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

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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.

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.