Revolution

Revs 'disappointed' with tie vs. Timbers

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Revs 'disappointed' with tie vs. Timbers

By Danny Picard
CSNNE.com

FOXBORO -- Steve Nicol walked into his postgame press conference, and grabbed a seat in the front row, right leg crossed, and left arm resting on the back of the chair next to him.

It was as if to say, "You guys will probably have more answers than me."

The New England Revolution coach eventually made his way up to the podium, and gave his analysis of Saturday night's 1-1 draw with the expansion Portland Timbers at Gillette Stadium.

From the outside, it would seem that the Revs would be happy with their fifth point in three games to begin the regular season with a big fat zero in the loss column.

But take a stroll through the New England locker room after Saturday's draw, and you'll find nothing but disappointment, even from rookie Stephen McCarthy, who scored his first career goal in the 22nd minute, putting the Revolution up 1-0.

"It feels good, but it's bittersweet, since we kind of didn't play too great," said McCarthy after the draw.

The Revs were flat, even before McCarthy's low blast from the top of the box beat Timbers goalkeeper Jake Gleeson after hitting him in the hands. And as Nicol pointed out several times after the game, their passing was the biggest issue on Saturday night.

"The bottom line is, we didn't pass the ball well," said Nicol. "It didn't matter who we played tonight. We didn't pass the ball well at all, all night. And when that happens, you'll really struggle. And we did.

"It certainly had nothing to do with how we prepared," added Nicol. "We had a good week . . . But yet, tonight we can't do it. So it probably is about mental stuff, which happens. But at the same time, the bottom line is, we're disappointed. We wanted three points at home, not one. But considering how things went, we did pick something up, so we should be grateful for that."

Grateful, yes. But pleased, absolutely not. And nobody in the Revolution locker room will tell you, but the fact that this draw came against a winless expansion team, is unacceptable.

The disappointment didn't stem from a draw "at home" or a "lack of three points." It came from a draw against a winless, expansion Timbers club that just so happened to be at home, resulting in only one point.

How else would you describe the team's joy after a draw in Los Angeles to open the season. Sure, getting that point on the road had something to do with their happiness. But because it was a draw against one of the league's top teams, it was a solid point.

A point against one of the league's worst teams, is anything but.

Portland forced a point out of the match by tying things up at 1-1 in the 38th minute, when Jack Jewsbury put a low shot to the far, right side of the net, from just outside the box.

Timbers midfielder Jeremy Hall picked up a loose ball at the top of the box, and tapped it over to a wide open Jewsbury, who seemingly caught Revs defenders flat-footed.

"If you go right back to the source, where the goal came from, we gave the ball away too easily," said Nicol on Portland's game-tying score. "You encourage people like Revolution captain Shalrie Joseph to get into the penalty box when he can. And when he does, when you give the ball away so cheaply, then it means people are out of position, because guys are making runs for the guy on the ball. And if he gives the ball away, then you're in trouble.

"It was a rotten goal. It wasn't like we got cut up. It was just half a leg short here, and half a leg short there. It was just a horrible goal. I can't sum it up again."

Revolution midfielder Pat Phelan said after the game that he hopes those two points lost don't come back to "bite them in the butt" come playoff time. And considering those two points lost came at the hands of a team that only played two previous MLS games together before Saturday night, that would be a devastating way to miss out on the postseason for the second straight year.

"We're just disappointed all around," said Nicol. "I mean, we did very few good things tonight. I guess, if you're not on your game and you pick up points, then you should be happy. But obviously, we want all three points. We don't want one point."

And they don't want just one point while playing the lowly Timbers.

Danny Picard is on Twitter at http:twitter.comDannyPicard. You can listen to Danny on his streaming radio show I'm Just Sayin' Monday-Friday from 9-10 a.m. on CSNNE.com.

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.