Revs improve their finish to earn shutout win


Revs improve their finish to earn shutout win

By Danny Picard

FOXBORO -- @font-face font-family: "Times New Roman";p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; table.MsoNormalTable font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; div.Section1 page: Section1; It wasnt pretty, but then again, it doesnt have to be.

The New England Revolution entered Saturday nights matchwith the Vancouver Whitecaps at Gillette Stadium, knowing they had to improveon the creativity of their offense, after being shut out in two straight games.

That creativity was supposed to lead to more scoringchances, and eventually, more goals.

The Revolution were out-shot 6-4 by the Whitecaps onSaturday night, and while the offensive chances werent created at the ratethey had hoped, there was one major difference in New Englands attack in thefinal third on Saturday.

They finished.

Shalrie Josephs goal on a penalty kick in the 49th minutewas all the Revs needed on this night, as they defeated the expansion Whitecaps1-0 to earn their third win of the season.

I feel like we created more chances against Colorado lastSaturday, but it was about actually putting the ball in the net today, saidRevolution midfielder Benny Feilhaber after the win. And we were able to dothat. So I think the one thing we can say is that we were able to score, andthats what we improved on.

Feilhaber should have made it 2-0 in the 56th minute, butthe officials blew the play dead because he was off-side.

Off-side, according to the officials. Not to anyone else whosaw Feilhaber accept a lead ball up the left wing, beat the defense, and flip ashot up and over Vancouver goalkeeper Jay Nolly and into the net.

There was my play, from which Ive heard was notoff-sides, said Feilhaber. I dont know if it was. You guys can tell me.

So that should have been 2-0 right there, and that wouldhave made the game easier.

The first half, without a shadow of a doubt, we justencouraged them by giving the ball away, said Revolution coach Steve Nicol.The second half was better. I mean, the second goal was a great move, a greatfinish. And hes onside. But were looking to do more of that.

Josephs goal on the penalty kick signified what theRevolution are trying to do. Theyre trying to score. Because defensively, theRevs have been pretty stingy as of late. And with Saturdays win, New Englandhas now posted two straight shutouts their first two shutouts of the season.

But unlike last weekends scoreless draw with Colorado, theRevs picked up three pointd on Saturday night against Vancouver. They did thatbecause Joseph was able to finish.

And penalty kick or not, at this point, theyll take it.

Tonight, when I went up, I knew what corner I was goingto, said Joseph after the win, who put the penalty kick into the low-leftcorner of the net. I picked it out already in my mind. I just wanted to put itthere, low and hard, and tonight it went in for me, and it felt great.

--Revolution forward Rajko Lekic left Saturday nights gamein the 81st minute with a left knee contusion.

Nicol didnt seem too worried after the game.

It shouldnt be too bad, said the Revolution coach. Justa tweak. Precautionary, more than anything else. So it shouldnt be bad.

Danny Picard is on Twitter at http:twitter.comDannyPicard.

Jurgen Klinsmann fired as coach of United States soccer team


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.