Joseph points finger at himself for frustrating season

Joseph points finger at himself for frustrating season

By Danny Picard
CSNNE.com

FOXBORO -- In his eight-year MLS career, Shalrie Joseph has never experienced a more difficult season than 2010.

Revs defeat Wizards in home finale

He admitted such after Saturday night's 1-0 win over the Kansas City Wizards at Gillette Stadium, the Revolution's final home game of the season.

Joseph scored the game's only goal, in the 31st minute. It marked his fourth of the season, which is four less than his single-season high of eight goals, scored in 2009.

The Revs went to the playoffs that season. In fact, they've gone to the playoffs every season since Joseph has been a member of the team.

Until now.

The Revolution have been out of the playoff hunt for weeks. Joseph began to vent his frustrations on a season gone awfully wrong, after a 2-1 loss to Real Salt Lake two weeks ago.

Joseph pointed the finger at the team's immaturity. He called it New England's biggest issue of the season. To him, it was why the Revolution were playing for nothing more than pride at that point.

But after Saturday night's win, Joseph vented even more, and this time, pointed the finger at himself, accepting responsibility for having missed five games in the spring after taking a "leave of absence" because of what he called on Saturday, a "drug stint."

"Personally, it's frustrating, from me missing that month because of that drug stint, and not being there for the team," said Joseph. "And then injuries here and there, and them not having a so-called goal scorer during the season, and the inexperience on the team. There's a lot of little things on the team that definitely were frustrating.

"But I look forward to 2011, because I see that we have a lot of youth here. And if we get it together, and we start gelling and get that chemistry down, we're going to be one of those teams that's going to be fun to watch."

Joseph is anxious to get this season over with. The Revs play their last game on Thursday in New York. After that, New England's captain is committed to having one of his hardest working offseasons of his career, in preparation for 2011.

"I don't want to go home this early," said Joseph. "It's a disappointment. I'm already thinking about cleaning out my locker. And all my years I've been here, I've never had to worry about that."

Danny Picard is on Twitter at http:twitter.comDannyPicard

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.