Revolution vs. Dynamo: Stolica leads Revs to 1-0 win

Revolution vs. Dynamo: Stolica leads Revs to 1-0 win

By Danny Picard
CSNNE.com

FOXBORO -- Revolution win 1-0

90th minute -- Jason Griffiths replaces Revs forward Marko Perovic.

84th minute -- Roberto Linck replaces Revs midfielder Khano Smith.

77th minute -- Kenny Mansally replaces Ilija Stolica, who was welcomed on the bench with a hug from Revs coach Steve Nicol, whose smile said it all. They're thrilled to have this guy down the stretch.

75th minute -- Revs midfielder Khano Smith has to finish that. Smith missed a wide-open look from the left post, inside the box, after Ilija Stolica and Shalrie Joseph worked to set him up perfectly. Smith's shot went over the net, though. Probably wishes he could have that one back.

62nd minute -- 1-0 REVOLUTION -- Welcome to New England, Ilija Stolica. The Serbian forward made his first start with the Revs tonight, and put one in the back of the net from the top of the box. Credit Revs midfielder Sainey Nyassi with making a good, quick pass in the middle to an open Stolica, who kicked the pass up in the air, and on its way down, quickly put a low shot into the left corner of the net.

59th minute -- Still scoreless. And the only decent scoring chance so far in this second half came off the foot of Houston's Joseph Ngwenya, who let one go from 20 yards out, but it just went wide left. Not even sure if you want to call that a scoring chance. On second thought, let's not even call it that. So far, the most exciting soccer at Gillette Stadium tonight came at halftime, when several New England sports mascots, including Wally the Green Monster, participated in an "everything goes" soccer match at midfield.

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Scoreless at halftime

34th minute -- Perhaps Shalrie Joseph was a little too unselfish in the 34th minute. Joseph had a golden opportunity to let an uncontested shot rip from the top of the box, but instead faked the shot and tried to slip a pass down low to streaking Marko Perovic. The play was quickly broken up.

24th minute -- Still scoreless here at Gillette. Houston just had the most dangerous scoring chance of the match. Dynamo midfielder Corey Ashe sent a free kick, from 30 yards out, into the box, and forward Brian Ching re-directed a header wide to the right.

11th minute -- A little pushing and shoving at midfield between Revs captain Shalrie Joseph and Dynamo midfielder Anthony Obodai. Joseph pretty much got the best of it with a hard shove after the whistle. Obodai didn't want anything to do with it after that.

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Here are the starting lineups for tonight's game between the New England Revolution and the Houston Dynamo at Gillette Stadium:

Revolution

GK Reis
DEF Osei
DEF Barnes
DEF Gibbs
MID Nyassi
MID Tierney
MID Joseph (captain)
MID Phelan
MID Smith
FWD Stolica
FWD Perovic

Dynamo
GK Hall
DEF Cameron
DEF Boswell
DEF Mulrooney
DEF Hainault
MID Cruz
MID Obodai
MID Palmer
MID Ashe
FWD Mullan
FWD Ching (captain)

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.