Tag Archive | "Stolica"

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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 Kick Off Road Trip In Chicago

Posted on 17 August 2010 by sstoehrst

Hot off another hard-fought home win, the Revolution will square off against fierce rival Chicago at Toyota Park on Wednesday night.

New England rides into this encounter continuing a historic run of form that has seen them unbeaten in eight straight in all competitions, posting a 6-0-2 record with six shutouts. And they’ve done it all with a hobbled, patchwork squad.

Tierney has been 'Mr. Versatility' for the Revs this season

The Revs have named a different starting XI in each of the eight encounters during their streak. Injuries have forced Steve Nicol and co. to shift players all over the pitch, including moving Chris Tierney to right back for this past Saturday’s match against Houston.

Thankfully, the arrival of newcomers Ilija Stolica and Betu have alleviated some of the pressure on the roster and a number of wounded warriors are nearing full fitness. Kevin Alston traveled with the team today and may make either a start or a bench appearance tomorrow night after recovering from a hamstring strain, among others returnees.

New England’s key through all of this has been gritty and cohesive defense. You can’t lose if the other team doesn’t score, and the Revs seem to have taken this mantra to heart as they’ve conceded only twice since losing 5-0 to RSL on July 2nd. Darrius Barnes’ return seemed to be the piece that brought it all together, but the inspired play of Kevin Alston, Cory Gibbs, Emmanuel Osei, and sometime-fullback Chris Tierney must be lauded as well.

Offense continues to be a sore spot for the Revolution, and despite their successes they’ve only scored nine goals through eight previous matches. However, Saturday indicated that their flagging offense may have received a jolt of class when Ilija Stolica, in just his first MLS start, flashed some otherworldly class to control an errant ball from Nyassi and lash home a brilliant volley.

Stolica’s hold-up play and scoring instincts will be in high demand when the Revs journey to Toyota Park. The Fire’s defense has been leaky at times, but twenty-one goals conceded and a goal-differential of zero in sixteen matches isn’t horrible, especially when compared against New England’s twenty-nine conceded and -9 GD in eighteen contests.

In other injury news, rookie Jason Griffiths made his return in stoppage time on Saturday and should be fit to start or sub in if called upon Wednesday. The Revs haven’t released a full injury report yet, but early indications are that Nico Colaluca and Zak Boggs did not travel with the team and thus will not be available for selection during this road trip. Edgaras Jankauskas also remains injured.

Kickoff is at 8:30 PM EST, televised in New England by CSN.

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Revs Down Dynamo At Home

Posted on 15 August 2010 by Hank Alexandre

The New England Revolution extended their unbeaten streak to 8 games last night, as the Revs beat the Houston Dynamo 1-0 in front of their hometown fans in Foxboro.

The night started off with the team and fans honoring former Revolution captain and MLS legend Steve Ralston, now an assistant coach with Houston after his early retirement this summer.  The crowd rose to the occasion as Steve was presented with a commemorative photograph by Revolution COO Brian Bilello, and applauded him with a standing ovation for his 8+ years with the Revolution.

(Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

The Revs took the field with a slightly different line-up than the previous game, most noticeably in front with new signing Ilija Stolica getting the start at forward along side his Serbian countryman Marko Perovic, who missed the last game due to injury.

It was the second appearance for Stolica in as many games, having just joined the team a week ago, but with 14 years as a professional to his credit, the Serbian veteran would be called upon to give the Revs some needed experience in the forward line.

In the midfield Khano Smith made his third consecutive start at left wing, along side last week’s game winning hero Pat Phelan, who has reasserted himself as the preferred choice for Shalrie Joseph’s partner in central midfield after the Revs terminated the contract of Joseph Niouky.  On the right side Sainey Nyassi lined up in his usual spot, but behind him playing right back was Chris Tierney, filling in for the injured Kevin Alston.  Osei, Barnes and Gibbs filled out the rest of the defense, with Matt Reis in goal.

