Revs 'get what they deserved' in first loss

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Revs 'get what they deserved' in first loss

By Danny Picard
CSNNE.com

FOXBORO -- As if picking up their first loss of the season wasn't enough, the New England Revolution were not only defeated 2-0 by Real Salt lake on Saturday night at Gillette Stadium, but they also lost two of their key players to straight red cards in the process.

As a result of their second-half ejections for "serious foul plays", both captain Shalrie Joseph and midfielder Pat Phelan will be suspended for next Sunday's match in Houston, per MLS rules.

"It's tough to swallow," said Revolution coach Steve Nicol after Saturday night's loss. "We've lost Shalrie and Pat Phelan for next week.

"I don't think anybody went over the top, but certainly, guys were getting frustrated. At least we were frustrated. At least we showed something and showed we have passion, which is always good. But frustrating is the right word for the whole evening."

Both fouls were made after Real Salt Lake had taken a commanding 2-0 lead, thanks to goals from Chris Schuler in the 28th minute and Paulo Araujo Jr in the 47th minute.

Schuler made it 1-0 when he drove to the net, and headed a Collen Warner corner kick past Revolution goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth, who was rushing out to make a play on the high ball.

"The first one, I'm calling for, and I've got to get through the guys," said Shuttleworth after the game. "So the first one's definitely on me."

As for the second one, there wasn't much Shuttleworth could do, as Araujo Jr. came busting up the right wing on a breakaway. He received a perfect lead pass from Warner up the right sideline, and Araujo Jr. jumped up past Revs defender Franco Coria and finished the breakaway with a low kick to the short side.

"The second one, I know he's coming in," said Shuttleworth. "It's a tough goal. He can put it either way, so I just tried to stay up as long as I could, but he tucked it away pretty nice."

The Revs went into halftime trailing 1-0, so the score just two minutes into the second half wasn't easy to swallow.

"Obviously it's a back breaker for us," said Shuttleworth on the second goal. "Going in to the half 1-nil, and coming out, we're ready to attack and we want to go at them. Then that happens, and now you're trying to claw back two goals to get back into it. It's tough and it's hard to go from there."

Then, in the final 20 minutes, three red cards were dished out -- two to New England, and one to Salt Lake. Joseph received a straight red card for pointing his index finger in the face of Salt Lake midfielder Kyle Beckerman. Joseph was upset that Beckerman had pushed him off with an elbow moments earlier, and because Joseph's finger intentionally touched the face of Beckerman, the officials kicked him out of the game in the 70th minute.

In the 85th minute, Phelan was given a straight red card for sprinting in and sliding hard on a play inside Salt Lake's half of the field. Immediately after, the officials also gave Salt Lake's Will Johnson his second yellow card for his reaction to Phelan's tackle, thus, making it the game's third red card, which Nicol called "pretty incredible."

But red cards aside, Saturday's match was decided before all the chaos.

"There's no hiding behind anything, we weren't good," said Nicol. "The first half, we probably found they're men, more times than we found our own. And if you do that, I don't care who you're playing against, you're going to be in trouble.

"It's just unforgivable, sometimes the way we lost the ball tonight. So as much as we're shell-shocked with the red cards and everything that happened in the last 25, 30 minutes of the game, it doesn't hide the fact that we got what we deserved tonight."

Danny Picard is on Twitter at http:twitter.comDannyPicard. You can listen to Danny on his streaming radio show I'm Just Sayin' Monday-Friday from 9-10 a.m. on CSNNE.com.

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.