Real Salt Lake routs Revs, 5-0

Real Salt Lake routs Revs, 5-0

Special to CSNNE.com

SANDY, Utah Alvaro Saborio scored his team-leading sixth and seventh goals of the season while Fabian Espindola, Jamison Olave and Robbie Findley all added solo strikes to lead Real Salt Lake to a convincing 5-0 win over the New England Revolution on Friday night at Rio Tinto Stadium.

The five-goal margin of victory matched the second-worst regular-season loss in Revolution history, only surpassed by New Englands 6-0 loss to RSL on its last visit to Rio Tinto Stadium in April of last year. Combined, the Revs have been outscored by a margin of 11-0 in two visits to Real Salt Lakes home in Sandy, Utah.

With the win, RSL (8-3-3, 27 pts.) extended its club-record unbeaten streak to nine games and is now undefeated in its last 18 regular-season home games dating back to last season. Meanwhile, the Revs (3-9-2, 11 pts.) have dropped three straight and havent scored a goal since a 3-2 win over the New York Red Bulls in late May.

Espindola scored what proved to be the game-winner in the 27th minute, while Olave provided the dagger when he made it 2-0 in first-half stoppage time. The floodgates opened in the second half, when Saborio scored twice in a five-minute span (52nd and 57th minutes) before Findley in his first appearance since returning from World Cup duty with the U.S. National Team rounded out the scoring in the 85th minute.

With rookie midfielder Zak Boggs unavailable after sustaining a concussion, head coach Steve Nicol made a few changes from the lineup which suffered a 1-0 loss to the Chicago Fire last Sunday. Chris Tierney moved up from left back into Boggs spot in left midfield, while Seth Sinovic took Tierneys place on the backline. Meanwhile, Jason Griffiths who made his MLS debut with a substitute appearance against the Fire after signing with the Revs last week made his first career start alongside Shalrie Joseph in central midfield.

The Revolution started on the front foot and briefly controlled possession in the opening stages, but it was Real Salt Lake which had the games first quality scoring chance in the eighth minute. Emmanuel Oseis handball set up a free kick in a dangerous area 25 yards from goal, which Javier Morales stepped up to take. Morales free kick got up and over the wall, but New England goalkeeper Matt Reis dove full stretch to his right to push the ball around the post.

The opportunity seemed to spark life into the hosts and they increased their command of the game as the first half wore on. Kevin Alston came to the Revolutions rescue twice in the 20th minute, first clearing a header off the line before repeating the feat on Robbie Russells follow-up attempt.

Alston could do nothing to prevent RSL from taking the lead in the 27th minute, however, as the defending champions finally made their pressure pay off with the opening goal. A long, searching ball from Russell near midfield sprung Espindola, who controlled the ball with his chest and eluded Osei before placing a left-footed shot across Reis body and inside the far post.

Salt Lake came inches from doubling its lead when Espindola turned provider for Will Johnson in the 39th minute, but Johnson poked his shot wide of the right post at the end of an odd-man break.

The Revs were provided no such luck in first-half stoppage time, however, as Olave got on the end of a Morales free kick to give RSL a deserved 2-0 lead going into the break. Morales curling service came from the edge of the box on the right wing, and Olave peeled off his man before expertly placing his header from six yards out.

It was more of the same to start the second half as Saborio scored his first goal of the game to give the hosts a 3-0 lead in the 53rd minute. The play was set up by Russells whipped right-wing cross, leaving Saborio with the task of eluding his marker and poking a shot into the upper right corner from six yards out.

Saborio benefited from some more clever service to notch his second of the game and team-leading seventh of the season in the 57th minute. Morales was given acres of space to maneuver down the right wing and he used the time to blast a low cross into the box. The pass was a bit behind Saborio, but he did well to cleverly back-heel the ball past the surprised Reis and put the game well out of reach.

Griffiths responded with the Revolutions best chance of the game in the 59th minute, but his 20-yard blast was comfortably saved by RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando as he dove to his right.

RSL had numerous chances to get its fifth and finally did so in the 85th minute, when Findley cut inside from the left wing, moved across the box and finished with an accurate shot just inside the right post.

Next up for the Revolution is a meeting with 2010 FIFA World Cup hero Landon Donovan and the league-leading LA Galaxy on Saturday, July 10. Kickoff from Gillette Stadium is set for 7:30 p.m.

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.