Revs beat Red Bulls in preseason action, 3-1

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Revs beat Red Bulls in preseason action, 3-1

By Jeff Lemieux

TUCSON, Ariz. The New England Revolution scored three unanswered second-half goals to erase a halftime deficit and claim a 3-1 win over the New York Red Bulls on Saturday night at Kino Veterans Memorial Stadium.

Lee Nguyen from the penalty spot and Jerry Bengtson scored just six minutes apart early in the second half to put the Revolution in front, while training camp invitee Marko Jesic added an insurance strike in the late stages. Juninho had given the Red Bulls a halftime lead with an 11th-minute strike.

New England (1-1-0, 3 pts.) now sits in second place in the Desert Diamond Cup standings, behind Seattle Sounders FC (2-0-0, 6 pts.) but ahead of New York (0-1-1, 1 pt.) and Real Salt Lake (0-1-1, 1 pt.). The Revs would clinch a spot in the DDC championship match which will be televised live next Saturday on NBC Sports Network with a win over RSL in the final group match. A draw could also put the Revs through to the final provided the Red Bulls dont defeat the Sounders by three or more goals.

The Revs were without the suspended Sainey Nyassi ejected from the previous game against Seattle while Kevin Alston, Chad Barrett, Ryan Guy, Saer Sene and Chris Tierney were also unavailable because of either illness or injury.

Bengtson was active early and forced New York goalkeeper Luis Robles into a pair of saves in the sixth minute. Nguyen created the first chance after weaving inside from the right wing and dishing a clever pass, while Bengtson was alert to pounce on a loose ball 30 seconds later, but both shots were stopped by Robles.

Revolution goalkeeper Matt Reis could do nothing to stop Juninhos 25-yard drive five minutes later, however, as the Red Bulls took an early lead. A deflected pass from the left wing found its way to the top of the box, where the Brazilian drilled a right-footed shot into the lower right corner.

Juninho went close to a second in the 26th minute after a well-worked Red Bulls move down the left, but his curling effort drifted inches wide of the far upper corner and New York carried a 1-0 lead into the break.

After beginning the second half with a largely unchanged side, the Revs turned the deficit into a lead within 15 minutes of the restart.

Nguyen first pulled New England level with a cheeky penalty kick in the 52nd minute. Referee Ricardo Salazar pointed to the spot when Donnie Smiths long-distance drive struck the hand of Jamison Olave inside the box and Nguyen stepped up to chip the spot-kick down the middle as Robles dove to his right.

It took the Revs just six more minutes to grab the lead as Bengtson scored the Revolutions first goal from the run of play in the 2013 preseason. Smith was again influential as he looped a left-footed cross into the box, while Bengtson ghosted in at the back post to guide a header across goal and into the far corner.

Jesic put the result beyond doubt in the 88th minute, finishing low past Ian Joyce after Juan Toja had played him into the right side of the box.

The Revs will close out Desert Diamond Cup group play on Wednesday, Feb. 20, when theyll take on Real Salt Lake at 7 p.m. ET.

Jurgen Klinsmann fired as coach of United States soccer team

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Jurgen Klinsmann fired as coach of United States soccer team

NEW YORK - Jurgen Klinsmann was fired as coach of the U.S. soccer team Monday, six days after a 4-0 loss at Costa Rica dropped the Americans to 0-2 in the final round of World Cup qualifying.

Los Angeles Galaxy coach Bruce Arena is the favorite to succeed Klinsmann, and his hiring could be announced as early as Tuesday. Arena coached the national team from 1998 to 2006.

Qualifying resumes when the U.S. hosts Honduras on March 24 and plays four days later at Panama.

"While we remain confident that we have quality players to help us advance to Russia 2018, the form and growth of the team up to this point left us convinced that we need to go in a different direction," U.S. Soccer Federation President Sunil Gulati said in a statement. "With the next qualifying match in late March, we have several months to refocus the group and determine the best way forward to ensure a successful journey to qualify for our eighth consecutive World Cup."

A former German star forward who has lived mostly in Southern California since retiring as a player in 1998, Klinsmann replaced Bob Bradley in July 2011 and led the team to the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup title and the second round of the 2014 World Cup, where the Americans lost to Belgium in extra time.

The USSF announced in December 2013 a four-year contract extension through 2018, but the successful World Cup was followed by poor performances. The U.S. was knocked out by Jamaica in last year's Gold Cup semifinals and lost to Mexico in a playoff for a Confederations Cup berth. The team rebounded to reach this year's Copa America semifinals before losing to Argentina 4-0. But this month Mexico beat the Americans 2-1 at Columbus, Ohio, in the first home qualifying loss for the U.S. since 2001.

And last week, the Americans were routed in Costa Rica, their largest margin of defeat in qualifying since 1980. They dropped to 0-2 for the first time in the hexagonal, as the final round of World Cup qualifying in North and Central America and the Caribbean is known.

While there is time to recover, given the top three teams qualify for the 2018 tournament in Russia and the fourth-place finisher advances to a playoff against Asia's No. 5 team, players seemed confused by Klinsmann's tactics, such as a 3-4-1-2 formation used at the start against the Mexicans.

"Today we made the difficult decision of parting ways with Jurgen Klinsmann," Gulati said. "There were considerable achievements along the way ... but there were also lesser publicized efforts behind the scenes. He challenged everyone in the U.S. Soccer community to think about things in new ways, and thanks to his efforts we have grown as an organization and expect there will be benefits from his work for years to come."

The U.S. had not changed coaches in the middle of qualifying since the USSF made the position a full-time job and hired Bob Gansler in 1989 to replace Lothar Osiander, who also at the time was a waiter at a San Francisco restaurant.

Klinsmann made controversial decisions, such as dropping Landon Donovan from the 2014 World Cup roster while taking along relatively inexperienced players such as John Brooks, Julian Green and DeAndre Yedlin. Brooks and Green were among five German-Americans on the 23-man U.S. World Cup roster, which drew criticism from some in the American soccer community.

He coached the team to a 55-27-16 record, including a U.S.-record 12-game winning streak and victories in exhibitions at Italy, Germany and the Netherlands. He has worked in the past year to integrate more young players into the lineup, such as teen midfield sensation Christian Pulisic, Bobby Wood and Jordan Morris.

Arena, a 65-year-old wisecracking Brooklynite known for blunt talk, was inducted into the U.S. National Soccer Hall of Fame in 2010. He coached the University of Virginia from 1978-95, then coached D.C. United to titles in Major League Soccer's first two seasons before losing in the 1998 final. As U.S. coach, he led the Americans to the 2002 World Cup quarterfinals in the team's best finish since 1930.

He was let go after the team's first-round elimination in 2006. Gulati unsuccessfully courted Klinsmann, who won the 1990 World Cup with West Germany and the 1996 European Championship with Germany, then coached his nation to the 2006 World Cup semifinals.

When Gulati and Klinsmann couldn't reach an agreement, the USSF hired Bradley, who coached the team to the second round of the 2010 World Cup. A year later, the Americans stumbled in the Gold Cup, and Klinsmann replaced Bradley.

Arena coached the New York Red Bulls of MLS from July 2006 to November 2007, then was hired the following August by the Galaxy. He led the team to MLS titles in 2011, '12 and '14.