nate Jaqua sharing the minutes with the likes of Mike Fucito and even Alvaro Fernandez as well.  Jaqua provides a strong presence in the air, something New England has struggled with early in the campaign, but it’s been Fucito with a good run of form of late. Expect a balanced attack from Seattle, and it will be quite difficult for a well-traveled Revolution defense to contain a Sounders side coming off of a four goal output just four days prior.

 

PREDICTION: New England has played well defensively, and it is going to take a massive effort to keep this Seattle team off the scoresheet. The addition of Feilhaber will absolutely help, as will the possible inclusion of Ryan Guy.  Signs of improvement are evident throughout the Revolution team as they continue to fight the injury bug and add new pieces, and a breakthrough is certainly coming, but it won’t be on Sunday afternoon.  SCORE: Seattle 2 – New England 1.

 

Comments (0)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

FIRE 1 – REVOLUTION 1

Posted on 19 June 2011 by Matty Jollie

In another wildly entertaining affair, the New England Revolution (3-7-6, 15pts) drew 1-1 with Eastern Conference rival Chicago Fire (2-4-9, 15pts), through an early second half goal from striker Rajko Lekic.  The draw gave New England 2 points from their brief two game homestand, keeping them tied with Chicago for sixth place in the Eastern Conference.

New England had only two changes to the starting lineup that faced Toronto on Wednesday night, as Franco Coria slipped in at center-back for Ryan Cochrane, and Revs’ veteran Sainey Nyassi took over at right midfield for the injured Zak Boggs, who sustained a right MCL strain in the match against Toronto.

The match kicked off under clear skies and in front of a spirited crowd of over 14,000, and almost right from the beginning this contest was spirited, wide open, and easy to watch. Both sides created early chances, with the first true chance falling to Sainey Nyassi in the 10th minute, when Pat Phelan’s long ball found him in space down the right side (a sight that was seen plenty of times on the night), giving Nyassi the chance to fire on net, but his low-driven effort was smothered by Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson at the near post.

After a few more jabs and counters, it was the Fire’s turn to ask questions of the Revolution goal, when striker Christian Nazarit had only the post better him in the 16th minute. Nazarit found the smallest pocket of space in the Revolution box, out-foxed Franco Coria, and fired a toe-poke effort that beat keeper Matt Reis, but shot off the crossbar and out for a goal kick, keeping the match level.

The next fifteen minutes were owned by New England, who saw chances from Rajko Lekic, Sainey Nyassi and Pat Phelan all denied, and the constant pressure on the Chicago Fire goal continued in the 28th minute when Darrius Barnes found Kevin Alston again through a long ball down the right flank, who then carved into the box and found Lekic, whose left-footed volley was well struck but also well saved by Johnson.

Chicago turned the match on its head in the 31st minute when they finally managed to beat Matt Reis and take the lead through Dominic Oduro.  The goal was completely against the run of play, and came off of a well-executed counter-attack after a Revs’ set piece.  After clearing the Revs’ set piece effort, Patrick Nyarko tore through the midfield and found Oduro, whose speed was enough to get him past Darrius Barnes and into enough open space to calmly slot home the opening goal. Oduro gave all the credit to his teammate, saying “I think it was a breakaway from Patrick’s (Nyarko) end. Again, we’ve been working on this transition. He saw me make a run, through ball, took the guy on the run, I saw an opening and I just put the ball right there.”

New England regained their composure after giving up the opener, and almost found the equalizer in the 39th minute, when again it was Nyassi finding space down the same right flank, cutting in and firing a well weighted cross that found the head of Kenny Mansally, but the Gambian’s headed effort from less than a few yards out was too tall and sailed over the crossbar.

The match headed to the halftime locker room with Chicago still leading 1-0, but it was New England with all of the momentum as they continued to pressure and create chances up until match referee Silviu Petrescu blew the whistle for halftime.

The second half began with no changes for either side, and again it was New England on the front foot, going forward aggressively and giving themselves multiple opportunities to equalize, and almost immediately after the second half restart, the hard work finally paid off.

New England earned a free kick in a dangerous area in the 48th minute, and after the original effort from Pat Phelan was blocked, the ball squibbed through to Rajko Lekic, who was able to beat a belated offside trap from the Fire back line, and the Revolution striker ever-so-smoothly finished past a diving Sean Johnson, and the match was once again level.

