Perovic's goal helps Revs salvage tie

Perovic's goal helps Revs salvage tie

CHESTER, Pa. Marko Perovic scored his fourth goal in the last five games and goalkeeper Matt Reis made a critical stop late on as the New England Revolution and Philadelphia Union battled to a 1-1 draw on Saturday afternoon at PPL Park.The draw extended the Revolutions (4-9-3, 15 pts.) unbeaten run to five games in all competitions, while it marked the clubs return to league play after running through the group stage of SuperLiga 2010 with three consecutive shutout wins. Philadelphia (4-8-3, 15 pts.) dropped points at its new home for just the second time, as the club is now 2-1-1 at PPL Park.It was the first-ever meeting between the Revs and Union, which joined MLS as the leagues 16th club this season.MLS All-Star Sebastien Le Toux gave the Union a halftime lead with one of the goals of the season in the 25th minute, but Perovic leveled the score in the 70th minute when his long-distance free kick took an awkward bounce and settled in the upper corner. Perovic now has six goals in all competitions this season four in league play and two in SuperLiga and three have come direct from free kicks.Veteran defender Cory Gibbs returned to the Revolution lineup for the first time since July 2 after recovering from a left quad strain, slotting into the starting 11 at left back. That meant the central defensive pairing of Darrius Barnes and Emmanuel Osei remained intact following four consecutive shutouts, while MLS All-Star Kevin Alston took his customary position at right back. Hard-working forward Kheli Dube was unavailable after suffering a right MCL sprain earlier in the week, so rookie leading scorer Zack Schilawski started up top alongside Perovic.Perovic got himself involved early and linked up with left midfielder Chris Tierney to create the games first serious scoring chance in the 14th minute. A one-two between Tierney and Perovic through middle finished with Tierney spraying the ball down the right side for Nyassi, but the speedy wingers low shot across the face of goal went inches wide of the far post.After a slow start, the Union responded in devastating fashion as Le Toux gave Philadelphia a 1-0 lead with a stunning strike in the 25th minute. Rookie forward Danny Mwanga wrangled for possession with Osei at the top of the box and when the ball popped free, Le Toux stepped into a curling right-footed drive and laced it into the upper right corner. The goal ended the Revolutions shutout streak at 390 minutes in all competitions.The Revs had a great chance to equalize before halftime when Alston was fouled by Le Toux just a few yards outside the box in the 41st minute, but Perovics curling free kick attempt dipped harmlessly over the bar. Philadelphia responded with a free kick chance of its own in first-half stoppage time, but Reis alertly tipped Le Touxs 25-yard effort over the bar.Both teams had a lively start to the second half. Alston blasted a 25-yard drive over the bar in the 51st minute for the Revs, while Union defender Michael Orozco Fiscal worked his way to the endline only to see his low cross through the box elude everybody.The Revs continued to press for the equalizer and replaced Schilawski with Kenny Mansally in the 61st minute. Just five minutes later, Mansally almost made an immediate impact as his header from Tierneys left-wing cross was cut out by Union defender Danny Califf.New England didnt have to wait long for the game-tying goal to finally arrive, as Perovic was the beneficiary of a strange bounce in the 70th minute. A left-footed free kick from all of 35 yards curled around the wall and hit the ground just in front of Philadelphia goalkeeper Chris Seitz, but instead of taking a normal hop into the goalkeepers hands, it sailed into the upper left corner. It wasnt clear whether the ball struck a divot or if perhaps the spin of the ball caused the awkward bounce.Each side had a quality chance to claim the full three points in the dying minutes. Perovic nearly won it for the Revolution in the 84th minute, but his shot from just inside the box drifted high and wide as he was put under pressure. Four minutes later, a scramble in the box finished with Le Toux firing from close-range, but Reis made a critical save as he charged off his line to preserve a point for the Revs.Next up for the Revs is a SuperLiga semifinal against Mexican Primera Divisin club Puebla on Wednesday, Aug. 4. Kickoff from Gillette Stadium is set for 7 p.m. The Revolution returns to league action on Saturday, Aug. 7, against Eastern Conference rival D.C. United.NOTES:Saturdays match was the first-ever meeting between the Revolution and Union Philadelphia entered MLS in the Eastern Conference this past off-season and became the leagues 16th clubWith the draw, the all-time series between New England and Philly is tied at 0-0-1.The draw pushed the Revs road record this season to 1-6-1.The Revolution is now 8-2-4 against expansion teams since the start of the 2005 season when MLS began its most-recent (and on-going) wave of expansions the record also includes a 1-1-0 mark against Chivas USA and 2-0-0 mark against Real Salt Lake in 2005, an 0-0-2 mark against Houston in 2006, 2-0-01 against Toronto FC in 2007, a 1-1-0 mark against San Jose in 2008 and a 2-0-0 mark against Seattle in 2009.Todays match was the teams second afternoon match of the year earlier this season, the Revs dropped a 1-0 match at Toronto FC in a contest that kicked off at 1 p.m.The draw moves the Revolutions record in afternoon games to 2-4-2 since the start of the 2008 season and 22-38-12 overall since the club began play in 1996.The Revolutions longest shutout streak of the season ended on Saturday afternoon at 390 minutes when Union scored in the 25th minute the Revs had not allowed a goal since the 85th minute of the July 2nd match at Real Salt Lake the shutout streak lasted four full matches in all competitions one MLS match and three SuperLiga matches.Revs goalkeeper Preston Burpo made the trip to Philadelphia with the Revs he was unavailable for action as hes on the season-ending injury list after suffering distal tibia and fibula fractures and undergoing surgery to repair the injury on May 29 it was Burpos first trip with the team since the accident.Pat Phelan, who donned protective headgear for the first time in game action, returned to the starting lineup for the first time in an MLS game since June 27 against Chicago rookie Jason Griffiths had started the last two league contests before getting injured on July 10 against LA.Cory Gibbs returned to the lineup in his first action since July 2nd at Real Salt Lake he had missed the last four matches with a strained left quad, but returned against Philadelphia to make his first start of the season at left back.Revs all-stars Shalrie Joseph and Kevin Alston returned to the Revolution after playing w in Wednesdays MLS All-Star match against Manchester United both Joseph and Alston started the match, which the MLS All-Stars lost, 5-2, to the English superpower in Houston.Todays match was Chris Tierneys eighth start at left midfield this season he has also seen action at center midfield and left back in MLS matches, as well as right back and center back in non-league contests.Marko Perovi? notched his fourth MLS goal with his 71st-minute free kick strike Perovi? has now found the back of the net four times in the last five games of all competitions.Marko Perovi? now has a five-match point streak in all competitions (four goals, assist).Shalrie Joseph picked up his second caution of 2010 when he was booked in the 45th minute for a reckless tackle.The Revs scored their first goal on the road since May 8 in a 3-2 loss at Columbus the club went three full road games without finding the back of the net before Perovi?s 71st-minute goal.The Revolution conceded the first goal of a match for the 10th time in 16 matches this season New England let up the first goal for the sixth time on the road, but battled back to improve its road record to 0-5-1 when scored upon first.Head coach Steve Nicol utilized one substitute for only the second time this season (May 8 at Columbus).New England and Philadelphia played to the first ever draw at PPL Park.

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.