Tag Archive | "Revs"

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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

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Domi released from contract

Posted on 15 July 2011 by Hank Alexandre

The New England Revolution announced today via press release that left back Didier Domi has been released from his contract with Major League Soccer.

The 33 year old French International was signed by the Revolution on January 11, 2011, but only appeared in nine games, with eight starts, for New England.

No reason for his release was provided.

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LIVE BLOG : Manchester United @ New England Revolution

Posted on 13 July 2011 by Matty Jollie

Photo Courtesy of MLSSoccer

Foxboro, MA – Welcome to Gillette Stadium! We are trying something different here at ASN tonight, with a live running commentary here, as well as on Twitter! It’s @MattyJollie here with you tonight, and I will be your in-game host! You can follow along on Twitter @RevsASN for in-game tweets, or here with me and leave your thoughts and comments!

*********

7:05 – Lineups have been announced!  NEW ENGLAND (Reis, Tierney, Coria, Soares, Alston, Boggs, Phelan, Joseph, Feilhaber, Nyassi, Lekic)  MANCHESTER UNITED (Lindegaard, Fabio, Vidic, Evans, Rafael, Carrick, Anderson, Nani, Young, Berbatov, Rooney)

7:15 – A mostly full strength squad for New England, with Tierney sliding back to left-back, and Boggs playing left-mid.  In a surprising twist, Nicol goes with a 4-4-2 tonight, playing Benny Feilhaber up top with Rajko Lekic. Plenty of familiar faces on the pitch for Manchester United, with Rooney and Berbatov up top, and newly-signed Ashley Young making his debut in a Red Devils uniform.

7:45 – A slight drizzle here at Gillette Stadium has a few fans scattering towards the covered walkways and concourses. Nothing too heavy, but enough to bring out a few rain ponchos.

8:02 – Both clubs are coming onto the field for pre-game lineups. Revs in their all blue home kits, Red Devils in their patented red kit with white shorts.

8:10 – WE ARE SET FOR KICKOFF! The whistle blows, and we are UNDERWAY !

3′ – Both teams sparring early, but it is very clear that Man Utd. is absolutely here to play.

8′ – Can’t seem to find a properly inflated ball at the moment. Slight delay.

10′ – Free Kick for New England in a DANGEROUS spot.

11′ – Tierney’s effort slams into the wall, and the ball is cleared by Vidic.

13′ – Shalrie Joseph almost opens the scoring, after a Zak Boggs cross is deflected and Joseph’s glancing header is wide.

15′ – It needs to be said: New England is more than holding their own here.

19 ‘ – Great individual play by Nani sees him cross to an unmarked Rooney, whose header is too high

23′ – Manchester United beginning to dictate play. Revs doing well to defend.

25′ – Good build up play from New England. Phelan fires on net but it is save easily.

26′ – Another good bit of possession from the Revs, it’s Phelan again, who kicks a field goal over the crossbar.

28′ – Good cross from Ashley Young, a bit too high for Dimitar Berbatov however. Goal kick to NE.

30′ – Young does well to earn a corner for United. Nothing comes of it.

34′ – Revs continue to hold their own. Even maintaining possession for stretches.

36′ – Carrick fires just wide after a good pass from Anderson.

41′ – Stunning save from Matt Reis. Fabio gets to the byline, crosses to Berbatov who is stoned by Reis.

45′ – Reis does well to stop a Nani effort short side that goes out for a corner.

HALFTIME – The Revs dodged a few bullets late in the half, but Reis came up big. Look for multiple subs at the half, but for now, it’s REVS 0 – MANCHESTER UNITED 0

48′ – Revs make six changes at the half, Feilhaber, Joseph and Lekic stay on the field. Owen, Ferdinand, and Macheda on for United.

51′- GOAL. Manchester United striker and sub Michael Owen opens the scoring off a good pass from Carrick.

54′ – GOAL. Macheda finds acres of space in the box, beats Loewy and Cochrane, and fires easily past Shuttleworth. 2-0.

56′ (2-0 MAN) – Revs earn a free kick at the very top of the box. Feilhaber to take.

57′ (2-1 MAN) – GOAL. Mansally redirects the free kick past the keeper and New England cuts the lead in half.

61′ (3-1 MAN) – GOAL. Frantic, fast-paced stuff here. Feilhaber does well to deflect a cross, but the ball goes out for a corner. Corner kick somehow finds Macheda at the back post, and the Italian buries it back post.

64′ (3-1 MAN) – Schilawski, Dabo, Guy in. Felihaber, Lekic, Nyassi out.