It was Lekic’ first goal since April 23rd against Sporting Kansas City, and the Danish league star was more than pleased to finally get back on the scoresheet.  It was a bit of a disjointed sequence of play, as Lekic alluded to, “I saw that Pat (Phelan) was going to shoot. I was thinking if he missed the ball, I was all alone and I can get the ball in a free position and then make the goal hopefully. And that happened. So I made the goal like that.”

The tying goal from New England ignited the style of the match, and it was the Revs taking the initiative several times down the same right flank through Nyassi, who had chances denied in the 54th and 60th minute. As the match wore on, it continued to feel like there was one goal left out there, and it almost came in the 69th minute in a strange sequence of play.

New England broke through the Fire midfield and the ball came to Lekic, who managed to find space at the top of the box but was taken down by Gonzalo Segares.  Shalrie Joseph then immediately took the free kick on a quick restart, and found Kenny Mansally inside the box, who blasted over the Fire goal and into the crowd.  Head Coach Steve Nicol didn’t seem surprised by the quick restart from Joseph in such a dangerous area, “I have no problem with (Shalrie Joseph’s quick restart) whatsoever. It’s a great ball, he’s put Kenny (Mansally) clean through with a goalkeeper to beat. I mean, what more do you want?”

Both sides made their substitutions in the latter stages of the second half, and a switch made by New England in the 72nd minute stood out almost immediately, when Ryan Guy, recently signed from Ireland and making his MLS debut, made a huge headed clearance off the goal line, denying Chicago the go ahead goal. Steve Nicol commented  on the new arrival’s debut, “I think (Ryan Guy) did great when he came in. That sticks out. He was alert on the goal line – that’s why he’s there, but you still have to make the header (save), which was obviously great. And he looked dangerous and decent on the ball going forward.”

As the match wound down it was evident that New England were on their last legs (the Revs were coming off only 3 days rest after their draw with Toronto FC on Wednesday night) and Chicago began taking advantage, but Matt Reis was equal to the task on several occasions.  Steve Nicol inserted Zack Schilawski into the match in the 81st minute for Kenny Mansally, trying to inject some life into the attack and take some pressure off of the tired legs at the back.

Man of the Match, Matt Reis, saved the point for New England in the 88th minute, when he denied second half substitute Gabriel Ferrari’s rocketed shot, making a huge diving save to his left and parrying the ball away, keeping the match level.

The final whistle blew after five minutes of stoppage time, although not long before Rajko Lekic nearly won it at the end, when the striker found the smallest amount of space at the left side of he box, jostled himself free and played the ball up to his left foot and volleyed hard to the far post beating the Fire keeper but sailing just wide.

Although the draw was certainly not the result New England was hoping for, Revolution defender A.J. Soares was pleased with the effort from his teammates, “we worked hard, we created chances, and when you play like that, you’re going to win a lot of games.” It was clear from the start the effort was there from Steve Nicol’s men, who was pleased with the effort and stated it was just the little things that weren’t falling their way, saying “(We’re missing) a wee bit of something – a wee bit of composure, a wee bit of quality. We’re not kicking the backside off it, but there’s a fine line between picking up maximum points and not.”

After this brief two game homestand New England now heads off on the road to face both an imposing foe and a great atmosphere when they take on the Seattle Sounders next Sunday afternoon at Qwest Field, kickoff is set for 4 p.m. EST.

 

*******************************

 

New England Revolution vs. Chicago Fire

June 18, 2011 – Gillette Stadium (Foxborough, Mass.)

 

New England Revolution 1, Chicago Fire 1

 

Scoring Summary:

CHI – Dominic Oduro (Patrick Nyarko) 32

NE – Rajko Lekic (Pat Phelan) 48

 

New England Revolution: Matt Reis, Darrius Barnes, A.J. Soares, Franco Coria, Kevin Alston, Chris Tierney (Ryan Guy 71), Pat Phelan, Shalrie Joseph ©, Sainey Nyassi, Kenny Mansally (Zack Schilawski 81), Rajko Lekic

 

Substitutes Not Used: Bobby Shuttleworth, Otto Loewy, Andrew Sousa, Stephen McCarthy, Ryan Kinne

 

STATS*: Shots: 19; Shots on Goal: 8; Saves: 5; Corner Kicks: 8; Offside: 3; Fouls Committed: 12