Houston’s starting eleven featured “rookie” goalkeeper Tally Hall, leaving longtime Revolution nemesis Pat Onstad on the bench. Hall, like New England’s backup Shuttleworth, joined Houston last season, but did not get his first MLS start until this season, and has played well enough to keep the spot while Onstad recovers fully from injury.  2006 MLS Cup anti-hero Brian Ching wore the captain’s armband for Houston, and local boy Geoff Cameron got the start in central defense. Also on the bench for the Dynamo was Joseph Ngwenya, who Revs fans will remember from the 2007 MLS Cup when he scored the tying goal.

During the first half, it was the home team that appeared to have a slight edge, with Perovic and Stolica both asserting themselves in the attacking end of the pitch.  Marko was denied by Tally Hall in the 11th minute, and Stolica did well to control the service from Chris Tierney in the 36th minute, but his strike was blocked by Cameron.  On the ensuing throw in,  Khano Smith followed up with a volley that sailed over the net, and literally out of the stadium, as the ball flew down the north entrance, and rolled under Gillette Stadium’s famous bridge.  Houston did not look particularly dangerous, but did manage to get a shot or two off, with perhaps their best chance coming off from Brian Mullan in the final minutes of the half, but his shot was high.

After halftime, Houston made a tactical substitution bringing on Ngwenya for Corey Ashe in an attempt to add more offense to the run of play.  However it was the Revolution that would open the scoring.  A poor clearance from Houston in the 62nd minute fell to Sainey Nyassi, whose cross found Stolica in open space in front of the box.  Stolica took a touch, turned and fired a volley past the arms of Tally Hall into the left corner of the net.

The second half saw more from Houston as they searched for the equalizer, however the Dynamo could not muster a shot on goal.  Brian Ching’s diving header in the 66th minute went wide of the target, as did Palmer’s deflected shot in the 67th.  Joseph Ngwenya had a good header from a corner in the 87th minute but his effort also sailed to the right.

The Revolution for their part looked to put the game away with an insurance goal.  Shalrie Joseph nearly connected with a corner from Perovic in the 70th minute, but missed. The ball fell to Cory Gibbs at the back post but was deflected out of bounds.  In the 74th, Stolica found Shalrie in front of the box, who in turn set up Khano Smith, with a perfect through pass to the near post.  However, Khano’s effort again was too high and sailed over the outstretched hands of Tally Hall for a goal kick.  In the 89th minute Mansally, who came in as a sub for Stolica in the 77th minute, connected with Perovic on a give and go, but Mansally could not catch up with Perovic’s pass in time to evade Geoff Cameron, whose perfectly timed slide tackle thwarted the Gambian’s efforts.

Matt Reis seemingly did not have a lot of work to do, making just two saves as he notched his 50th shutout with the Revolution, the 59th of his career.  The Revs have not lost a game in all competitions since their 5-0 defeat to Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium. More impressively, New England has only given up two goals in this eight game stretch and have been perfect at home since July 10, with three shutouts in league play.  In fact, the only goal the Revolution have conceded at home came in the SuperLiga semi-final against Puebla, which the Revolution went on to win in penalty kicks.

With this win the Revs leapfrogged over both Kansas City and Chicago into fourth place in the standings.  It is somewhat ironic that the Revs will face both teams in the coming week, as New England are on the road for two for their next two games starting with this Wednesday against the Chicago Fire, and then onto Kansas City to face the Wizards on Saturday, Aug. 21.  Securing results against both of these teams will not only distance the Revs from their long time eastern conference rivals, but will move them in front of third place Toronto FC and back into playoff contention. 

Scoring Summary:

NE – Ilija Stolica (Sainey Nyassi) 62

New England Revolution: Matt Reis (GK), Cory Gibbs, Emmanuel Osei, Darrius Barnes, Chris Tierney, Khano Smith (Roberto Linck 84), Pat Phelan, Shalrie Joseph ©, Sainey Nyassi, Marko Perovic (Jason Griffiths 91+), Ilija Stolica (Kenny Mansally 77)

Substitutes Not Used: Bobby Shuttleworth (GK), Tim Murray (GK), Zack Schilawski,  Seth Sinovic


Shots: 11; Shots on Goal: 3; Saves: 2; Corner Kicks: 6; Offside: 4; Fouls Committed: 9

