Rowe, Feilhaber lead Revs


Rowe, Feilhaber lead Revs

FOXBORO -- Jay Heaps knew that Kelyn Rowe would give the New England Revolution a spark. That's why he called upon his services in the 64th minute on Saturday night.

It was the first of two substitutions that the Revolution would make against the Chicago Fire at Gillette Stadium.

But he was right. Rowe gave the Revs a much-needed spark after a scoreless first half. In fact, he came in and helped New England score two goals in a four-minute span.

"He's been pushing hard lately, and I think you saw, when he came into the game, there was a different buzz," said Heaps after the Revolution's 2-0 win over the Fire.

"The first and second goals were beautiful from Kelyn," said Heaps. "He's smart . . . We like getting him into those situations where he can be a dynamic attacker for us."

Rowe finished with a goal and an assist. But so did Benny Feilhaber. The duo helped each other score, and helped the Revs pick up their fifth win of the season.

"It was big for Benny," said Heaps. "And obviously Benny has played a lot more on the wide play. Today we focused on him being in the middle, more attacking. He's comfortable there, and I thought Benny did everything right tonight. He defended when we needed him to defend, and when he had his chances to change the game, he did."

In order to allow Feilhaber to be more offensive on Saturday night, Heaps moved captain Shalrie Joseph to the back end, as more of a defensive midfielder.

The move worked, as did the move to insert Rowe from the bench, leading to a productive second half that won New England the game.

"In the first half, I think we weren't really able to do a lot of the things we wanted to," said Feilhaber afterwards. "We were fighting in there. It wasn't the best conditions. The ball was definitely slipping off our feet a little bit. But we stayed together as a team, and it came together."

Feilhaber sent a long and perfect pass down the middle of the field that ended up on the foot of Rowe at the top of the box. Rowe then made a quick move ahead, and buried a shot into the low-right corner of the net with the outside of his right foot for the 1-0 lead in the 69th minute.

"I thought, first touch, got to take it inside and beat the first defender," said Rowe. "Second touch, you've got to put it away."

"I just saw Kelyn making a run kind of in behind their left back, I just put it into him, and he did the rest," said Feilhaber.

Rowe returned the favor just minutes later, as he perfectly placed a give-and-go pass down the right wing to Feilhaber, who stepped in and finished in the 73rd minute, sealing the deal on a win.

"I got the ball with tons of space on the right side, and Kelyn was running through the middle," said Feilhaber. "I just put him through and just kind of followed up on my run, and he put me in perfectly. I looked up to see if I could get it into a forward.

"I think Saer was kind of man covered by maybe one or two guys, and I just thought, aim for the five-hole and put it in, and thankfully it went in."

"Benny's a great guy and he played me the first ball," said Rowe. "I've got to give him another one. He made a great one after he passed me the ball, and I had to get it back to him."

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.