 

Chicago Fire: Sean Johnson, Gonzalo Segares, Cory Gibbs, Yamith Cuesta, Jalil Anibaba, Patrick Nyarko, Logan Pause ©, Baggio Husidic (Daniel Paladini 74), Dominic Oduro, Cristian Nazarit, Diego Chaves (Orr Barouch 63)

 

Substitutes Not Used: Jon Conway, Corben Bone, Dasan Robinson, Bratislav Ristic, Gabriel Ferrari

 

STATS*: Shots: 13; Shots on Goal: 7; Saves: 6; Corner Kicks: 9; Offside: 3; Fouls Committed: 16

 

* Note that all statistics are unofficial

 

Misconduct Summary:

CHI – Cristian Nazarit (caution) 59

CHI – Gonzalo Segares (caution) 66

CHI – Dominic Oduro (caution) 77

NE – Shalrie Joseph (caution) 78

CHI – Daniel Paladini (caution) 90

 

 

Referee: Silviu Petrescu

Assistant Referees: Daniel Belleau, Eric Proctor

Fourth Official: Drew Fischer
Weather: Partly cloudy, 78 degrees

Attendance: 14,246

 

Records:

New England: 3-7-6, 15 pts.

Chicago: 2-4-9, 15 pts.

 

NOTES

 

With the draw, the Revs moved to a 13-17-9 overall record against the Chicago Fire

The Revs remain winless against the Fire in regular-season matches in their last nine meetings, with New England’s last in-season win coming May 6, 2007 at Gillette Stadium (3-1)

The teams will close out their two-game season series on Sunday, Sept. 25, at Toyota Park

The draw extended the Revs’ unbeaten streak to two games, marking the team’s first consecutive results since a scoreless draw on Saturday, May 7, followed by a win on Saturday, May 14

The Revs’ 11 first-half shots were more than or equal to the team’s full-game totals in 13 of the previous 15 matches entering this game

Tonight marked Matt Reis’ 200th start as a member of the Revolution … Reis ranks third in games started, behind only Jay Heaps (238) and Shalrie Joseph (221 and counting)

Ryan Guy made his first appearance for the Revolution tonight, entering the game as a substitute in the 71st minute

Rajko Lekic scored his second goal of the season in the 48th minute … his first came on April 23 in the Revs’ 3-2 win against Sporting Kansas City … Lekic is now the second player – along with Shalrie Joseph – to have scored multiple goals during the 2011 season

Pat Phelan earned his second assist of the season on Lekic’s goal, a career high for the fourth-year pro

Both Ryan Cochrane and Zak Boggs missed tonight’s game because of injury, Cochrane with a left hamstring strain and Boggs with a right MCL sprain

 

 

Comments (0)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

PREVIEW: Fire @ Revolution

Posted on 17 June 2011 by Matty Jollie

Saturday evening marks the third match in eight days for the New England Revolution (3-7-5, 14pts), as they entertain the Chicago Fire (2-4-8, 14pts) to wrap up the Revs’ brief homestand.  New England enters the match on only three days’ rest after battling to a 0-0 draw on Wednesday night with Toronto FC in front of a sparsely populated Gillette Stadium, while Chicago has been flying high of late, defeating Columbus 1-0 on Sunday afternoon, their third successive shutout under new head coach Frank Klopas.  This particular fixture has always been hotly contested, and the history between the two sides is well documented, however with recent results being what they are, both sides are certainly more focused on getting a result, rather than getting caught up in a rivalry. With only five wins between the two clubs, look for an intense, physical matchup on Saturday, as they both look to right the ship in Foxboro.  Let’s take a look at how the match shapes up on the field:

GOALKEEPER: You’ve got to admire the way Revolution keeper Matt Reis has played this season. Constantly battling through injuries, Reis has found his best form as of late, showing signs that his health is close to fully-healed.  Coming off of a shutout of Toronto FC on Wednesday night, look for Matt Reis between the pipes again on Saturday.  Chicago will counter with 22-year old Sean Johnson, who, under new head coach Frank Klopas’ new system, has flourished.  The Atlanta-born Johnson has always possessed the size and length, but until recently lacked the polish necessary to lead a club on a week-in week-out basis, however with three consecutive shutouts and a struggling Revs’ offense, Johnson has got to love his chances for a fourth clean sheet in as many matches. ADVANTAGE: NEW ENGLAND. When Matt Reis is healthy, there are few better, although Johnson is clearly the hotter hand coming into Saturday.

