Two late goals sink Revs in San Jose


Two late goals sink Revs in San Jose

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SANTA CLARA, Calif. Ellis McLoughlin and Bobby Convey scored 12 minutes apart late in the second half to give the San Jose Earthquakes a 2-1 win over the New England Revolution Saturday night at Buck Shaw Stadium.

McLoughlin opened the scoring with a well-placed header in the 71st minute just four minutes after entering the game as a second-half substitute while Convey converted what proved to be the game-winning strike from a set piece in the 83rd minute.

Chris Tierney scored his second career goal in the 86th minute to pull the Revs (3-4-4, 13 points) within one in the closing stages, but the late comeback fell short as the Earthquakes (3-4-3, 12 points) secured their second consecutive home victory.

For the first time this season, Revolution coach Steve Nicol named an unchanged starting lineup after his side claimed a 1-0 win over Vancouver Whitecaps FC last weekend. Unavailable once again was the injured trio of Ousmane Dabo (R adductor strain), Didier Domi (L quad strain) and Marko Perovic (L knee sprain).

The Revs controlled possession in the very early stages, but it was San Jose which created the games first scoring chance in the seventh minute. Steven Lenhart teed up Joey Gjertsen for a drive from the top of the box, forcing Revolution goalkeeper Matt Reis into a smart save.

Reis had the crossbar to thank for keeping the game scoreless in the 13th minute, when Khari Stephensons clever free kick eluded the wall and crashed off the woodwork.

Shalrie Joseph returned the pressure by testing Earthquakes goalkeeper Jon Busch with a knuckling drive in the 25th minute, but the veteran netminder was alert to punch the shot away.

New England continued to gain a foothold as the first half progressed and had legitimate appeals for a penalty waved away in the 37th minute when Tierney appeared to be taken down in the box as he shaped to shoot. No foul was given, however, and the teams went into the halftime break scoreless.

After finishing the first half with a surge, the Revs began the second half in a similar vein and threatened again in the 56th minute. Benny Feilhaber linked up with Joseph outside the box and the captain slipped a pass into the right side of the area for Rajko Lekic, whose quick shot was easily handled by Busch.

Despite holding the upper hand through large parts of the match, the Revs eventually conceded the opener in the 71st minute as they saw their 283-minute shutout streak come to an end. MLS 2010 Golden Boot winner Chris Wondolowski was the provider as his right-wing cross found McLoughlin at the back post for a free header, which he guided back across the face of goal and inside the right post.

Wondolowski almost put his own name on the score sheet in the 79th minute when his blistering shot from 20 yards out whistled past the right post, but Convey one-upped his teammate with a fantastic finish to double the Earthquakes lead four minutes later. Convey seemed likely to cross from a free kick toward the right touchline, but instead whipped a vicious shot into the far upper corner as it kissed off the left post.

Tierney pulled one back for the Revolution with a curling free kick in the 86th minute expertly bending the ball around the wall and inside the left post but the goal proved to be mere consolation as a frantic late push failed to result in an equalizer.

The Revs will return to action on Wednesday, May 25, when they visit Sporting Kansas City for a U.S. Open Cup play-in match at the Blue Valley District Activities Complex in Overland Park, Kan. The Revolutions league schedule will resume on Saturday, May 28, when the club hosts the LA Galaxy at Gillette Stadium.

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.