Revolution

Cameroon-Denmark

Cameroon-Denmark

By Matt O'Leary
CSNNE.com

In my third and final game at Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria, the two teams rooted at the bottom of Group E squared off against each other. Cameroon would be mathematically eliminated with a loss, while Denmark would need a minor miracle in order to qualify if they were to lose the match to Cameroon.

With high stakes riding on the game, both teams started out brightly. Instantly Cameroon looked like the faster of the two teams and created an opportunity within the first few minutes. It was my first time seeing Inter Milans Samuel Etoo play live and he was very impressive. He was constantly running across the forward line and checking back to the ball, and he found the back of the net in the tenth minute.

It was a simple error by the Danish defense as their right-back and centre-back failed to communicate and lost the ball in their own third. From there it was played to Etoos feet just inside the 18-yard box and he fired home to give Cameroon the lead. The stadium lit up when the goal went in and though there were not too many native Cameroon fans in attendance, the majority of the stadium was supporting the Cameroonians. With Bafana Bafana on the brink of elimination, it seems that native South Africans have taken to cheering for their home continent as well as their home team. It was mainly neutral fans sitting in my lower block section opposite the cameras, and they had all cheered after Etoos early goal and then fell silent together after Nicholas Bendter equalized for the Danes twenty minutes later.

Just as the Danish fans had been overrun by the colorful Dutch fans at Soccer City last Monday, they were similarly outnumbered in Pretoria. At Soccer City, the bigger sections of Danish support stood for the entire match but this wasnt the case in Pretoria. There was an eerie calm surrounding the Danish support, almost like they were collectively holding their breath until the final whistle. Perhaps they were so quiet because Cameroon was the team creating more scoring opportunities, and also the team that looked more likely to take the lead. The results of the tournaments opening ten days suggested that Cameroon would not be the side to score the all-important second goal. African sides had won just once in their first ten matches, while being slightly unfortunate and unlucky in some of those games.

The all-important second goal was all that Denmark needed to claim the vital three points. Similar to their first goal, it was a long ball that the Cameroon defense did not deal with, and the speedy Danish right winger cut inside the area and placed his shot in the corner of the goal. The stadium seemed to be in shock; Cameroon had held all the possession and chances in the opening fifteen minutes of the second half yet it was Denmark that took the 2-1 advantage.

The goal deficit encouraged some attacking substitutions from the Cameroon head coach but his side failed to break down the Denmark defense. After taking the lead, Denmark sat back and played their four midfielders right in front of their four defenders, making it very difficult for Cameroon to penetrate up the middle. They were forced to resort to whipping crosses in from the wing but the height advantage that Denmark possessed made it hard on the Cameroon forwards, and to be honest I dont remember a decent headed chance for the Cameroonians the whole game.

The Western Africans were pressing so many men forward that it looked possible that Denmark would score on the counterattack. The Danes had a couple of counter opportunities but they failed to materialize, and in the end the three points were more important than the additional goal and the win pushes Denmark in to third place in Group E. The Cameroon players were left lying on the pitch after the final whistle, knowing that despite outplaying the Danes for much of the game, they were the first team mathematically eliminated from World Cup 2010.

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.