DEFENDERS: When you examine the Revolution’s recent struggles, it often times has not been the deficiency of their back four. Given the injury bug that has plagued the team, the back line has seemingly persevered throughout the 2011 campaign.  Kevin Alston has remained healthy for most of the season which is always a bright spot for New England, and rookie A.J. Soares has clearly become the leader at the center of the Revolution defense.  Even through the recent winless streak, the defense has shown good communication and cohesion, and its’ lack of team speed at the back has seemed to be what has done them in. Didier Domi did not play on Wednesday night, and it would be hard to see him return only a few days later, so look for Darrius Barnes, who has performed admirably, to fill in at left-back once again. After a horrendous start to the new season, Chicago has seemingly shored up its defensive wall recently under their new regime.  Old friend Cory Gibbs will be found at the center of the revamped Fire defense, and through his veteran leadership the Fire have found good form, as well as finally gaining some composure and structure at the back. Gibbs will be joined by other MLS veterans Gonzalo Segares and Jalil Anibaba, who have also played big roles in the defensive renaissance in Chicago. ADVANTAGE: Chicago. You’ve got to play the hot hand, and the Fire haven’t conceded since the end of May.

MIDFIELDERS: In what has been yet another injury riddled season, New England will once again piece together a central midfield, as they will most likely be without the services of Ousmane Dabo and Benny Feilhaber on Saturday night. While Dabo was listed as out on the latest injury report, Revs’ fans can find a little solace in the fact that Feilhaber WAS upgraded to doubtful, but it would be a minor medical miracle to see the USMNT product on the field against Chicago.  Captain Shalrie Joseph will be in the middle of it all once again, and after not seeing the field on Saturday night, one can expect to see rookie Stephen McCarthy back in the midfield after a stale performance from New England on Wednesday.  Wing play has settled down ever so slightly for the Revs’, as Chris Tierney has filled the left midfield role quite nicely, providing better service to the players up top, but it is the right wing that continues to be the thorn in the side of the Revolution. Neither Sainey Nyassi or Zak Boggs have truly distanced themselves from the other this season, and while it has been Boggs receiving the lions’ share of the minutes, one wonders if perhaps head coach Steve Nicol should throw a curve ball somewhere soon and insert the likes of Kenny Mansally in the mix to see if perhaps a different formula would produce a better result.  Chicago has talent aplenty in their midfield, with the speed of Patrick Nyarko and the playmaking abilities of Baggoi Husidic and Dominic Oduro, and continue to improve their run of play under Klopas.  It will certainly come down to how the Revolution bottle up the speed of Nyarko, as has been the case in several matches this season for New England.  In the middle of the park , New England can without a doubt overpower the central midfielders of Chicago, and that particular matchup will be important to the success of the Revs’ on Saturday night. With Nyarko kept quiet, New England can battle through the match in the center of the field, and try to scratch out a result over a slightly more talented Fire midfield. ADVANTAGE: Push. Both teams have strengths and weaknesses that actually complement the other side. It’s going to come down to who imposes their will on the other.

FORWARDS: It’s easily said that New England has struggled offensively, but what is not easily said is why: Rajko Lekic simply doesn’t look the part.  After scoring against Sporting Kansas City, Lekic has almost disappeared, and if it weren’t for the constant temper tantrums thrown and the countless kicks to sideline advertisement boards, he’d be completely invisible.  One can argue the lack of service, one can argue attitude, but there is no arguing the fact that Rajko Lekic has failed to score since April 23rd. A bright spot for the Revs’ offense is that Steve NIcol has seemingly scrapped the stand-alone striker formation, adding Kenny Mansally to the strike tandem with Lekic on Wednesday night.  Lekic needs to be partnered with a possession type strike partner, and the team did look a little better with Zack Schilawski in there with him in the second half, so look for the second year man to get a little more run on Saturday night.  Chicago hasn’t exactly been scorching the nets either, scoring only one goal in their last three league matches, and will look to improve against a New England side that has the tendency to struggle with containing speed.  Th biggest concern with Chicago is quite simply the lack of talent up top.  Diego Chaves has yet to pan out and really stand out from the rest of the pack, and often times, it’s Nyarko who moves up from a midfield spot to give the attack a little bit of a bite.  With the departure of Gaston Puerari to Club Atlas in Mexico, the questions only increase, as now head coach Frank Klopas is left with another hole in his attack. Look for a lesser-known forward to get a look on Saturday night, and if you would like a name to look out for, keep an eye out for 19-year old Orr Barrouch, who has seen some time, and will now almost by default, see more minutes in the Chicago attack. ADVANTAGE: Push. Neither side scores at will. If you really needed an answer, New England would get the edge almost by default with Chicago’s forward depth in flux.  It wouldn’t be a surprise that if any goals were to be scored on Saturday night, they’d come from the midfield.

