Joseph to stay with Revs, won't play for Grenada


Joseph to stay with Revs, won't play for Grenada

By DannyPicard

FOXBORO Shalrie Joseph has decided to keep his talents in New England.

Revolution fans may refer to it as The Decision. Or maybe they wont. After all, the Revs captain didnt hold a press conference, and he didnt call upon any reporters to spring the news on them.

Heck, he didnt even tell his team.

So when Joseph walked into Gillette Stadium on Tuesday morning, it was somewhat unexpected.

After previously accepting Grenadas invitation to join his homelands national team for the 2011 Gold Cup, Joseph had informed the Revolution that he would be leaving them for several weeks to play for his country following last Saturday nights match with the Los Angeles Galaxy.

Joseph was scheduled to miss at least the next two MLS games, and depending on how far Grenada advanced, he could have missed up to five.

But following Saturday nights 1-0 loss to the Galaxy at Gillette Stadium, Joseph had second thoughts.

He took advice from his mother, his agent, and contemplated text messages from his teammates, begging for their captain to stay.

Everyones happy he did.

After the game against L.A., I was 100 percent sure that I cant leave right now, said Joseph after Thursdays practice. With Benny Feilhaber hurt, and not picking up any points against L.A., that was huge in my decision-making, that I need to stay here.

We need to start figuring out ways to win and need to be better as a team, and its going to have to start in Dallas on Saturday. And me not being there was definitely going to hurt the team.

Saturdays loss was New Englands fifth loss of the season, and its second MLS loss in a row. Now that Feilhaber will miss several weeks because of a sprained right ankle, Josephs presence is even that much more important in New Englands midfield.

Obviously were delighted were going to have him, said Revolution coach Steve Nicol. Im not all that surprised, really.

There wasnt a whole lot of positives for him to go, other than the fact that hes playing for his country. But were delighted that hes staying here with us."

Nicol added: I think any team in the league wants Shalrie stepping on the field for them. Were certainly no different.

The Revolution travel to Texas to take on FC Dallas on Saturday night. It was originally supposed to be a game theyd have to try and win without their captain.

Now, Joseph has had a change in heart, and there isnt one person in New England complaining about it.

I thought I had to do whats right for me, and me being here for the team and my teammates is the most important thing, said Joseph. My decision is that I need to be here and to be a captain, and to be a leader, and to make sure these guys know I have their back no matter what.

This is where my heart is, and this is where I want to be.

Danny Picard is onTwitter at http:twitter.comDannyPicard.

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.