Tag Archive | "SuperLiga"

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TMR Episode 24 – The Midnight Ride vs The Lost Season

Posted on 29 August 2010 by Hank Alexandre

Hank, Sean and Brian are back to discuss the Revs sudden lapse of form at this crucial stage in the season.

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SuperLiga SuperRevs!! Revs Advance On PK’s, Stay Perfect In SuperLiga

Posted on 04 August 2010 by Hank Alexandre

The New England Revolution advanced to the SuperLiga finals for the second time in three years as they defeated Mexican side Puebla FC 5-3 on penalty kicks.

Kenny Mansally scored the only goal for the Revs in regulation and drove home the winning tally on the Revs fifth and final penalty after Puebla’s Edgar Lugo’s shot was saved by New England keeper Matt Reis, who was easily man of the match.

The two sides ended dead locked at 1 – 1 after 90 minutes of what can only be called sloppy football in which both sides missed multiple chances and struggled to take hold of the game.

Despite playing their second game in 5 days, with a third game against rival DC United this Saturday, Steve Nicol played most of his regulars, sticking with his core group of Shalrie Joseph, Matt Reis, and Marko Perovic, as well as Barnes, Alston, Osei, Niouky, and Nyassi.  Seth Sinovic started in place of Cory Gibbs, and Khano Smith took the left midfield position over Chris Tierney.  Kenny Mansally partnered with Perovic up top, leaving rookie Zack Schilawski on the bench.

Puebla easily dominated the opening minutes, pressuring the Revolution in the their attacking end of the field.  In the first 6 minutes Puebla had a number of chances from set pieces that failed to connect.  Puebla’s Gabriel Pereyra, arguably their best player, sent in three dangerous crosses into the box that repeatedly tested the Revs, who had not been scored upon in the SuperLiga group stages.

However, Pereyra’s corner in the 6th minute gave the Revolution some concerns, as it was well met by Puebla Defender Joaquin Velasquez, who rose above the revolution to head the ball towards frame, but just missed over the crossbar.

The Revs seemed to strengthen their resolve and began to get more into the game.  In the 13th minute, Marko Perovic, who has enjoyed a recent spell of good form during the last 5 matches, had an opportunity to score in his third consecutive superliga match and fifth consecutive game for the Revs in all competions with a free kick awarded in the 13 minutes, well within striking distance.  The ball curled toward the near post, but Puebla goalkeeper Hernandez was well positioned to make the save.

Hernandez also arguably made a key stop as he came out to the top of his area to challenge Kenny Mansally.  Hernandez seemingly made contact with Mansally, who lost control of the ball when he fell to the ground, but no penalty was given, despite the fact that the Mexican keeper was the last man between Mansally and the goal.

Steve Nicol was forced to make an early substitution and bring in Zack Schilawski when Marko Perovic went down in a collision in the 33rd minute.  Perovic’s presence in the middle of the pitch was missed as Puebla began to reassert themselves in the last part of the second half, but the Revs defense was up to the task and managed to get out of the half without conceding a goal.

Second half substitutions were made on both sides of the field, with the Revs’  Cory Gibbs coming on for Sinovic, and Puebla using three of their four substitutions, taking off Acosta, Garcia and Sanchez in favor of Roberto Juarez, Orlando Rincon, and Edgar Lugo.

While Puebla may have had the edge in the first half, the second half was for the most part dominated by the Revs.  Matt Reis continued his excellent run of form making save after save while the Revs got more into the attack.  Schilawski had the best first chance in the half for the Revs with the keeper beaten, but his strike was cleared off the line by a Puebla defender.

It was the smart play of Kevin Alston who set up the first goal of the match, finding Shalrie Joseph in stride.  Shalrie then played a perfect through pass to Kenny Mansally, who beat the defense and struck the ball well past the arms of the diving keeper into the back of the net.

However, Puebla would immediately strike back with a goal of their own, but not without controversy.  As the ball was played in to Puebla’s star player Pereyra, it appeared to hit his hand as he turned on Revs defender Darrius Barnes.  No call was given and Pereyra struck the ball inside the near post, just beating Matt Reis, ending the Revolution’s SuperLiga shutout streak.