PREDICTION: Saturday night is one of those matches that could go either way.  Chicago is very hot defensively right now, and New England has struggled to score goals.  While New England is coming off only three days’ rest, Chicago has had all week to prepare.  With injuries still plaguing the Revolution midfield, it’s hard to see the results taking a turn for the better. Patrick Nyarko will find space through his speed and create the lone goal of the match. FIRE 1 – REVOLUTION 0.

 

Comments (0)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

New York Red Bulls 2 – Revolution 1

Posted on 12 June 2011 by Matty Jollie

A spirited New England Revolution side fell short on Friday night in New Jersey, dropping their fifth straight match, to the New York Red Bulls 2-1. The win snapped New York’s six game winless skid, and also vaulted them to the top of the Eastern Conference. Although the result was once again not what Revolution head coach Steve Nicol was looking for, on this night there were several positives to take away from the match.

Nicol named a mostly unchanged side from the lineup he sent out in the previous match, with Didier Domi and Ousmane Dabo making consecutive appearances, but the Revolution boss did bring Pat Phelan into the fold in the midfield to partner with Dabo and captain Shalrie Joseph.  Still without the services of Benny Feilhaber who continues to battle through injury, New England was looking for more possession through the midfield, and with the defensive minded Phelan and Dabo in the center of the park, the Revs showed lapses of good control of the ball.

New York is by far the club hurt most by Gold Cup call ups, losing five key players for the tournament (Juan Aguedelo, Rafa Marquez, Dane Richards, Dwayne De Rosario, and Tim Ream) and the lineup sent out by the home side certainly reflected the absences.  Talisman Thierry Henry captained the side, and New York also counted on Joel Lindpere, but outside of this duo, it was a side full of uncertainty yet given the circumstances on this night, head coach Hans Backe had plenty to be happy with.

The two sides spent most of the early stages of the match feeling each other out through the midfield, and outside of a first minute Luke Rodgers effort from close range and yet another dangerous opportunity again in the seventh, the first fifteen minutes were not much more than a sparring session.

New England finally found their first chance in the 17th minute, when Chris Tierney found space from his left midfield spot and played a delicately crafted ball to a waiting Pat Phelan who had found space at the back post, however his off-balance effort was pushed wide and the match continued scoreless.

The big breakthrough came for New England in the 34th minute, when striker Rajko Lekic was pulled down in the box by New York defender Stephen Keel, and awarded a penalty. Revolution captain Shalrie Joseph stepped to the spot to take the kick and uncharacteristically could not convert, as goalkeeper Greg Sutton dove to his left to make a fine save to keep the clean sheet in tact.

This missed chance loomed large almost four minutes later, when Red Bulls captain Thierry Henry tore through the right side of the Revs’ defense, found space in the box and fired a low, hard cross across the face of goal that unfortunately for New England found the feet of defender Ryan Cochrane, whose resulting own goal gave New York the lead heading into half time.

New York doubled their advantage almost immediately after half time, as once again it was Henry who found space through a clever ball from Keel, and after Henry cut back in the box to spring loose from Cochrane, he slotted the ball past Revolution ‘keeper Matt Reis, and just five minutes after half time the Red Bulls were up 2-0.

The second goal almost seemed to ignite the Revolution side, as they responded three minutes later when rookie Zak Boggs scored the third goal of his career.  Chris Tierney once again won the ball on the left flank and carved out enough space to play a well-weighted cross to the back post that Boggs was able to corral and control before firing past the goalkeeper to cut the deficit in half.

