Revs fall to Sounders, winless streak now seven

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Revs fall to Sounders, winless streak now seven

SEATTLE Tyson Wahl and Alvaro Fernandez scored six minutes apart late in the first half Sunday to rally the Seattle Sounders to a 2-1 victory over the New England Revolution.

The Sounders (8-4-7) won their season-high third straight game and are unbeaten in their last six (4-0-2). The Revolution (3-8-6) are on a seven-game winless streak (0-5-2) since a 1-0 victory at home against Vancouver on May 14.

Wahl's first career goal pulled the Sounders into a 1-1 tie late in the 34th minute. On a direct free kick to the right of the penalty area restraining arc, he launched the ball over a six-man New England wall, and it went just under the crossbar into the top left corner past goalkeeper Matt Reis.

"It was sitting well for a left-footed shot," Wahl said. "I'm not sure if Reis was out of position, but I thought it was possible to hit it to that side. I just tried to keep it on frame and bend it, just like a corner kick like I've been hitting those, and it went in."

Fernandez scored the winner midway through the 40th minute with his fourth goal of the season. Playing 8 yards up from the goal line in the left side of the box, he took a short through ball from Roger Levesque and sent a shallow shot toward the far post. Reis got a hand on it, but couldn't stop it.

"I was just waiting for the ball to come to me," said Fernandez, who is tied with fellow midfielder Brad Evans for the team scoring lead. "It's hard to get a goal against you so early, but this team has enough tools to come back and keep the calm and get the goals we needed later in the game."

The Revolution scored 2 minutes into the game when Sainey Nyassi drilled in a shot off Benny Feilhaber's corner kick for his first goal of the year.

Wahl's goal on the free kick was Seattle's ninth this season off of a set piece with seven from corners, two on direct free kicks. The Sounders had just five such goals all of last season and seven during their inaugural season in 2009.

"When you can get goals from different places, you're a harder team to figure out," Sounders coach Sigi Schmid said. "We've scored goals this year on set pieces, the service has been better and guys have been practicing them more. And we're encouraging some guys who didn't want to step up and do it, like Tyson. We said, 'Hey, you can do it, you're a lefty, and this is a ball you can hit.' "

New England pressed for the equalizer throughout the second half, and nearly had it late in the 85th minute when Zack Schilawski, who had come on four minutes earlier, cracked a 30-yarder that was out of Keller's reach, but it hit the crossbar and flew high in the air before falling away.

"We can't get a break," New England coach Steve Nicole said. "We had a couple of chances where we could have gotten a point, but didn't. I feel disappointed we put ourselves in good position in this match."

Seattle had nine shots to New England's 11 in the game attended by 36,212 fans.

"We started off as well as we could have hoped for," said Revolution midfielder Pat Felon. "We really didn't give them anything until the foul on the first goal. The second goal came off our mistake. You can really look at the whole game and they didn't create a whole lot. We made it easy for them."

-- The Associated Press

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.