The Revolution had the better of the chances in the remainder of the match, again with Mansally, with the keeper beaten, somehow missing the open net.  Minutes later Sainey Nyassi found Schilawski in front of the net with a perfect cross that he headed just wide of the post.  The last chance for the Revolution came in the 89th minute with a well stuck ball from Mansally, but Hernandez saved the ball off the near post for a corner kick, and the game went on to penalties.

From the penalty spot the Revolution took care of business, with Matt Reis making the key save (as well as converting a penalty) and Kenny Mansally striking home the clincher.

Unfortunately, Referee Roberto Moreno of Panama became the center of attention as the match went on.  A number of challenges and hand balls were miscalled or not called, and two yellow cards were awarded to revolution players for dissent.

Having the best record in the competion, the Revs will host the SuperLiga 2010 final against either the the Houston Dynamo and Monarcas Morelia (semifinal winner TBD Thursday, August 5) at the end of the month (date also TBD).

Scoring Summary:
NE – Kenny Mansally (Shalrie Joseph) 56
PUE – Andres Olivera (Gabriel Pereyra) 58

Penalty Summary:
NE – Shalrie Joseph (Goal)
PUE – Andres Olivera (Goal)
NE – Matt Reis (Goal)
PUE – Roberto Juarez (Goal)
NE – Chris Tierney (Goal)
PUE – Felip Ayala (Goal)
NE – Pat Phelan (Goal)
PUE – Edgar Lugo (Save)
NE – Kenny Mansally (Goal)

Revolution win on penalty kicks, 5-3

New England Revolution: Reis, Sinovic (Gibbs 46), Barnes, Osei, Alston (Phelan 64), Smith (Tierney 69), Joseph,  Niouky, Nyassi, Perovic (Schilawski 33), Mansally

Substitutes Not Used: Shuttleworth, Murray, Linck

STATS: Shots: 11; Shots on Goal: 5; Saves: 4; Corner Kicks: 8; Offside: 2; Fouls Committed: 14

Puebla: Hernandez , Velasquez, Ortiz, Acosta (Juarez 46), Garcia (Rincon 46), Olivera , Ayala, Gonzalez (Zarete 58), Gonzalez, Pereya, Sanchez (Lugo 46)

Substitutes Not Used: Rulfo, Rivera, Garmendia

STATS: Shots: 15; Shots on Goal: 5; Saves: 3; Corner Kicks: 7; Offside: 4; Fouls Committed: 15

Misconduct Summary:
NE – Sainey Nyassi (caution) 25
PUE – Roberto Juarez (caution) 61
NE – Cory Gibbs (caution) 72
NE – Kenny Mansally (caution) 87

Referee: Roberto Moreno
Referee’s Assistants: Daniel Williamson, Jamie smith
Fourth Official: Niko Bratsis
Weather: Cloudy and 88 degrees
Attendance: 5,854

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Podcast: Episode 22 – The Midnight Ride and the Summer AntiBummer

Posted on 25 July 2010 by Hank Alexandre

Hank and Sean return to the airways to catch up on everything that’s been happening since June. What started out in June as a summer bummer, New England has turned it around in the SuperLiga, and have won 4 in a row in all competitions. With a favorable schedule coming up for the Revs, Hank and Sean start thinking playoffs…. PLAYOFFS?

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Revs Beat Chicago, Move On In SuperLiga

Posted on 18 July 2010 by Hank Alexandre

The New England Revolution guaranteed themselves a spot in the SuperLiga 2010 semifinals on Saturday night with a 1-0 win over the Chicago Fire, their first win in Chicago since 2006.

Marko Perovic scored the game winner for the second time in three games as the Revs have now won three in a row without conceding a single goal.

New England will face the Mexican side Monarcas Morelia on Tuesday night at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro in the last match of the group stage. A win or a draw will guarantee the Revolution top seed and home field advantage in the semi-finals. Morelia, who drew 2-2 with UNAM Pumas on Saturday, need at least a draw to advance regardless of other results.