Substitutions played a major role for New England in the dying embers of the game, as late entrants Kenny Mansally and Stephen McCarthy both had chances to to tie the match, Mansally seeing his effort in the 72nd minute slide just wide of the net, and McCarthy with a volley off of a corner that also went wide.

New York responded quickly, as they twice saw efforts from Mehdi Ballouchy, the first being saved quite well by Matt Reis, and the second being fired just wide of the net, which kept the match at 2-1, and kept the Revolution well within reach.

New England seemingly tied the score late in the final act, when an 87th minute cross from yet another substitute, Sainey Nyassi, found Lekic at the back post, who buried the header into the back of the net, yet the hopes of the traveling supporters were dashed when the linesman’s flag raised to indicate offsides, erasing the goal, and effectively ended the Revs’ bid to pull away with a point.

As New England looks to end their skid, this upcoming week will certainly afford them two good opportunities to do so, as they return home to Foxboro for two fixtures: a Wednesday night affair with struggling Toronto FC, followed by a weekend tilt with rival Chicago Fire who have also found the first half of the 2011 MLS season challenging.

New York has a much more daunting task forthcoming, as they make the trek across the country to Portland, to try to steal a result from the Timbers in front of the incredibly intimidating Timbers Army at a rocking JELD-WEN Field.

 

*****************************

New England Revolution at New York Red Bulls

June 10, 2011 – Red Bull Arena (Harrison, N.J.)

New York Red Bulls 2, New England Revolution 1

Scoring Summary:

NYRB – Own goal (Ryan Cochrane) 37

NYRB – Thierry Henry (Stephen Keel) 50

NE – Zak Boggs (Chris Tierney, Didier Domi) 54

 

New England Revolution: Matt Reis, Didier Domi, A.J. Soares, Ryan Cochrane, Kevin Alston, Chris Tierney, Ousmane Dabo (Stephen McCarthy 20), Shalrie Joseph ©, Pat Phelan (Kenny Mansally 56), Zak Boggs (Sainey Nyassi 85), Rajko Lekic

 

Substitutes Not Used: Bobby Shuttleworth, Franco Coria, Kheli Dube, Darrius Barnes

 

STATS*: Shots: 12; Shots on Goal: 3; Saves: 5; Corner Kicks: 4; Offside: 3; Fouls Committed: 13

 

New York Red Bulls: Greg Sutton, Roy Miller, Stephen Keel, Carlos Mendes, Jan Gunnar Solli, Austin da Luz (John Rooney 84), Joel Lindpere, Teemu Tainio, Mehdi Ballouchy, Luke Rodgers (Corey Hertzog 65), Thierry Henry ©

 

Substitutes Not Used: Bouna Coundoul, Sacir Hot, Tyler Lassiter, Teddy Schneider, Matt Kassel

 

STATS*: Shots: 12; Shots on Goal: 6; Saves: 2; Corner Kicks: 3; Offside: 3; Fouls Committed: 16

 

* Note that all statistics are unofficial

 

Misconduct Summary:

NYRB – Stephen Keel (caution) 33

NYRB – Mehdi Ballouchy (caution) 57

 

Team Records:

New England Revolution – 3-7-4, 13 pts.

New York Red Bulls – 5-2-7, 22 pts.

 

Referee: Terry Vaughn

Assistant Referees: Fabio Tovar, Ian Anderson

Fourth Official: Juan Guzman
Weather: Partly Cloudy and 80 degrees

Attendance: 21,201

 

