Revs top D.C. United in home opener, 2-1


Revs top D.C. United in home opener, 2-1

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. Zack Schilawski and Shalrie Joseph scored early goals and goalkeeper Matt Reis made five saves to help the New England Revolution secure a 2-1 win over D.C. United on Saturday afternoon at Gillette Stadium.

The victory was the Revolutions (1-0-1, 4 pts.) first of the season after claiming a draw last weekend in LA, while the loss was Uniteds (1-1-0, 3 pts.) first setback following a convincing victory over the Columbus Crew. This is the fifth straight year the Revs have won their home opener.

The Revs scored early for the second straight game, taking a quick lead through Schilawskis first goal of the season in the eighth minute. Joseph added a second from the penalty spot in the 17th minute his second of the season while Charlie Davies notched a consolation goal for D.C. with a stoppage-time penalty kick.

Revolution head coach Steve Nicol opted to employ a 4-5-1 formation for the second straight week, but with three changes to the lineup which started last weekends season opener against the LA Galaxy. Right back Kevin Alston and left back Didier Domi returned from injury to replace Darrius Barnes and Chris Tierney on the backline, respectively, while Sainey Nyassi took over for the injured Marko Perovic (L hamstring strain) on the left wing.

It took the Revs only eight minutes to open the scoring, as Schilawskis persistence paid off with an early goal. Joseph began the goal-scoring sequence with a searching pass for Schilawski, who brought the ball down 12 yards from goal. The second-year forwards initial shot was blocked, but he corralled his own rebound and buried his second effort inside the right post.

Joseph put his own name on the score sheet just nine minutes later, converting from the penalty spot after Pat Phelan was taken down by Dax McCarty inside the box. D.C. goalkeeper Pat Onstad stretched to get a hand on Josephs effort, but it was perfectly placed inside the lower right corner to extend the Revolutions lead to 2-0.

The two goals proved to be the only quality scoring chances of the opening 45 minutes, but the remainder of the first half was not without incident. Right midfielder Zak Boggs was replaced by Kheli Dube in the 32nd minute after a midfield collision opened up a gash on his head, while Uniteds Kurt Morsink picked up a 40th-minute yellow card for a shove on Joseph.

D.C. made a pair of halftime substitutions in an effort to shake things up, bringing on Manchester, N.H., native Davies and Brazilian midfielder Fred, with Josh Wolff and Rodrigo Brasesco making way.

The moves appeared to pay dividends as the visitors pressed after the break. Chris Pontius got on the end of McCartys corner kick in the 58th minute, but Alston was well positioned on the right post to clear the danger with Davies looming. Pontius threatened again in the 66th minute, blasting a 20-yard shot over the crossbar after a deft layoff from Fred.

Reis made the save of the game in the 83rd minute, diving full stretch to his left to deny Pontius first-time effort from Davies pull back to the top of the box, but he could do nothing to prevent Davies from driving a penalty into the middle of the goal in the first minute of stoppage time. The penalty was awarded during a scramble in the box following a McCarty free kick.

Davies goal didnt mark the end of the action, however, as D.C.s Dejan Jakovic was shown a straight red card in stoppage time following a skirmish near Reis goalmouth.

The Revs will play their second straight home game next weekend against the expansion Portland Timbers. Kickoff from Gillette Stadium is set for 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 2.

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.