On Sunday, the other MLS vs. MLS clash in the group stage finished even as Houston Dynamo battled Chivas USA to a 1-1 draw. Lovel Palmer’s opener early in the match was canceled out by a Jesus Padilla header in the second half. Later results left Houston in second place with 4 points, and Chivas in third with 1.

Puebla routed 10-man Pachuca 3-1 later that night to guarantee their semi-final place. Gabriel Pereyra opened the scoring and a Mario Ortiz brace finished the job while Pachuca managed a consolation goal from Arizala. This loss knocks Pachuca, who notably feature USA world cup veterans Jose Francisco Torres and Herculez Gomez, out of contention with a game to spare.

Chivas will need to beat Pachuca by a couple of goals to qualify for the semi-finals, but all of that will be determined when group play comes to a conclusion on Wednesday.

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Revs Start SuperLiga Off On Right Foot

Posted on 15 July 2010 by Hank Alexandre

The New England Revolution kicked off their 2010 Superliga campaign with a somewhat sloppy win over Mexican side Pumas UNAM in front of a relatively small crowd at Gillette Stadium on Wednesday night.

A threatening weather forecast combined with a weeknight fixture may have kept some fans at home, but both sides were well represented and in good voice as the rain held off for what turned out to be a very scrappy contest.

Given the Revs’ tight schedule (4 games in 10 days), Steve Nicol altered his starting line up from the squad that defeated the LA Galaxy last Saturday night. Kenny Mansally got the start at left midfield, Kheli Dube started at forward along side Zack Schilawski, and Marko Perovic, who scored the game winner against LA last Saturday switched from his favored left side to the right side. Sainey Nyassi, who also scored for the Revs in his last outing, started on the bench.

The Revs were under pressure in the early minutes of the game, with Francisco Palencia pulling away from Revs defender Emmanuel Osei, but his low driven effort barely tested New England backup keeper Bobby Shuttlesworth, who got the start instead of veteran Matt Reis.

However Pumas continued to apply pressure in the midfield, forcing Revs midfielder Joseph Niouky to commit three fouls in the first 8 minutes. However Pumas struggled in the first half to complete their passes and maintain possession. New England however settled into a solid defensive shape and were able to diffuse the Pumas attack, while managing to keep a fair bit of possession.

Zack Schilawski opened the scoring with a brilliant touch in the 18th minute as the rookie found himself in the perfect position to bury Marko Perovic’s corner kick at the back post. Perovic’s corner kick in the 17th minute came up a bit short, but bounced favorably to Mansally who lined up a shot that was deflected off of a Pumas player, and Pumas keeper was unable to keep it in. Perovic, who specializes in delivering set pieces, sized up his second effort perfectly and delivered a bending cross right to the far post where Schikawski neatly finished.

At the start of the second half, Revs made one substitution bringing on Sainey Nyassi for Kenny Mansally, who had shown some nice touches but struggled to keep possession and also received a yellow card for a reckless challenge. Pumas also made a change bringing on Martin Bravo to replace Jehu Chiapas, seemingly in an attempt to bolster their attack.

The move seemed to pay off for Pumas, as they started their second half with renewed pressure in the Revolution’s half. In the 52nd minute, Pumas appeared to had equalized off of a brilliant header from Pumas’ Bravo, who had found space on the far post to nod home the cross, but the linesman waved the offside flag and the goal was disallowed.

Pumas remained on the attack with multiple chances, almost drawing level in the 71st minute with a header in the box from an unmarked Marco Palacios that missed over the bar.  Bravo, who had been finding plenty of space on the wing,  almost immediately followed up with his own low driven effort in the 73rd, but missed wide.  Finally, in the 89th minute, Israel Castro let a shot fly from well outside the box that froze Revs’ keeper Shuttleworth as well as the crowd, as the ball was deflected off of Shalrie Joseph, bounced off the cross bar straight down, and managed to stay out of the goal long enough for Shuttleworth to gobble it up.