NOTES

  • With the loss, the Revs fell to 25-18-11 overall against New York
  • The loss was the team’s second in a row after going 14 straight regular-season matches undefeated against the Red Bulls since 2005
  • The Revs now remain winless at Red Bull Arena, going 0-2-0 in regular-season action and 0-3-0 overall since the facility opened in 2010
  • Shalrie Joseph’s missed penalty kick attempt was his first miss since the 2008 season … he had converted his last four attempts, including two previous attempts this season
  • Ryan Cochrane’s own goal in the 37th minute was the team’s first surrendered own goal since May 8, 2010, when Cory Gibbs scored an own goal at Columbus in a 3-2 loss
  • The Revs and Red Bulls also saw an own goal scored in a meeting in 2010, when then rookie defender Tim Ream scored an own goal to give the Revs a 2-1 lead at Gillette Stadium on May 29
  • With New York credited with a first-half goal, tonight marked the first time in six games that the match was not scoreless at the half … the last Revs game in which there was a halftime score was the April 30 match at Chivas USA when it was 2-0, Chivas USA, at the halftime intermission
  • Pat Phelan started his first match since the April 9 Real Salt Lake match at Gillette Stadium
  • Zak Boggs’ goal was his first of the 2011 season … it was the third goal of his career and his first since May 8, 2010, when he scored two goals at Columbus in a 3-2 loss
  • Zak Boggs’ goal snapped the Revolution’s 601-minute streak without a goal being scored from the run of play
  • Prior to Zak Boggs’ goal tonight, New England’s last goal from the run of play came in the 83rd minute on April 23 from Rajko Lekic in a 3-2 win at home against Sporting Kansas City … the Revs had scored twice in games since April 23, but one goal was a penalty kick (Shalrie Joseph vs. Vancouver on May 14) and one goal came directly from a free kick (Chris Tierney at San Jose on May 21)
  • Boggs’ goal also snapped a 168-minute scoreless streak overall, with the team’s last goal coming in the 86th minute at San Jose on May 21 from Chris Tierney’s free kick
  • Chris Tierney recorded his first assist of the 2011 season with his helper on Zak Boggs’ goal … it was his eighth career assist and his first since Oct. 16, 2010, when he assisted on Shalrie Joseph’s game-winning goal against Kansas City
  • Didier Domi recorded his first assist in MLS with his helper on Zak Boggs’ goal
  • When Kenny Mansally came on as a substitute for Pat Phelan in the 56th minute, the Revs switched to a 4-4-2 alignment with Mansally up  top with Rajko Lekic
  • Matt Reis suffered just his third loss against New York as a member of the Revs … he is now 11-3-7 in 21 career regular-season meetings against the Red Bulls

 

Comments (0)

Tags: , ,

What’s Wrong with the Revolution

Posted on 09 June 2011 by Hank Alexandre

It’s almost half way through the season and the New England Revolution are struggling.

With just 13 points in 13 games, Steve Nicol appears to be out of answers to find a way to win.  It’s not hard to find out where the problem lies.  The Revolution have only scored 10 goals all season, and just two in their last four games. Their leading goal scorer is defensive midfielder Shalrie Joseph with four goals (two from the penalty spot). Meanwhile, the Revs’ new striker, Rajko Lekic, who was brought in specifically to score goals, has 14 shots in 8 games, but only 6 have been on goal, and of those just one has found the back of the net.

But it’s very easy to lay blame at the feet of an inefficient striker, especially with the lack of service  he’s been getting.  However, that is hardly the root of the Revolutions problems.  But one only needs to look at the formation on the field to see the true cause.

The Revs have been playing a make shift 4-3-3 formation, but anyone with a pair of eyes can tell you it’s more of a 4-5-1.  The Revolution wings have been playing so far back that by the time they get the ball into an attacking position, the opposition has had enough time to track back and cover.  On the rare occasion the Revs beat the opposition, Lekic, the lone man up top, has been either offside, or hasn’t had the quality of service for him to connect.

More to the point, the Revolution have become predictable.  The 5 man midfield has been a staple of Steve Nicol’s since the Revolution’s heyday in the mid 2000’s.  But that Revolution squad had the likes of Steve Ralston, Clint Dempsey, Andy Dorman, as well as Shalrie Joseph. Today, the Revolution’s midfield features only one holdover from that squad, and the rest of the midfield just doesn’t measure up.

Furthermore, and most importantly, Steve Nicol had the talent in Michael Parkhurst to play a three man backfield, which allowed him to play two forwards up top.  And with two forwards like Taylor Twellman and Pat Noonan, the Revolution were a goal scoring machine.

Again, it’s easy to look back and remember the glory days, and say the Revolution should switch to a 3-5-2 formation. That may or may not be the answer.  But what is overwhelmingly clear is the lack of scoring prowess on the field. And while the Revs may not have Twellman and Noonan, they do have Dube, Schilawski, Koger – all of whom have the ability to get forward and get the ball in the net.

What it comes down to is Steve Nicol’s system of 4-5-1 is not working, and the Revs need to do something different.  If they can’t change the players they’ve got, the best option is to shake it up.

 

Comments (0)

Advertise Here
Advertise Here