Revs blow first half lead to Red Bulls, 2-2

519378.jpg

Revs blow first half lead to Red Bulls, 2-2

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. New England Revolution forward Milton Caraglio scored his first two MLS goals to stake the home side to a 2-0 halftime lead, but New York Red Bulls forward Dane Richards answered with a pair of strikes in the second half as the sides played to a 2-2 draw on Saturday night at Gillette Stadium.

Caraglio the Revolutions first-ever Designated Player struck in the 15th and 37th minutes to open his MLS account and give the Revs (4-11-11, 23 pts.) a precious two-goal lead, only for Richards to convert his fourth and fifth goals of the season in the 53rd and 87th minutes to make sure the Red Bulls (6-6-14, 32 pts.) claimed a share of the spoils.

It was the second straight game in which the Revolution conceded a late equalizer, as the Revs were pegged back by Bobby Boswells 90th-minute goal in a 1-1 draw with the Houston Dynamo this past Wednesday night.

Both teams had players sent off for two bookable offenses in the second half, as New Englands Kenny Mansally was ejected in the 55th minute and New Yorks Teemu Tainio was issued his marching orders in the 69th minute.

Rajko Lekic returned to the Revolutions starting lineup after missing three games with a fractured toe, forming a strike partnership with Caraglio for the first time. At the other end of the field, third-year goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth made his fourth start of the season, filling in for the suspended Matt Reis.

The Revs began the match on the front foot and came inches from opening the scoring in the fifth minute. Mansallys looping cross from the left wing found Caraglio free at the back post, where the 22-year-old angled a header into the ground past New York goalkeeper Bouna Coundoul. Although the effort beat Coundoul and was directed on target, it bounced over the crossbar.

It took Caraglio just 10 more minutes to make the breakthrough, however, as the Argentine striker put the home side ahead 1-0 in the 15th minute. After fighting through a trio of Red Bulls defenders, Caraglio broke in alone on goal and saw his first effort denied by Coundoul before corralling his own rebound, eluding another defender and finishing inside the left post.

Caraglio doubled his haul in the 37th minute, finishing off Mansallys set-piece service to give the Revs a 2-0 lead. From a free kick in the right channel, Mansally delivered an in-swinging cross into the box where Caraglio escaped his marker and sent a glancing header past the outstretched right arm of Coundoul.

It appeared as if the Red Bulls would have a chance to pull one back before the halftime break when Dax McCarty went down under the challenge of Shuttleworth inside the box, but rather than point to the spot, referee Juan Guzman issued McCarty a yellow card for simulation.

Although the Revs took their 2-0 lead into the break, the Red Bulls cut the deficit to 2-1 shortly after the restart in the 53rd minute. Tim Reams long pass over the top of the Revolutions backline sent Richards on a clear breakaway, and the Jamaican speedster made no mistake with an emphatic finish past Shuttleworth.

New Yorks comeback effort received a further boost in the 55th minute when Mansally was issued his second yellow card for an errant elbow and was subsequently ejected, reducing the Revolution to 10 men. That advantage lasted only 14 minutes, however, as Tainio was sent off after receiving his second caution for a tackle from behind on Shalrie Joseph in the 69th minute.

The Revs almost extended their lead just one minute later when Benny Feilhabers blistering 20-yard drive flashed just wide of the upper left corner, but it was ultimately the Red Bulls who took advantage of the extra space in the 87th minute. Joel Lindpere worked free down the left wing and drilled a sharp cross into the box for Richards, who converted from close range to pull the visitors level and provide the final 2-2 score line.

The Revs will close out their August slate next weekend when they travel to Pennsylvania for a showdown with the Philadelphia Union on Sunday. Aug. 28. Kickoff from PPL Park is set for 7 p.m.

Lionel Messi says he is quitting Argentina national team

argentina_lionel_messi_062516.jpg

Lionel Messi says he is quitting Argentina national team

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Lionel Messi says he is quitting Argentina's national team.

Argentina and Messi lost a final for the third year in a row, with Chile winning the Copa America 4-2 on penalty kicks following a 0-0 tie Sunday night.

His nation's career scoring leader with 55 international goals, Messi sent Argentina's first penalty kick over the crossbar.

Messi tells the Argentine network TyC Sports "the national team is over for me. It's been four finals, it's not meant for me. I tried. It was the thing I wanted the most, but I couldn't get it, so I think it's over."

Messi and Argentina lost to Brazil in the 2007 Copa final and to Germany in extra time in the 2014 World Cup final. They lost last year's Copa final to host Chile on penalty kicks.

The 29-year-old Messi has led Barcelona to four Champions League titles.

Chile wins 2nd straight Copa America title as Messi misses

chile_bravo_062616.jpg

Chile wins 2nd straight Copa America title as Messi misses

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Lionel Messi still awaits his first title with Argentina's national team.

Messi put his penalty kick over the crossbar, Francisco Silva converted Chile's shootout finale and La Roja won their second straight Copa America title by beating Argentina 4-2 on penalty kicks following a 0-0 tie Sunday night.

