Revs searching for complete effort

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Revs searching for complete effort

FOXBORO -- The New England Revolution are happy with a shutout. But unless they combine that with some offense, the Revs aren't going to be snapping their 10-game winless skid anytime soon.

"Goalkeeper Matt Reis had a good game," said Revolution coach Jay Heaps afterwards. "Unfortunately, I don't think we created enough chances to win the game. But, on a positive note, we still got the shutout."

Saturday night's scoreless draw to the Philadelphia Union at Gillette Stadium was just another example of a "missing element" that's led New England to an 0-7-3 record in the last 10 matches, with its last win coming back on July 8.

In their latest draw, goalkeeping was the only element that wasn't missing, as Reis made seven saves in the shutout.

"He was our best player," said Heaps. "He made good saves. He came out for crosses and made some plays. It wasn't an easy night for him, and he did well."

"Matt bailed us out," said Revolution defender Darrius Barnes. "He's been bailing us out all year. He's come up with big saves, and that's what we expect from our veteran keeper."

But offense was lacking on Saturday night, as the Revs had only three shots on goal.

And it won't get any easier, offensively, for New England. It was announced before the game that the team's leading goal scorer -- Saer Sene -- would miss the rest of the season with a torn left ACL.

"Guys have to step up up," said Heaps. "This is a good opportunity for players.

"It's a tough blow, because it's an 11-goal season for him. It's an opportunity for others to step up, but it certainly is tough."

As for who steps up in Sene's absence, remains to be seen. But that someone will need to step up soon, and it will have to come without any other missing elements.

"This is hard," said Barnes. "We've got to piece together our defensive effort -- that we had tonight -- with our offensive effort we had for the past couple games. Hopefully we can try to put that together on Wednesday. I think Wednesday's definitely a must-win for us. We keep saying that, but we definitely have to try to get three points by whatever means necessary to go out there and take it. Whether it's pretty or ugly, we've got to try to get the ball in the back of the net and try to keep a clean sheet like we did tonight."

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.