Feilhaber makes difference in Revs debut

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Feilhaber makes difference in Revs debut

By Danny Picard
CSNNE.com

FOXBORO -- @font-face font-family: "Times New Roman";p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; table.MsoNormalTable font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; div.Section1 page: Section1; To think, had Pat Phelan dressed on Saturday night for theNew England Revolution, then perhaps newly acquired midfielder Benny Feilhaberwouldnt have made his first start with his new team.

At least, thats what he said after his Revolution debut.

In the end, its tough to say that I was ready to play, butit all worked out for the best, because I dont know if I would have started,had Pat Phelan not had a little trouble, said Feilhaber. Hes a little bangedup. But in the end, it helped me out a lot, because now Ive played a solid 90minutes, and my fitness is only going to go up from there.

After playing the last six years in Europe, the 26-year-oldwas acquired earlier in the week through the MLS allocation process. Thanks toChivas USA and the Philadelphia Union passing on Feilhabers services, the Revswere quick to add him to their roster.

In hindsight, Feilhabers presence early in the game was inthe best interest of the Revolution.

Phelan missed the game with what the team is callingheadaches and Feilhaber even after having minimal training this week madethe start in the midfield.

Feilhaber played all 90-plus minutes in Saturday nightscome-from-behind 3-2 win over Sporting Kansas City at Gillette Stadium. Hefinished his debut with an assist on New Englands first goal of the match,that went to Marko Perovic in the 12th minute.

Feilhaber is known as an attacking midfielder, and did justthat early in the first half. His slight hesitation at the left wing gave himenough time to push the Kansas City defenders off him, and make a pass toPerovic, who was wide open at the top of the box.

I was really joining the attack a lot on the first half,said Feilhaber. I had the opportunity to get close to the box on that one. Therebound came right to me. I took a touch. I was ready to shoot, but it didntset up perfect for me. Then I had to take a step. The defender kind of drewtowards me, and I saw Marko sitting at the top of the box, so I just kind ofslipped it to him, and he banged it in, he did the rest.

You see the quality he has, and that fakes the oppositionas well, because they dont know whether to stand off him or close him down,said Revolution coach Steve Nicol after the win.

He made a big impact tonight.

Nicol praised Feilhaber after the game, for being able toplay the complete 90 minutes, and produce in the process.

His fitness wasnt really our concern, it was just hissharpness, said Nicol. He hadnt really trained all week. I had a goodconversation with him on Friday, and he said he hadnt really trained all week,which, kind of takes the edge off you. But at the same time, when you have thequalities that hes got, then . . . we can always bring him off.

Hes smart, hes experienced, he uses the ball, addedNicol. He serves his legs by making the ball do all the work. So it wasobvious that he was cruising, and there was no way he was coming off.

Feilhaber said he started to get tired midway through thesecond half, but ddint seem too concerned about it after the game, mainlybecause he understands its going to take more than just one game to get usedto his new surroundings.

On Saturday night, Feilhaber was a difference-maker. And he believes he'll only get better.

Its different, said Feilhaber of the MLS. A higher pace,I think its more physical. Theres a lot of fouls, a lot of cards. But at thesame time, I think, once I get to know the speed of the game and get more usedto it, I think Ill be more effective as well here. Because of the speed of thegame, you tend to have more options to find those little seams, and ball theball to our forwards. Ill keep getting better at that.

More and more, I think people will know what Im about, andIll know what theyre about. And I think Rajko Lekic was one of the guysthat I found a lot behind the defense . . . The more I get to know the guys,and the more they get to know me, Im sure well combine a little bit more, andbe able to find those scoring chances.

Danny Picard is on Twitter at http:twitter.comDannyPicard.

Revolution acquire defender Benjamin Angoua

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Revolution acquire defender Benjamin Angoua

The New England Revolution have acquired defender Benjamin Angoua on loan from EA Guingamp for the 2017 MLS season with the option to transfer permanently following the season. Angoua will be added to the Revolution roster upon the receipt of his International Transfer Certificate and P-1 Visa.
 
“With Benjamin’s experience, adding him to the Revolution was an important step for our club this offseason,” Revolution GM Michael Burns said. “We began this offseason with the goal of bringing in veteran players who are ready to contribute right away, so we are very pleased to have Benjamin with us as we head to preseason training in Arizona.”
 
Angoua, 30, has made a combined 309 appearances across all competitions in France, Hungary, and the Ivory Coast, recording five goals and two assists from the backline. He joins the Revolution after more than two seasons with EA Guingamp (2014-17) and previously played for FC Valenciennes (2010-14), both in France’s top-flight Ligue 1. An experienced defender, Angoua has registered 152 appearances, including 138 starts, in Ligue 1 competition since 2010.
 
The 6-foot, 160-pound Ivorian international also played with Budapest Honvéd (2006-10) in Hungary’s OTP Bank Liga, and Africa Sports (2004-06) in the Ivory Coast Ligue 1. Angoua has additional experience competing in the UEFA Europa League with both Guingamp and Budapest Honvéd.
 
At the international level, the Anyama native has recorded 17 caps and registered one goal for the Ivory Coast national team.