Playing two days after his 29th birthday, Messi lost a final for the third year in a row following an extra-time defeat to Germany in the 2014 World Cup and a penalty-kicks loss to host Chile in last year's Copa America. The five-time FIFA Player of the Year has won four Champions League titles and eight La Liga crowns with Barcelona, but has never taken a trophy with Argentina's senior team.

For its 100th anniversary, South America's championship was expanded to 16 nations and played in the United States, and Argentina was hoping to win its first major title since 1993.

In an ill-tempered match that included an ejection on each side and eight yellow cards, the match was scoreless through regulation and 30 minutes of extra time, with Argentina's Gonzalo Higuain missing a clear goal-scoring opportunity for the third straight final. Argentina outshot Chile 16-4 and La Roja collapsed three, four and even five defenders around the bearded Messi, then chopped down the diminutive attacker when he tried to accelerate toward the goal.

Messi, who scored five goals in the tournament, had a free kick 28 yards out in the 115th minute after Francisco SIlva fouled him, but the ball deflected off the wall and over the crossbar. Messi's 35-yard free kick was headed on target by Aguero in the 10th minute of extra time, and Chile goalkeeper Claudio Bravo jumped extended his right hand to tip the ball over the crossbar.

Argentina goalkeeper Sergio Romero saved the opening kick by Arturo Vidal, and up stepped Messi, the best player of his generation and considered alongside Brazil's Pele and Argentina's Diego Maradona as the sport's greatest ever. While he won the titles at the under-20 and Olympic (under-23) levels for Argentina, in the minds of many he needs a title with his nation's senior team to solidify his place as one of the greats.

Messi sent his shot over Bravo — his Barcelona teammate — and into the stands. Messi turned, bowed his head and clenched both fists in frustration.

Nicolas Castillo and Charles Aranguiz converted their kicks for Chile, and Javier Mascherano and Sergio Aguero made theirs, leaving the teams tied 2-2 after three rounds.

Jean Beausejour put Chile ahead, and Bravo dived to his right, saving Lucas Biglia's shot and bringing up Silva, a 30-year-old midfielder. Messi briefly pulled his jersey of his face, as if not wanting to watch.

Romero dived to his left and the shot went in to his right, giving Chile another title.

Messi crouched over, as if in pain, then got up, took off his captain's armband and walked to the bench, where he was consoled by Angel Di Maria. After Messi came back on the field, Aguero put a hand on one of Messi's shoulders. And new FIFA President Gianni Infantino gave Messi a pat on the back when Messi came onto the podium with his teammates for his second-place medal. Messi almost immediately took it off.

It was the fourth final loss for Messi, who also played for Argentina in its penalty-kicks loss to Brazil in the 2004 final.

A crowd of 82,076 at MetLife Stadium — the largest to see a soccer game in New Jersey — raised the tournament total to just under 1.48 million. The average of 46,119, nearly double the 25,223 in Chile last year, will be used by the U.S. Soccer Federation as evidence it deserves to host a World Cup again, likely as part of a bid for the 2026 tournament.

Brazilian referee Heber Lopes became the focus in the first half, ejecting a pair of defenders: Chile's Marcelo Diaz in the 28th minute and Argentina's Marcos Rojo in the 43rd. After issuing six yellow cards during a World Cup qualifier between the nations in March, Lopes handed out eight yellows, including one to Messi for diving in the 40th minute, and the two reds.

Diaz got his first yellow for hacking down Messi about 28 yards out in the 16th minute, then got his second for obstructing a charging Messi about 30 yards out. Rojo received a straight red when he slid into Arturo Vidal from behind and poked away the ball, but Vidal's leg bent awkwardly under his body as he fell.

Higuain had the best first-half chance in the 21st minute when he picked up a giveaway from Gary Medel, dribbled in and chipped the ball over Bravo only to have it roll wide of the far post. It was almost the exact time he broke in alone during the World Cup final against Germany and also shot wide. Higuain also missed a tap-in of Ezequiel Lavezzi's cross during the final minute of regulation in last year's final, then sent his penalty kick during the shootout over the crossbar.

Revolution shut out by D.C. United, 2-0

Revolution shut out by D.C. United, 2-0

WASHINGTON -- Lamar Neagle had a goal and an assist to give D.C. United an early lead that stood up in a 2-0 victory over the New England Revolution on Saturday night.

D.C., after being shut out in its two previous games and four of six, opened the scoring in the 20th minute when Luciano Acosta chipped a perfect pass over the defense to the foot of Neagle, who volleyed it in from 10 yards out.

Sean Franklin scored the second goal, his first of the season, when he knocked in Neagle's cross. Albaro Saborio sent a long ball down the right sideline that Neagle ran down and crossed to Franklin for the easy counter.

D.C. (5-6-5) leapfrogged the Revolution (4-5-7) into fifth in the Eastern Conference with its fourth shutout in the last seven games and improved to 2-0-1 in the series this season.