Revs advance to SuperLiga semifinals

Revs advance to SuperLiga semifinals

BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. The New England Revolution clinched a spot in the SuperLiga 2010 semifinals courtesy of a 1-0 win over the Chicago Fire on Saturday night at Toyota Park. Marko Perovic scored the only goal of the game in the 76th minute and goalkeeper Matt Reis made three saves to secure the Revolutions third straight shutout in all competitions.

The victory combined with the 2-2 draw between Monarcas Morelia and Pumas UNAM in the second half of the evenings doubleheader guarantees the Revs a spot in the SuperLiga semifinals for the third straight year. New England won the competition in 2008 and was eliminated by the Fire in the 2009 semifinals.

After the first two group games, the Revolution (2-0-0, 6 pts.) sits on top of Group B ahead of Morelia (1-0-1, 4 pts.), Pumas (0-1-1, 1 pt.) and the Fire (0-2-0, 0 pts.). The Revs will meet Morelia in the final group game on Tuesday, July 20, in a match which will decide whether New England finishes in first or second place in Group B. A win or a draw against Morelia will clinch the top spot for the Revolution, while a loss would mean the Revs would finish second behind Morelia.

The only goal of Saturday nights contest came in the 76th minute, when second-half substitute Kheli Dubes hard work forced a turnover in the attacking third. Perovic pounced on the loose ball and drilled a shot past Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson to register his fourth goal of the season in all competitions.

There were two changes to the Revolution lineup which beat Pumas 1-0 on Wednesday night. Reis returned between the pipes in place of Bobby Shuttleworth, while Sainey Nyassi replaced Dube. Nyassi took over his customary right midfield role, while Perovic pushed up into a withdrawn forward position.

Chicago controlled possession in the opening stages and almost capitalized with the games first quality chance in the 12th minute. Mike Banner connected on a 25-yard shot which comfortably beat Reis, but the effort struck the face of the left post and the Revs were able to clear the ball to safety.

After absorbing the early pressure, the Revs slowly began to work themselves into the game and found much of their success down the right wing. In the 28th minute, Nyassi used a couple quick stepovers to burst past his defender and into the box, but his low cross from the endline was cut out by Johnson. Right back Kevin Alston followed that up with a 20-yard shot a few moments later, but his effort was hit directly at Johnson.

The Fire responded and almost grabbed a halftime lead through Marco Pappa in first-half stoppage time. Pappa who scored the lone goal when the Fire defeated the Revs 1-0 on June 27 at Gillette Stadium ran onto a long pass and broke into the right side of the box, but his curling effort toward the far post was just off the mark.

While New England began the second half with the same 11 players who started the match, Chicago made three substitutions at the break. Brian McBride, Justin Mapp and Tim Ward all came on, while Corben Bone, Krzysztof Krol and Steven Kinney went to the bench.

Mapp almost made an immediate contribution as Pappa found him free at the back post in the 54th minute, but the halftime substitutes header looped over the bar.

Revolution head coach Steve Nicol didnt wait long to dip into his available substitutes, inserting Khano Smith (62nd minute), Dube (65th minute) and Pat Phelan (69th minute) while taking off Kenny Mansally, Zack Schilawski and Joseph Niouky.

Dube was lively from the moment he entered the game and although it wont show up in the box score, it was his tireless work which led to Perovics goal in the 76th minute. Just one minute after almost scoring himself, the Zimbabweans harassment of Fire defender Kwame Watson-Siriboe forced a turnover 30 yards from goal. Perovic was the recipient of the loose ball, and he made Chicago pay by depositing a left-footed shot inside the right post.

Desperate for a result to keep its hopes of a semifinal berth alive, the Fire pushed for an equalizer but never seriously threatened late in the match and the Revs held on for their first win in Chicago since 2006.

SuperLiga 2010&8232;New England Revolution (2-0-0, 6 pts.) at Chicago Fire (0-2-0, 0 pts.)&8232;July 17, 2010 Toyota Park (Bridgeview, Ill.)

Revolution introduce Brad Friedel as coach


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


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

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.