- American Sports
- Other Sports
- Euro 2012
Guys, in their entire Side effects of ambien cr Ambien side effects vehicle, a great employer, a terrific job Provigil vs nuvigil Www provigil com smoking greatly causes harm African mango super fruit diet Does african mango diet work driving branding. For Raspberry ketone diet drops Raspberry Ketones
When one hears the name New England, the first sports franchise that springs into the mind is the New England Patriots from the NFL. Definitely a very successful organization, having won the Super Bowl 3 times, a team whose colors have been defended by great football players such as Babe Parilli, Drew Bledsoe and more recently Tom Brady.
Based in Foxborough, Massachusetts, the Pats share their home, the Gillette Stadium with another franchise located in the same place- the New England Revolution from the MLS.
There is no doubt which team is more popular in the area, having in mind the fact that the stadium capacity for NFL games is over 68 000, while it’s reduced to 22 385 for the soccer matches.
This is not really surprising though, due to a couple of reasons. First of all, soccer’s popularity in the US can’t be compared to that of American football, and second- as I mentioned above, the Patriots have won quite a lot of silverware, especially in recent years, unlike their soccer brothers, who have achieved nothing more than a US Open Cup trophy in 2007, a 2008 win of the now defunct North American SuperLiga and 4 lost MLS Cup finals.
Owned by the very wealthy businessman Robert Kraft (who is also the owner of the Pats), the Revolution were one of the ten charter teams of the MLS and have competed in the league since 1996.
Some of the greatest American soccer players have been part of the team throughout history, players such as Alexi Lalas, Chris Albright, Mike Burns, Clint Dempsey, John Harkes and Eric Wynalda among others. Of course, as in every other MLS team, a fair number of international stars have also played for the club including Colombian Leonel Alvarez, Ousmane Dabo, Mamadou Diallo, Didier Domi, Oscar Pareja and Walter Zenga.
The greatest head coach in the Revs history is former Liverpool legend Steve Nicol, who led the team between 2002 and 2011. Under his management the team won their only two trophies and reached their four MLS Cup finals, despites losing all of them.
Nicol is obviously a good manager, but last year’s performance of the team cost him his job, as the Revolution recorded the worst season in their history, winning just 5 out of 34 games and finishing with an equal amount of points with last placed Vancouver Whitecaps.
Which leads us to this season and the new head coach Jay Heaps, who will have to reshape the club from top to bottom in order to avoid the humiliation of last year to happen again.
Jay is one of the Revs legends, having played over 240 games for the club before retiring in 2009. This will be his first year as head coach, but judging by the pre-season his team had, things look promising for them once again.
6 wins and a loss is the record, the defeat coming after penalties to LA Galaxy in the Desert Diamond Cup final. They scored 14 goals and conceded just 5 in these 7 games, so Heaps is probably as calm as can be before the start of the season in 3 days time.
The squad looks reasonably strong, although we might be seeing a change of formation, as Nicol’s 4-1-2-1-2 last year proved to be inappropriate.
Early signs suggest that Jay might be looking to employ a classic 4-4-2, as this seemed to be his preferred formation during the friendlies.
Veteran goalkeeper Matt Reis is expected to be the number one choice, although reserve goalie Bobby Shuttleworth is pushing for a first team place after some decent performances recently.
A potentially problematic area is the defence, the only reason being that there are just 6 typical defenders in the squad, and if one or two of them get injured things might become difficult. The good news is that these guys have been playing together for a couple of season now, so they know each others’ strengths and weaknesses. Kevin Alston, Darrius Barnes, Chris Tierney and A.J. Soares will probably be the starting 4, with newcomers John Lozano and Tyler Polak providing backup when necessary.
Except the very experienced Benny Feilhaber and Shalrie Joseph, the midfield looks a tiny bit more exciting because of SuperDraft pick Kelyn Rowe. The 20-year old is labeled as one of America’s top 10 U-21 players, and great things are expected from him. Gambian Sainey Nyassi has been a first team regular in the past 4 seasons, so I see no reason for this to change exactly this year. Another new signing, former PSV player Lee Nguyen could also produce good things, and 6’4” giant Stephen McCarthy shouldn’t be forgotten as well.
Four new strikers joined the team: French Saer Sene, who used to play for Bayern Munich’s reserve team, two Colombians: Fernando Cardenas and Jose Mora and former DC United footballer Blake Brettschneider. Zak Boggs and Kenny Mansally were part of the team last year as well, but taking a look at their statistics, it’s clear that they’re not the greatest strikers you’d ever encounter.
It will not be an easy season for the Revolution, although with an ambitious young coach such as Jay Heaps and some very decent players, they might at least make it to the playoffs. But one thing is certain- they and their fans will want to forget last year’s nightmare as soon as possible. They’ve got their destiny in their hands, let’s wait and see if they can make a revolution in 2012.