Revolution

Revs happy to earn a point in Los Angeles

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Revs happy to earn a point in Los Angeles

By DannyPicard
CSNNE.com

So far, so good.

It wasnt a win to open the season, but the New England Revolution began the 2011 campaign on Sunday with the next best thing: a draw on the road against one of the leagues best teams.

In fact, the Revs got off to their second-fastest start in club history, when Shalrie Josephs header in the third minute of Sundays 1-1 draw with the Los Angeles Galaxy gave the Revs an early 1-0 lead, even though Steve Nicols squad began the game in a 4-5-1 formation, which stressed an early defensive stand.

But Marko Perovics second-effort on a corner kick that never made it to the goal, found Joseph at the back post, who used his head to put New England up 1-0.

Because Perovic the Revs leading goal scorer from 2010 left the season-opener in the 22nd minute with a hamstring injury, New England focused strictly on defense for the rest of the game. And while allowing the tying goal in the 39th minute, the Revolution were happy to leave Los Angeles with a point to open the 2011 campaign.

It feels good starting the first game of the season getting a point on the road against a huge team like L.A., said Joseph.

The draw snapped a six-game losing skid for the Revs in the Pacific and Mountain time zones, as they went 0-6-0 last season on the West Coast. And even though they werent able to hold onto a 1-0 lead in some nasty weather on Sunday night, the vibe in the locker room is still a positive one.

I think the manner in which we did it was a team effort, said Nicol. We were in good shape, we defended well, we picked good spots. We are unlucky not to score more than one goal.

Nicol believes his team got what they deserved on Sunday. Thats not necessarily a bad thing. And everybody will agree, Josephs early goal was huge for the teams confidence. But also, finishing with a tie against a team like the Galaxy, in L.A.s home, is even bigger for the teams psyche to start a year in which the Revs are trying to get back to the playoffs, after missing out on the postseason last year.

Its always good to get a point on the road, said goaltender Matt Reis, who made six saves in Sundays season opener. If you look at it at the end of the year, if you get a point out of every road game, that is great.

The Revolution will look to build on that confidence with two consecutive home games, beginning with their home opener on Saturday against the D.C. United, followed by a game against the expansion Portland Timbers on Saturday, April 2.

New England enters Saturdays match with a four-game unbeaten streak against United, a streak that last over the last two seasons.

This time around, the Revs will have to face a United club that opened their season on an even more positive note, as they scored three second-half goals over the weekend to defeat the Columbus Crew in D.C.

While injuries are still preventing Nicol to play certain impact players at their usual positions, if the players that are available were good enough to earn a point in Los Angeles over the weekend, it should be enough to at least do the same at home, and build off of the second-fastest start in club history.

Danny Picard is on Twitter at http:twitter.comDannyPicard. You can listen to Danny on hisstreaming radio show I'm Just Sayin' Monday-Friday from9-10 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.