The Revolution were on their back heels for most of the second half with few chances presenting themselves. Sainey Nyassi did well on a number of occasions to get wide on the right flank, but repeatedly could not connect with either the goal or his teammates. Perovic, Niouky, and also all registered shots to no avail.

With pressure mounting, Steve Nicol opted for a more defensive approach, and substituted Pat Phelan in for Joseph Niouky, whose continued reckless play earned him a yellow card. Nicol then substituted left sided defender Seth Sinovic on for Perovic, sliding Chris Tierney from left back into his more comfortable position on the left side of the midfield.

While Sinovic displayed the kind of form that has won him early praise as a standout rookie, Phelan struggled to find any rhythm in the midfield, and at one point elbowed his teammate Schilawski in the head while contesting a ball in the air. Schilawski was able to finish the match however, and despite the constant pressure from Pumas, the Revolution were able to preserve the win.

The Revs continue with SuperLiga 2010 when they travel to Chicago and take on their hated rivals the Chicago Fire this Saturday, July 17 at 7 p.m. ET.

SuperLiga is a tournament between four teams from the Mexican Primera league and four teams from MLS. The Revolution, who qualified for the tournament by virtue of finishing 7th in the league overall last season, are the only MLS side to have won the SuperLiga trophy, having defeated their MLS Cup nemesis, the Houston Dynamo, in a shootout victory in 2008. New England has appeared in every Superliga event since its inception except for the inaugural invitational tournament in 2007.

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The Corner Stoehr: Somerville Blues Cured?

Posted on 29 June 2010 by sstoehrst

Recently, Revolution COO Brian Bilello volunteered to stand before the firing squad and take questions from fans in New England.  Apparently the response was pretty good and Mr. Bilello took the time to answer several of the most popular and pressing questions on the Revs’ blog.  You can read all of his responses here.

Although he addressed public transportation, attendance, SuperLiga, new crest/rebranding, and media coverage, I want to give some attention to an issue he touched on that I’ve covered before: the Somerville soccer-specific stadium. After rehashing the typical party dogma about how the stadium remains a top priority for the Revs organization (funded by an ownership group whose sole goal in life right now is to recoup money they invested in Patriot Place), Mr. Bilello looked to be patronizing Revs fans yet again.

Then Brian starts to get specific. I have to say; I appreciate how he immediately addressed the Somerville location rather than hitting us with the typical “we’re examining all options” line:

With the decision regarding the MBTA’s Green Line maintenance facility in Somerville in place, we have re-launched the process of examining that area as a stadium site. We were in a holding pattern for a bit while the city and MBTA worked out the details of the facility. During the next few months our architects and engineers will be studying the area to determine if it is possible to build a soccer stadium on that site given the footprint of the maintenance facility and other existing structures.

Finally, a reason why we stopped talking to Somerville in the first place. It would seem that the MBTA rail yard was still a problem after all – and now that it’s been dealt with, the Revs can move in and start getting the concrete details sorted. But the fabulous Mr. Bilello was far from finished. He then hit us with this gem:

In the last few months, we have also begun studying three additional sites around Boston’s metro core. These sites may not have been available to us in the past, but have recently shown potential interest in having our stadium.

Immediately I began racking my brain for metro-area locations that might be available for development, and to be honest not a lot comes to mind.  Then again, my knowledge of the Boston area is really restricted to the city itself,  so I’ll trust better Beantown minds than mine to make the educated guesses.  But the idea that there are other locations courting the Revolution is very encouraging and says a lot about the grassroots support in the region.  Honestly, I will remain skeptical until I see some kind of concrete move or result, be that a formal proposal or a shovel breaking ground. Having said that, and despite my better judgment, Mr. Bilello’s revelations have stirred an excitement in me, an expectation that I might actually see a soccer-specific stadium in New England within the next decade.