67′ (3-1 MAN) – Huge roar for Ryan Giggs who just now enters the match.

69′ (3-1 MAN) – Mansally does well to earn a free kick, but it’s cleared by the wall.

74′ (3-1 MAN) – New England counters well, Joseph dictates play through the middle and finds Mansally on the left flank, and the resulting shot is parried away and cleared.

76′ – (3-1 MAN) – Ji Sung Park and Mame Diouf on for United.

81′ (4-1 MAN) – GOAL. Now THAT is the Manchester United we know.  Beautiful stuff from the champs, as Obertan beats Boggs, then finds Giggs, who flicks on to Park, who cheekily chips Shuttleworth from close range. Impressive.

86′ (4-1 MAN) – Things have quieted down just a tad as the teams near the final whistle. Schilawski called for offside and the attack breaks down.

FULL TIME – MANCHESTER UNITED 4, NEW ENGLAND 1

*** We’re headed down for both press conferences, be sure to check back later for a full recap and coaches’ impressions!

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TMR Episode 37 – The Midnight Ride vs The Manchester Uniteds

Posted on 12 July 2011 by Hank Alexandre

Hank is once again joined by American Soccer News Revolution beat writer Matty Jollie and Kevin Koczwara from The Soccer Guys to discuss the upcoming games against Manchester United as well as Philadelphia, and also speculate as to how to best fix the Revs.  Also stay tuned to the very end of the show for a special segment with two special guests.

Click here to listen

Matty Jollie – http://revs.american-soccer-news.com/

http://twitter.com/RevsASN

 

Kevin Koczwara – http://thesoccerguysonline.com

http://twitter.com/thesoccerguys

 

Football Fall River – http://twitter.com/futbolfallriver

http://footballfallriver.wordpress.com/

email: footballfallriver@yahoo.com

The Midnight Ride

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TMR Episode 36 – The Midnight Ride vs The Curse of the 2-0 Scoreline

Posted on 05 July 2011 by Hank Alexandre

 

 

 

Hank is joined by American Soccer News Revolution beat writer Matty Jollie on this week’s episode to discuss the game that almost shocked the world on the Fourth of July, and the ins and outs of the Revolution’s players.

 

Click here to listen

 

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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

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Revs lose out on Marko; clear cap room

Posted on 01 July 2011 by Hank Alexandre

The New England Revolution parted ways with its 2010 MVP and leading goal scorer Marko Perovic on Thursday June 30th, along with his countryman Ilija Stolica.

The move occurred on the last day before guaranteed contracts kicked in for MLS, as players on the roster as of July 1st are guaranteed salaries throughout the rest of the season.

However, both Perovic and Stolica had contracts that were set to expire on June 30, with options for the team to extend them through the rest of the season.  Stolica, who had been loaned out in April, seemed destined to be cut as the deadline approached. But Perovic, who had suffered a season ending knee injury earlier this season, specifically asked for his contract option not to be picked up by the team.

To Marko’s credit, he was done for the season, and could have continued to collect salary while he recovered from his ACL surgery.  Asking for his release allows the Revolution to get cap room and roster relief.  Coupled with Stolica’s salary, the Revs now have a bit more wiggle room to try and sign a true impact player that can help the Revs reach the playoffs in October.

But who that player will be  is anybody’s guess. Looking at the Revs roster moves over the last three seasons, one has to wonder what it is about this MLS franchise and it’s inability to secure decent players. Jeff Larentowicz did not want an extension in 2009, and opted to be traded in 2010 to Colorado, where he signed a lucrative contract and won a championship. Stories of designated players who almost have signed but backed away have plagued this team since the “Beckham” rule went into effect. And now Marko has asked for and been granted his unconditional release.

Perhaps the reason has to do more with the teams infrastructure and technical staff than it does with MLS as a whole.  Steve Nicol is a Liverpool legend, but that only goes so far when your support staff and assistant coaches are made up of former college coaches and youth directors.  Hardly the infrastructure one would find in the top leagues in Europe.

Furthermore, Mike Burns, Vice President of Player Personnel, seems limited in his ability to attract and retain talent. This could be due to the ownership not providing him with the resources he needs, or it could be his own failing.  Regardless, it is his job to make sure the team has the players it needs to compete, and he has fallen short in that regard over recent years.

Stevie Nicol has already made multiple trips to Europe, Africa, and even Turkey.  Rumors are starting to form that a Designated Player could be on the way to New England.  One can only hope that Nicol has a player in mind that can make an immediate impact on the field. Hopefully that player is more akin to Perovic rather than Jankauskas or Niouky.

 

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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

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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

 

 

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