Revs select defender Farrell with first overall pick

984027.jpg

Revs select defender Farrell with first overall pick

INDIANAPOLIS The New England Revolution selected University of Louisville defender Andrew Farrell with the first overall selection in the 2013 MLS SuperDraft this afternoon at the Indiana Convention Center. Farrell, who uses the Twitter handle @Louisville05, signed a Generation adidas contract with the league prior to the SuperDraft and has been automatically added to New Englands roster.

The Revs, who were originally slated to make the fourth overall selection, completed a trade with Toronto FC -- which held the top spot -- on Wednesday and acquired the top pick after sending the number four pick and allocation money to Toronto. The Revs also had three more picks in todays draft, all in the second round: 21st overall, 23rd overall and 36th overall. With those three picks the Revs selected midfielder Donnie Smith from UNC-Charlotte, forward Luke Spencer from Xavier, and goalkeeper Luis Soffner from Indiana.

Overall, were pleased with our draft and we believe we addressed a few areas we were looking to improve, General Manager Michael Burns said. With Andrew, we added who we believe was the best available player in this draft class. With Donnie, Luke and Luis, weve drafted players who we believe can add depth and versatility to our club. Donnie and Luke give us options on the wings as well as up top, while Luis gives us talented depth in goal. We look forward to getting them into camp next week and beginning to work with them.Farrell, 20, was an NSCAA first-team All-America honoree this year following a stellar three-year career at Louisville. He started all 44 games which he played the last two seasons and earned Big East Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2012. The 5-11, 185-pound defender transitioned from the midfield as a junior, and scored six goals and added six assists in his three-year career. He is projected as a central defender or a right back at the professional level.Smith, 22, was a 2012 NSCAA Scholar All-America and first-team Scholar All-South Region selection after scoring four goals and adding four assists in 19 appearances (16 starts) with UNC-Charlotte. In 2011, he earned second-team All-Atlantic 10 Conference and second-team NSCAA Scholar All-South Region honors, scoring five goals and registering three assists in 25 appearances (10 starts). He was also named to the 2011 NCAA College Cup All-Tournament team after helping the 49ers advance to the College Cup. At the conclusion of his sophomore season, Smith was named to the 2010 first-team All-Atlantic 10.Spencer, 22, led the Atlantic 10 in goals (14), goals per game (.64) and points per game (1.64) in the 2012 season at Xavier. He also recorded eight assists in 22 appearances (20 starts) and earned first-team NSCAA All-Mid-Atlantic Region and first-team All-Atlantic 10 Conference honors this year. In 2011, Spencer was named to the NSCAA All-Mid-Atlantic Region second team and second-team All-Atlantic 10 after scoring seven goals and adding six assists in 21 appearances (19 starts). As a freshman, he was named to the Atlantic 10 all-rookie team.Soffner, 23, was a four-year starter at Indiana and backed the Hoosiers to the 2012 NCAA Championship while earning NCAA College Cup Most Outstanding Defensive Player honors. He started 83 of 84 career matches, and as a senior, posted an 0.72 goals against average with 12 shutouts. His 16 wins as a senior were the most at IU since 2004 (19). On his career, Soffner was 47-26-11 with an 0.93 GAA. His 32 career shutouts and 262 career saves both rank fourth, respectively, in IU history.

Jurgen Klinsmann fired as coach of United States soccer team

usa_jurgen_klinsmann_112116.jpg

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.