Same old story: Revs now just playing for jobs


Same old story: Revs now just playing for jobs

By Danny Picard Staff Reporter Follow @dannypicard
FOXBORO --It was fitting, really.

The New England Revolution arent going to the playoffs.That was made official after Saturday nights 2-1 loss to the Seattle Soundersat Gillette Stadium.

But it was the way they lost that was significant, becauseit portrayed their entire 2011 season.

This has happened many times before, said Revolution coachSteve Nicol after the loss. We make mistakes and we get punished and we cantquite finish things off. That kind of sums it up.

The Revs took a 1-0 lead on a Diego Fagundez header off aBenny Feilhaber corner kick in the 35th minute. But one minute later, SeattlesFredy Montero tied the game at 1-1 as he caught New Englands defense sleepingand beat them to a loose ball at the top of the box, which he finished off theright post and in.

Montero added his second goal of the night, right out of thegate to begin the second half in the 48th minute to give the Sounders a 2-1lead that they never lost.

It was a play that caught the Revs defense sleeping onceagain, as Seattle goalkeeper Kasey Keller booted a ball all the way down field,and after getting a piece of several players, it bounced up over everyone andMontero stepped in all alone and put it in the net.

The two goals are basically on mistakes, said Nicol. Whatdo you say? Its a travesty.

Its the manner in how we lose them, added Nicol. Itsjust, obviously, Id rather lose by a good play on the opponents behalf. Butwhen you make the mistakes that we made for the two goals, its kind of hard totake. You see the effort the players put in tonight. They gave everythingagain. But we just find a way to hamstring ourselves.

We made terrible mistakes again that cost us, said ChrisTierney. So yea, were disappointed. I thought we created enough chances toget something from the game. But again, the story is, we didnt quite haveenough quality to put those away that we needed. And we gave up two cheapgoals. The same story, Im afraid.

Its very frustrating, added Tierney. As professionals,youre constantly evaluating your performance and the performance of the team.And it just hasnt been good enough. Theres really no two ways about that.Were bottom in the league. Theres no way of getting around that.

So what now?

With no playoffs for the second straight year, and threegames still remaining on the regular-season schedule, the Revolution are nolonger playing for a championship.

Theyre playing for their future in the league.

At this point, were fighting for jobs, and trying to makesure that every individuals doing what they have to do to prove that theydeserve a job in this league, Tierney said.

Jobs are on the line at this point, added Tierney. So,its a matter of pride at this point, and putting on a good performance.Everyones got to be proud to be here, and be in this league, and prove thatthey belong. Thats got to be in the back of our minds, as we go forward hereand try to get some wins for the fans and try to get some wins to prove that wecan play in this league.

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.