For once, he’s done what a lot of us have been calling for: answered questions directly and with specific examples.  Also, almost as if to placate us into accepting that the Krafts care about the Revolution and are investing in them fully, Brian admitted that the organization had put “more than $1 million” into exploring new options for a soccer-specific stadium.  Well, Mr. Bilello, that’s certainly commitment.  Here’s to the next million going to a construction company instead.

Excited by Mr. Bilello’s responses, or taking it all with a grain of salt? And do YOU know where else they might be looking? Leave a comment!

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Superliga schedule released

Posted on 29 May 2010 by Hank Alexandre

The New England Revolution better rest up over the 2 week World Cup break this June.

After playing games 9 games in month of May, The New England Revolution have only 3 games scheduled for the month of June. However, they will be playing at least three additional games in just 6 days this July when SuperLiga 2010 starts on Wednesday, July 14, at Gillette Stadium.  Fortunately for the Revs, their schedule is otherwise light in the month of July with only three league games scheduled.

SuperLiga is an annual summer tournament between teams from Major League Soccer and the Mexican Primera División.  The Revs are the only MLS team to have won the tournament in its 3 year history.

The Revolution will start off the tournament against the Mexican team Pumas UNAM at Gillette on the 14th, then travel to Chicago to play the Fire on the 17th, and then return to Foxboro to play Monarcas Morelia on the 20th.   The top two finishers in each group advance to the semifinals, which could mean an additional 3 games if the Revs make it out of the group and proceed to the Finals.

SuperLiga 2010 Schedule

(All Times Eastern and subject to change)

Wednesday, July 14

New England Revolution vs. Pumas UNAM (Gillette Stadium – Foxborough, Mass.) – 8 p.m.

Chicago Fire vs. Monarcas Morelia (Toyota Park – Bridgeview, Ill.) – 9:30 p.m.

Thursday, July 15

Houston Dynamo vs. Pachuca (Robertson Stadium – Houston, Texas) – 8 p.m.

Chivas USA vs. Puebla (The Home Depot Center – Carson, Calif.) – 10:30 p.m.

Saturday, July 17

Chicago Fire vs. New England Revolution (Toyota Park – Bridgeview, Ill.) – 7 p.m.

Monarcas Morelia vs. Pumas UNAM (Toyota Park – Bridgeview, Ill.) – 9:30 p.m.

Sunday, July 18

Houston Dynamo vs. Chivas USA (Robertson Stadium – Houston, Texas) – 8 p.m.

Pachuca vs. Puebla (Robertson Stadium – Houston, Texas) – 10:30 p.m.

Tuesday, July 20

New England Revolution vs. Monarcas Morelia (Gillette Stadium – Foxborough, Mass.) – 8 p.m.

Chicago Fire vs. Pumas UNAM (Toyota Park – Bridgeview, Ill.) – 9:30 p.m.

Wednesday, July 21

Houston Dynamo vs. Puebla (Robertson Stadium – Houston, Texas) – 8 p.m.

Chivas USA vs. Pachuca (The Home Depot Center – Carson, Calif.) – 10:30 p.m.

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The Corner Stoehr: Super Friends of the SuperLiga

Posted on 13 May 2010 by sstoehrst

On July 14th, just days after the conclusion of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, New England will embark upon an international tournament of a different animal, the North American SuperLiga. The first round, involving eight teams and twelve matches, will be played over a span of eight days at venues across the USA. The Revs will be joined by Chicago, Chivas USA, and Houston, while their Mexican counterparts apparently have yet to be decided.

New England is no stranger to this tournament; the 2008 SuperLiga trophy makes up 50% of our tragically bare trophy cabinet. 2010 marks the third year the Revs have participated in the four-year-old competition and, not surprisingly, the Foxboro club are the only American team ever to have won it.

The SuperLiga is a strange animal, however. Like many competitions that aren’t the MLS regular season or MLS Cup playoffs (CONCACAF Champions’ League, US Open Cup), the SuperLiga seems to draw more ire than interest from American fans. Many argue that it clutters an already overcrowded schedule, while others note that the winners really earn nothing but a shiny trophy and bragging rights.

