Revs head West to begin playoff push

Revs head West to begin playoff push

By Danny Picard

With only eight matches left on their regular-season schedule, the New England Revolution find themselves on the outside looking in at the MLS playoff picture.

And just as Revs goalkeeper Matt Reis pointed out after last weeks SuperLiga Finals loss to Monarcas Morelia, New England will have to win more than just a majority of their games down the stretch.

The Revolution (7-12-3) are currently in sixth place (out of eight) in the Eastern Conference standings with 24 points. Thats eight points out of a postseason berth.

Luckily, for the Revs, their next opponent is the last-place team in the Western Conference. New England travels to California to take on Chivas USA (6-12-4, 22 points) on Friday night.

It marks the beginning of a three-game road trip that could either make or break their season. Following Fridays match with Chivas, the Revs head to Colorado to take on the Rapids next weekend, and then play in Dallas a week from Wednesday.

The trip should be somewhat concerning to New England, mainly because Steve Nicols squad hasnt fared well on the road against Western Conference teams. And all three opponents on the upcoming road trip are just that.

The Revs have posted a 3-6-2 record against Western Conference teams this season. And while those three wins have come in their last three games against teams in the West, theyve all come while at the comforts of Gillette Stadium, leaving them with an 0-4-0 record on the road against the West.

The good news is, the Revolution enter that three-game road trip with some momentum, after defeating Seattle Sounders FC, 3-1, last Saturday night at Gillette Stadium. It marked their first win since Aug. 14, and the first time they scored more than one goal since a 2-0 win over the Los Angeles Galaxy, back on July 10.

In case youre not counting, thats 12 consecutive games with only one goal or less. If the Revs can continue to get production from guys like Marko Perovic, Kheli Dube, and Chris Tierney (the three Revs players who scored on Saturday against Seattle), then its possible that New England could be involved in a serious playoff race when it returns home in late September.

Danny Picard is on Twitter at http:twitter.comDannyPicard

Sounders rally to 3-3 draw with Revolution


Sounders rally to 3-3 draw with Revolution

SEATTLE - Osvaldo Alonso scored Seattle's third goal in a 13-minute stretch late in the second half to help the Sounders rally for a 3-3 draw with the New England Revolution on Saturday night.

Trailing 3-0 with 15 minutes of regulation time remaining, Sounders midfielder Nicolas Lodeiro scored to spark the comeback. Will Bruin cut the deficit to 3-2 in the 85th minute, and Alonso tied it in the 88th. Joevin Jones was credited with assists on two of the three goals, while Lodeiro and Gustav Svensson both helped on the final tally.

Rare is a result so dissatisfactory for both sides.

New England (2-3-4) let what once looked like a sure win get away. Seattle (2-2-4) dropped two points most would have heavily favored to get at kickoff.

"What I'm most frustrated about is that those guys put so much effort and so much of themselves into the team and into the game," Seattle coach Brian Schmetzer said, "and they cannot reward themselves with a performance that gets us all three points. I'm disappointed that we (didn't) take three at home."

Revolution forward Juan Agudelo scored twice. The Revolution took the lead in the 15th minute courtesy of a gaffe by Seattle goalkeeper Stefan Frei. Daigo Kobayashi's shot from well outside the penalty box was tame, but the ball was still able to sneak through Frei's body before rolling into the back of the net.

"I didn't take my eye off the ball," Frei said. "It moved. I made a blunder. I gifted them a goal. . An error on my part. It's as simple as that."

Agudelo scored on a header 11 minutes later, then made it 3-0 early in the second half when he finished off a New England counterattack.

Seattle finished with 74 percent of the possession and a 26-8 edge in shots. The Sounders scored three times, taking their league-leading total in that category to 10 in eight matches.

"It's definitely a good feeling coming back and getting a point, but at the end of the day, we're at home. We can't be giving away three goals and be down 3-0 at home," Bruin said. "That's as a collective, as a unit, being tough to play against."

The result extends Seattle's home unbeaten streak to 14 in regular season and playoff action dating to last year, which ties the longest such mark in club history. New England is winless in five matches away from home.

"We're gutted in there," Revs coach Jay Heaps said. "We had it in our hands. We let two points slip away. That said, it's good for rallying. It's tough to come here. We focus on the positive, but we have to correct the negative. This is one of those where I think we'll spend a lot of time reviewing it."

The Revolution return to action next Saturday at Columbus, while Seattle hosts Toronto FC in a rematch of last season's MLS Cup final.

Kraft-backed Boston soccer stadium plan is dead

Kraft-backed Boston soccer stadium plan is dead

A Robert Kraft-backed proposal for a $250 million soccer stadium at the site of the former Bayside Expo Center in Dorchester, Mass., appears to be dead.

Robert and Jonathan Kraft, owners of the NFL’s Patriots and New England Revolution of MLS, released a statement Friday that said, in part, “the project is not feasible to pursue on this site at this time.”

Talks between the Kraft Group and UMass Boston, which bought the land for $18.7 million in 2010, have apparently ended.

Here’s the full statement from the Krafts: 

“In 2015, we were invited to put together a stadium proposal for the former Bayside Exhibition Center site. Since then, we have invested millions of dollars and thousands of staff hours to design and structure a venue that would benefit UMass Boston, the City of Boston and serve as an asset to the surrounding communities, with an operating plan that would benefit all local constituencies. We were committed to a fully-funded, privately-financed stadium that would have totaled an investment in excess of $250 million. There was also a full-value land lease to UMass that would have provided annual payments to the university. As is the case with any development opportunity, there were numerous hurdles to overcome and we regularly adjusted our plans to cater to the needs of the project. Unfortunately, and for reasons beyond our control, it has been determined that this project is not feasible to pursue on this site at this time. It is our goal to continue to seek development opportunities where we can invest in a soccer specific stadium that will benefit its surrounding communities while giving our fans and our players a venue they will be proud to call home for generations to come.”