Early injury throws Revs

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Early injury throws Revs

FOXBORO -- The New England Revolution used words like "disappointing" and "shameful" to describe Saturday night's 1-0 loss to the league's worst team at Gillette Stadium.

And while they can't blame the entire game on one single injury, the timing of Stephen McCarthy's head injury in the opening minutes threw the Revs a curveball that did in fact affect the end result.

"It's a tough one, getting hit like that," said Revolution coach Jay Heaps after the loss. "You're hit with a sub early, and it kind of changes what you need to do for the rest of the game, and how you utilize yourselves."

McCarthy left the game after a head-to-head collision with a Toronto player. Replacing him on the back end was captain Shalrie Joseph, who was only beginning the game on the bench as a precaution to prevent his knee swelling to become any worse than it already is.

"I think the injury hurt us," said Revs midfielder Clyde Simms. "You're never ready for an injury that early, or a substitution that early in a game. We've had a lot of continuity with our back four. And so, I think that threw us off a little bit. And it was a little bit of an adjustment period, switching things around, and unfortunately they got the goal during that adjustment period. And we were fighting back from there."

Toronto's Luis Silva scored the only goal of the match, and it just so happened to come in the moments after McCarthy went down and Joseph had to come in unexpectedly.

"It's a hard situation for someone to come in cold, into a game just a couple minutes in," said Revs defender A.J. Soares. "I think that was probably the toughest thing right there. But, anytime Shalrie's on the field, we're going to be better. Not that he's better there than McCarthy, but it's good to have your captain out there. So it wasn't the end of the world."

It wasn't the end of the world because the Revolution had plenty of time to even the score. But even after 13 corners and many failed set pieces, it wasn't enough for the Revs to continue their unbeaten streak.

"It's not the result we wanted, and I'm a little bit disappointed in how the game went," said Heaps. "We were upset to give up the goal early. It was a little bit of a loose ball and then they pounced on it. It was a good goal.

"And then, the game never had a rhythm. It was shameful, to be honest with you. The game just got stopped and stopped and stopped. I just felt like we were never really able to get into a rhythm.

"In the second half, we had enough corner kicks to score chances, and we didn't," later added Heaps. "And that's disappointing. I think the locker room is pretty upset. And we have some work to do."

It looked as if Joseph had tied the game at 1-1 in the 84th minute, but the ball went in off his right hand as he crashed the left post.

"It was a little bit high, and I was just trying to get a body part on it," said Joseph. "And it was a little bit too high for me, and the only thing I could get on it was my hand. So, I tried to sneak one in, but it didn't work out for me."

The Revs never got that equalizer, and as a result, they were handed their first loss since May 26.

Chris Tierney said they don't take much away from this one. So they'll just try to use it as motivation.

"We come away angry," said Tierney. "And hopefully use it as fuel to get us three points when we play on Wednesday."

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.