Tierney's first goal paces Revs, 3-1

Tierney's first goal paces Revs, 3-1

By Danny Picard
CSNNE.com

FOXBORO -- At some point, missed opportunities must turn into goals.

The New England Revolution were holding onto that theory for dear life on Saturday night against the Seattle Sounders at Gillette Stadium. It was a theory that eventually turned out to be true, turning into a 3-1 Revolution win, which snapped a four-game losing skid.

Chris Tierney found himself on both ends of that theory, and just one minute after he failed to put in what looked like, from the press box at least, a "gimme" goal out front of Seattle's net, the Revs midfielder scored his first career MLS goal and tied the game at 1-1 in the 70th minute.

Tierney followed that up by setting up Marko Perovic for New England's second goal in the 73rd minute.

And even though Perovic' goal stood as the game-winner, following Kheli Dube's 81st minute strike into the top-left corner, the night belonged to Tierney, who turned tragedy into triumph after failing to put away an open-netter on the left post in the 69th minute.

"It's fine, you know, I don't really measure my game by goals, to be honest," said Tierney after the win. "But it's always good to get on the score sheet. I'm happy to get the first one in, so I get that zero off the stat sheet. But, you know, it's just about the performance tonight. I think, all around, we were pretty good tonight. We deserved to win, so I'm happy we did."

Tierney's first career goal came on a header from the exact same spot where he had tripped over a ball just a minute earlier. Kevin Alston made a deep throw-in from the right sideline that was sent over to the left post by Shalrie Joseph from the top of the box. Tierney quickly reacted and put it in the net, tying the game at 1-1, and making up for his previous attempt.

"On the first one, I realized they kind of weren't tracking that back-post run," said Tierney. "I knew Shalrie's always going to mix it up in there, and things happen when he's in there throwing his body around. So I was just hoping another chance would come, and luckily it did. You can't miss two of those, I guess."

The goal came after Seattle midfielder Steve Zakuani put the Sounders up 1-0 in the 59th minute, beating a diving Matt Reis with an uncontested shot from the top of the box.

At the time, the goal was devastating, given the fact that New England had four shots on net in a scoreless first half, but nothing to show for it.

"We felt we were kind of pushing it, which we wanted to do," said Nicol. "We had some chances, and couldn't take them. And obviously going one behind was disappointing to say the least, but again, the players just kept pushing."

After Tierney's game-tying goal in the 70th minute, the midfielder created another big play by dribbling the ball at the top of the box, with his back to the net. His patience was enough to let Perovic come in and take over, slipping the ball past Sounders goalkeeper Kasey Keller from the right post, as several Seattle defenders were caught out of position after trying to take the ball from Tierney.

Then, in the 81st minute, Dube scored his first goal of the season, sealing the deal on the Revs' seventh win of the season.

Dube and forward Ilija Stolica made Seattle's defense look foolish, as Dube took the ball down the right side of the field, and flipped a ball up to Stolica at the top of the box. Stolica, with his back to the net, then turned around and sent a nice lead pass into the box, where Dube finished the give-and-go by plastering a ball into the top-left corner for the 3-1 lead.

"It's been a long time coming," said Dube. "It feels good."

And so does Saturday night's win, which, would have never been the result, had Tierney not completely shifted the momentum.

Danny Picard is on Twitter at http:twitter.comDannyPicard

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.