Joseph has 'bittersweet' success against former team


Joseph has 'bittersweet' success against former team

BOSTON -- Jay Heaps needs to go back and look at the tape.
When he does, he knows his frustration level will only increase.
"It's just stuff we work on," said Heaps after Wednesday night's 3-3 draw with Chivas USA at Gillette Stadium, marking the Revolution's ninth-straight match without a win.
New England's coach will also see his former captain -- Shalrie Joseph -- appear on that game film. And he'll see Joseph scoring Chivas USA's first two goals.
Those two goals cut the Revs' lead to 3-2, after Saer Sene's two goals, combined with a Chivas own goal put New England up 3-0 just 22 minutes into the game.
"I don't know exactly what to say when it comes to kind of the tale of the way to start the game, and just some textbook errors that we made," said Heaps. "The timing of it, I haven't seen the film on it, but it goes as far as the timing of the goals."
What he's talking about is simple. Joseph's second goal of the game came in extra time at the end of the first half. The midfielder let a bullet rip from outside the top of the circle, and it beat a diving Revolution goaltender to the left side of the net.
Chivas USA's game-tying goal came just two minutes into the second half.
"Those are just critical times in the game, times we stress, times we work on," said Heaps. "And it's a disappointing result."
For Joseph, the result was bittersweet. Two goals against the team that traded him not too long ago would usually create some sort of sour taste in a captain's mouth. But not Joseph. Now, with Chivas USA, he's fighting for one of the final playoff spots in the Western Conference, something New England doesn't seem ready to do.
"It feels good to score two goals," said Joseph. "It doesn't matter what team. It's bittersweet that it was my old team. It feels good, but it's not about me right now. It's about our team trying to make the playoffs. And that's what I've got to look forward to.
"No hard feelings," he later added about the trade. "They made a business decision. They made a decision that they thought was better for the team, better for the organization. And I can't hold that against them. That's what they thought was good for them. Right now it's about me being sure I'm ready to play week in and week out, and make sure I push this team and try to get them into the playoffs."
Regardless of what the relationship between Heaps and Joseph is, the Revolution coach tipped his cap to his old captain, who played the biggest role in New England's three-goal collapse on Wednesday night.
"Shalrie's a gamer," said Heaps. "I bet you he circled this one on his calendar. Give credit to him. he put his team on his back, and he did a nice job.
"He's going to always be a Rev. It's just a little bit of a time, right now, where he's not. But, in terms of what he did tonight, I never question that guy."

Jurgen Klinsmann fired as coach of United States soccer team


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.