Houston Dynamo: Tally Hall (GK), Brian Boswell, Geoff Cameron, Andrew Hainault, Richard Mulrooney, Lovel Palmer, Anthony Obodai (Cam Weaver 77), Danny Cruz, Corey Ashe (Joseph Ngwenya 46), Brian Mullan, Brian Ching ©

Substitutes Not Used: Pat Onstad (GK), Eddie Robinson, Ryan Cochrane, Dominic Oduro, Sammy Appiah,

STATS: Shots: 12; Shots on Goal: 2; Saves: 2; Corner Kicks: 11; Offside: 1; Fouls Committed: 10

Misconduct Summary:

HOU – Danny Cruz (caution) 41

NE – Khano Smith (caution) 41

HOU – Anthony Obodai (caution) 77

Referee: Jair Marrufo
Referee’s Assistants: C.J. Morgante, Cyril Madukanya
Fourth Official: Chris Penso
Weather:  Partly Cloudy and 73 degrees
Attendance: 11,546

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Revs Bolster The Attack

Posted on 30 July 2010 by Hank Alexandre

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The Revs announced the signing of Serbian forward Ilija Stolica and Brazilian forward/midfielder Roberto “Betu” Linck today.

Stolica awaits issue of his US P-1 Visa and will occupy an international roster spot. Betu is a permanent US Resident and needs only his international Transfer Certificate. The pair are expected to join the squad after the road trip to Philadelphia this weekend.

“Our goal during this transfer window has been to bring in attacking players,” Revolution Vice President of Player Personnel Michael Burns said. “With Ilija, we’re getting a proven, veteran player who we’re expecting to come in and make contributions right away. Roberto is a younger player who we’re optimistic can help us during the second half of the season, as well.”

Stolica, 31, is a journeyman who comes to the Revolution from Montenegro’s FC Budocnost where he has played since January of this season. He played the 2005-2008 seasons in Belgium at Sint Truidense and R.A.E.C. Mons, before playing the second half of the 2008-09 season at OFI Crete of Greece.

The former Serbian Under-21 and Olympic team member began his career with Serbia’s FK Zemun, starting with the club’s youth teams in 1985 and debuting with the first team in 1995. After three seasons, he transferred to Spain’s EU Lleida for one season. Stolica returned to Serbia in 1999 to play two seasons at FK Partizan, before making a return engagement at FK Zemun through January 2003. He also played for two seasons each at FK Metalurg Donetsk (Ukraine) and OFK Beograd (Serbia) before his move to Belgium.

Linck, 21, joins the Revolution from Romania’s CSM Râmnicu Vâlcea, where he spent the 2010 season. Betu has also turned out for the Chicago Storm of the U.S. (Indoor) Xtreme Soccer League.

Linck played collegiate soccer at Irvine Valley College in California. Before moving to the States in 2002 he was a member of Gremio’s youth program.

The Revolution (4-9-2, 14 pts.) returns to MLS regular-season action on Saturday, July 31, when the team travels to face the expansion Philadelphia Union at PPL Park in Chester, PA. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m., with Comcast SportsNet New England televising the game, and 98.5 The Sports Hub carrying the game on the radio.

Jersey Number: No. 22
Pronunciation: ro-BER-to BET-too LINK
Position: Forward/Midfielder
D.O.B.: July 31, 1988 (Cachoeira do Sul, Brazil)
Height: 6-1
Weight: 163 lbs.
Hometown: Cachoeira do Sul, Brazil
Nationality: Brazil
Roster Status: Senior Roster (U.S. Permanent Resident)
College: Irvine Valley College (Calif.)
Last Club: CSM Râmnicu Vâlcea (ROU)
Youth Club: Inter FC
Acquired: Signed by the Revolution on July 30, 2010

Jersey Number: No. 9
Pronunciation: EEL-ee-uh STOLL-ic-ka
Position: Forward
D.O.B.: July 7, 1979 (Belgrade, Serbia)
Height: 6-1
Weight: 185 lbs.
Hometown: Belgrade, Serbia
Nationality: Serbia
Roster Status: International
Last Club: FC Budocnost (MNE)
Acquired: Signed by the Revolution as an International on July 30, 2010

NB: All information provided by official Revolution press release.

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