Revolution 'playing for their jobs'


Revolution 'playing for their jobs'

By Danny Picard Follow @dannypicard
FOXBORO -- Emotions are running high in the New England Revolutionlocker room these days. Thats what happens when you go two full months withouta win.

The Revolution are in dead last place in the EasternConference, and didnt help themselves out on Sunday night at Gillette Stadium,losing to the Philadelphia Union 3-0, and extending the Revs winless skid tonine games.

Its the type of stretch that goalkeeper Matt Reis calledthe worst experience of his soccer career. And if it doesnt improve soon,things could get even uglier in New England.

I think everybody needs to realize that theyre playing fortheir jobs, said Reis after Sunday nights loss. Its their livelihood. Ithink everybodys out here thinking everythings great and everythings fun. Inthe end, if we keep sucking like this, then guys are going to be out of jobs.

Revolution coach Steve Nicol said after the game that theteam needs some new faces and that New England was close to acquiring a pairof players over the weekend, until those deals fell through at the last minute.

In the meantime, the Revs must improve on the basics,something that they didnt do well with on Sunday. Its a domino effect thatscaused by a lack of heart and determination.

It was like watching a bunch of schoolboys, said Nicol.

We talked before the game of growing a pair, Nicollater added. And that doesnt mean you can run around kicking people andfighting people. That means that you do the basics well, and you do your ownjob well.

Philadelphia put the game out of reach in the first half,when Carlos Ruiz and Carlos Valdes scored in the 12th and 24th minutes,respectively. Both goals were the results of a lack of communication on theback end, leading to wide-open bids out front.

When you dont pick up your man, what do you expect isgoing to happen when you do stuff like that, said Nicol. So real basics.

Weve been like that for most of the season. We haventdone the basics of the game well. Every successful team and every team thatwins games, at the very least, they do the basics well, and then they add theirown quality on top of that.

We really have to get on the same page, said Reis. Wevegot guys doing two different things. Were losing goals on set pieces. Werejust very uninspired out there. We didnt show all the stuff that we needed todo. We didnt fight. And all in all, it was a terrible game.

Part of that lack of communication was caused by the absenceof Revolution captain Shalrie Joseph, who was suspended for Sunday nights gamebecause of yellow card accumulation.

Shalrie will open his mouth, and hell get people in placeswhere they should be, said Nicol. So when you dont have that, andeverybodys kind of relying on somebody else, guys need to take responsibility,and we didnt do that in the first half.

Now, Benny Feilhaber will be missing from Wednesdays matchin Washington D.C., after he was ejected from Sundays match on a pair ofyellow cards.

Still, the Revolution can no longer afford to playschoolboy football. And that starts with whats inside their chests.

We need to see whats inside them, said Nicol. Its aboutheart as well. Having ability and all those other things is fantastic, but ifyou dont have the heart for a fight, then you dont have a heart to fight foryourself or your teammates.

So thats what well see on Wednesday. Its time to stepforward and let everybody know what youre made of.

Danny Picard is on twitter at http:twitter.comDannyPicard.

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Diego Fagundez scores twice, Revolution top 10-man NYC 2-1

Diego Fagundez scores twice, Revolution top 10-man NYC 2-1

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - Diego Fagundez scored two goals in the second half and the New England Revolution beat 10-man New York City FC 2-1 on Sunday.

New England (12-15-6) set a club record with 12 wins at home. NYC (16-9-8) had several possibilities to clinch a bye in the playoffs but needed at least a draw.

Fagundez opened the scoring in the 51st minute and made it 2-0 in the second minute of stoppage time with his sixth goal of the season. Andrew Farrell set up the first goal by dribbling into the area and finding Fagundez at the top of the box. It was his first goal since June 3. Fagundez's next goal was a tap-in after his breakaway shot was knocked back to him.

Khiry Shelton scored for NYC in the third minute of extra time by getting past the defense for a long ball and heading it in.

NYC's Jack Harrison was shown a straight red card in the 26th minute for a late challenge on Teal Bunbury. It was Harrison's first red card of his professional career and he'll miss the regular-season finale against Columbus Crew SC next weekend.


United States fails to qualify for World Cup for first time since 1986


United States fails to qualify for World Cup for first time since 1986

COUVA, Trinidad — The United States has been eliminated from World Cup contention, a shocking loss at Trinidad ending the Americans’ streak of seven straight appearances at soccer’s showcase.

Twenty-eight years after a stunning victory at Trinidad put the Americans back in the World Cup after a four-decade absence, their chances for next year’s tournament in Russia ended on this island nation off the coast of Venezuela.

Trinidad and Tobago scored a pair of first-half goals, and the United States was eliminated with a 2-1 defeat Tuesday night — the first time missing the World Cup since 1986.

The U.S. entered its final qualifier with a berth uncertain for the first time since 1989. Home losses to Mexico last November and Costa Rica left the Americans little margin for error.

The 28th-ranked Americans needed merely a tie against 99th-ranked Trinidad, which lost its sixth straight qualifier last week. But the defeat — coupled with Honduras’ come-from-behind 3-2 win over Mexico and Panama’s 2-1 victory over Costa Rica on Ramon Torres’ 88th-minute goal — dropped the Americans from third place into fifth in the six-nation final round of the North and Central American and Caribbean region.