Revolution

Argentina-South Korea

Argentina-South Korea

By Matt O'Leary
CSNNE.com

Argentina produced one of the best performances of the World Cup with a 4-1 romp over South Korea. The Germans had made a strong case for top title challengers with their slightly surprising 4-0 rout over Australia earlier in the week, but Argentinas performance at Soccer City matched that of the Germans. The Argentinians looked very dangerous going forward and probably could have scored 6 or 7 against the Koreans.

Soccer City Stadium was full of Argentina fans and they were in top spirits even before the kickoff. Getting into the national stadium proved as difficult and as stressful as it was for the Netherlands-Denmark game on Monday. We drove in from the opposite direction hoping to park closer to the stadium and to avoid traffic. We were unsuccessful in both regards. We sat in an hour and a half of traffic on Monday, and today had to sit in bumper to bumper traffic for about 45 minutes before finally giving up and parking in a patch of dirt on the side of Nasrec Road.

Local African guys were again showing their entrepreneurial characters by parking fans cars and charging 50 rand each. Each patch of dirt had a different group of guys running the show but the South African police were not too far away, keeping an eye on things. Every cardboard sign held up by the local entrepreneurs advertised the same thing; safe parking. The guys that parked our car promised that it would not only be safe but that it also would not be blocked in, an improvement on our prior parking situations. They made us sign something so I have no idea what that was or what their thinking was behind it, but we found our car safe and sound after the game and all the guys had been very friendly.

Walking to the stadium, it was the usual set up of locals trying to sell you everything from flags to cell phones. One girl, no older than ten years old, held her cardboard sign in front of us and asked if we wanted safe parking even though we were walking past her and were no longer in a car.

Inside the ground, the Koreans had a bigger fan contingent than I was anticipating and from my viewpoint there were three large red sections of South Korean fans. There were probably at least 1500 in each of the three sections, and the group behind one of the corner flags spent the entire match standing. Two humongous South Korea flags were sprinted up the lower sections of the stadium during their national anthem. It was very impressive and covered maybe 25-35 rows of fans, an operation only the Koreans could pull off.

The sky blue and white of Argentina dominated Soccer City though, and once they broke out in song it could be heard throughout the stadium. I wish I understood the words to a particular song because once they started singing, every Argentinean fan in the stadium stood up and bounced on the balls of their feet until the song ended. I never thought the Argentinean fans would produce a better atmosphere than the Dutch but they certainly did and it only got louder every time their heroes hit the back of the net.

Argentina played a fluent, attacking style with Lionel Messi and Carlos Tevez leading the line. Gonzalo Higuan eventually got his hat-trick but for me, Messis eloquent skill and Tevezs unstoppable work rate were more important for Argentinas overall performance. They proved themselves to be one of the favorites and should they hang on to win Group B and the Germans win Group D, the two historic nations could square off in the quarterfinals.

Argentina will have an easier path in the round of 16, as they will play against the second placed team of Group A (probably Uruguay or Mexico). The Germans, however, will probably match up against either the USA or England in the last 16 and either contest would prove a strong challenge.

Revolution introduce Brad Friedel as coach

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Revolution introduce Brad Friedel as coach

New Revolution coach Brad Friedel was introduced to the media at Gillette Stadium on Monday and promised his "obsession with winning" will filter down to the rest of the organization.

“We have a lot of work ahead but we do have a lot of good players here, a lot of good pieces to this club,” Friedel said.  “One thing we can guarantee you — because you never want to guarantee too much in sport — is that you will get 100 percent commitment from myself and staff, as well as the players.

“And we’re going to be, hopefully, get to the obsession that I have with winning. And we’ll work our best to try and get those wins on the board that we can.”

Since retiring as a player, Friedel, a former UMNT goalkeeper who spent most of his career in Europe and the Premier League, has coached the US U-19 team and worked as a soccer analyst for FOX Sports. He's the eighth coach in the MLS franchise's 22-year history. He replaces Jay Heaps, the Revs' second-longest serving coach who led New England to playoff appearances from 2013-15, including an MLS Cup Final appearance in 2014. 

Friedel said it won't be difficult to adjust to coaching in the MLS after a long career in Europe. 

“That won't be hard to adjust to at all," Freidel said. "Not every team over in Europe or England, for that matter, has these enormous budgets. Working at clubs like Blackburn as a player, but then at Tottenham, I know it's a big club, but they work under a strict budget at Tottenham. You learn to work under whatever restrictions or not there may or may not be... 

"Whatever budget is given to us, we will work with. I think what's really important is the mentality of the players. Fans and players are usually the two most important things at every single club. Us as a staff, we're employed to try to make those players better. So, whatever players are in front of us, that's going to be our focus – on getting a team environment, a winning environment, and an environment where every player wants to work hard. It doesn't really matter where your budgets are.”

Friedel said he likes the potential on the Revs roster. 

"I think there's a lot of potential within the group. We're not going to go into details at the first press conference obviously with the squad itself. We have a lot of meetings ahead with that, but there's a lot of potential in the group... 

"This is not a team that is in disarray, that's for sure. I think there needs to be little tweaks to it, and then my staff and I need to go in and try to mold the team and get the confidence back. I think if you see – you can look at stats, stats don't lie – over 60 goals conceded is too much and that's something we'll need to address. But, we know what we need to address and we'll work hard to address those issues."
 

Report: Revolution hire Brad Friedel as new head coach

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Report: Revolution hire Brad Friedel as new head coach

The New England Revolution have hired Brad Friedel as their new head coach, according to Ives Galarcep of Goal.com.

Friedel, 46, played goalkeeper for the Columbus Crew in 1996 and 1997 before spending 18 years in the Premier League and was the starting keeper for the United States National Team in the 2002 World Cup. He has spent the last two years coaching the United States Under-19 National Team.

The Revs fired head coach Jay Heaps and September and Tom Soehn filled in as interim head coach for the remainder of the season.