Especially in a league with stringent roster requirements like MLS, those who espouse the former opinion have a point. The Revs of this season are a great example: with Matt Reis and Taylor Twellman sidelined with injury, Shalrie Joseph gone on personal leave for substance abuse, and a generous smattering of players on the sidelines with various knocks and ailments, an extra slate of matches in a tournament that won’t directly result in a league title that has thus far eluded us isn’t really a welcome distraction.

That said, I think the second point against the SuperLiga actually reflects favorably upon it. Some may consider it a Tin Cup tournament, but I see the potential for far more.

First of all, it brings to the club level the natural rivalry between the USA and Mexico in a way that the CONCACAF Champions League seems incapable of doing. The matches feature in the middle of the MLS season, when fan interest is at its peak; this season it benefits from being directly after the World Cup, priming it for a possible influx of soccer-hungry casual fans. The proximity of our two nations and the cultural rivalry in international play makes for a tense derby atmosphere that is just waiting for the big crowds to bring it to life.

For the Revolution, this tournament represents exactly what it did two seasons ago when they won it: an opportunity to win silverware. Like the Open Cup and the CCL, the SuperLiga hasn’t historically been an attendance gold mine for the Revolution, but if MLS can tap some of the US-Mexico fire that might result in a much-needed bump at the gate.

Moreover, in a season where things have so far looked very bleak, the SuperLiga might represent a rare opportunity for joy among us Revolution fans. Barring a miracle (here’s looking at you, Taylor) it doesn’t look likely that the Revs have any kind of squad to challenge for the Supporters’ Shield. Anything can happen in the playoffs, but at this point even making the cut for those might be a stretch. New York did the job on the Revs in Open Cup qualifying on Wednesday, meaning that the SuperLiga is probably the last competition the Revs can make a serious play at winning.

The SuperLiga might have its pros and cons, but in my mind any competition is good competition. And if the Revs win bragging rights not only over Mexican sides but retain the right to say they are the only American team to win it while gaining the distinction of being the only side to have won it twice, then that might salvage for me what could turn out to be a very, very frustrating campaign in 2010.

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Thursday audio news update

Posted on 29 April 2010 by ASN Staff

Subscribe to ASN's Audio Soccer News Daily for free! (Just this audio feed, no other ASN items!)

For more information on your host Jason Davis check out Match Fit USA and of course be sure to listen to AmericanSoccerShow.com, home of the popular American Soccer Show weekly podcast. Be sure to listen in every Monday!

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MLS, FMF announce SuperLiga dates

Posted on 28 April 2010 by ASN Staff

Major League Soccer and the Federación Mexicana de Fútbol (FMF) today unveiled the dates and venues for the 2010 edition of SuperLiga. The fourth installment of the tournament will begin Wednesday, July 14, just three days after the World Cup final.

The first round of the 2010 edition will be staged in an eight day span that will include doubleheader dates at Toyota Park in the Chicago area (July 17) and Robertson Stadium in Houston (July 18). Information for the semifinals and final to be played in August will be announced once teams qualify.

Competitive criteria determined which four teams would represent the United States in the tournament. Based on their 2009 regular season record, the top four MLS teams (who are not competing in the 2010-2011 CONCACAF Champions League) qualified for SuperLiga 2010: Chicago Fire, Chivas USA, Houston Dynamo and New England Revolution. The four invited Mexican clubs participating in this edition of SuperLiga will be known later this spring, following the conclusion of the current tournament.

In its history, SuperLiga has crowned two Mexican champions (Pachuca, 2007 and Tigres, 2009) and one U.S. champion (New England Revolution, 2008). All three championship games have been determined by penalty kicks. During the inaugural edition of SuperLiga, CF Pachuca defeated the Los Angeles Galaxy at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. on Aug. 30, 2007. In 2008, the all-MLS final saw the Revolution defeat the Houston Dynamo at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. In 2009, Tigres UANL of Mexico defeated the Chicago Fire in front of a sell-out crowd at Toyota Park.

Groups and schedule for SuperLiga 2010 will be announced in the spring.

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