Friday, November 7, 2008

Season Over for Revolution

The New England Revolution fell, 3-0, to the Chicago Fire on Thursday night, ending the team's faint postseason hopes and closing the door on a marathon 2008 season that ended more in a stagger than a sprint.

Missing Steve Ralston, Taylor Twellman, Adam Cristman and Khano Smith going into the match, the Revs suffered a huge blow in the first half when Jeff Larentowicz was forced to leave the field with a possible broken ankle.

Chicago took the lead just before half time and continued to build on it in the second half while the Revs tried to claw their way back. The loss marks the first time the Revs were eliminated before the Eastern Conference Final since Steve Nicol was in charge.

Read the rest at Soccer New England.

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Thursday, November 6, 2008

Revs Limp into Chicago for Second Game

Who: Real Salt Lake at New England Revolution
What: MLS Eastern Conference Semifinal - Leg 2
Where: Toyota Park, Bridgeview, Ill.
When:Thursday, 8:45 p.m. (ESPN2)

The New England Revolution put in a good performance in Game One last Thursday at Gillette Stadium, but couldn't do enough to get a win. Now the Revs travel to Chicago for the final leg of their Eastern Conference Semifinal series with the Fire tied at 0-0 on aggregate goals.

Again without several key players due to injury, the Revs' offense will have to find a way through Chicago's backline if they are to advance to the Eastern Conference Final.

The Revs top three leading scorers, Taylor Twellman (8 goals, 2 assists), Steve Ralston (8 goals, 7 assists), and Adam Cristman (6 goals, 1 assist), are all out injured. Combined with the suspended Khano Smith (2 goals, 3 assists), the Revs will be without four players who combined to score 24 of the team’s 40 goals this season.

Read the rest at Soccer New England.

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Friday, October 31, 2008

Chicago and Revs fit for Draw

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The New England Revolution put on their best performance in over a month, but couldn't find the back of the net and had to settle for a 0-0 draw against the Chicago Fire to kick off the Eastern Conference Semifinals on Thursday.

The Revs got off to a quick start and often had the Fire pinned back, but the home side extended their winless streak to seven games in front of just over 5,000 fans at Gillette Stadium.

"I think we deserved to win," said Revolution coach Steve Nicol. "It was a real rough tough game. Plenty of commitment [and there] probably should have been a couple of penalties for us on Sainey [Nyassi] and [Bakary] Soumare is trying to head the ball clear and headed it straight onto his arm. We finished the season over thinking when we were playing, basically. We decided to get rid of that and just go and play. Be committed, when you get the chance to pass the ball, pass the ball, and when you have to be strong, be strong."

Read the rest at Soccer New England.

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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Depleted Revs Stagger into Playoffs

Who: Chicago Fire at New England Revolution
What: MLS Eastern Conference Semifinal Leg 1
Where: Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, Mass.
When: Thursday, 8:00 p.m. (ESPN2)

The once first place Revolution head into Thursday night's Eastern Conference Semifinal against the Chicago Fire as the third seed and underdog. Heading into the match, the Fire, who were a perfect 3-0 against the Revolution in the regular season, were already the favorites and injuries to key players and needless suspensions have made the Revs heavy underdogs.

"We expect the battle that it always is," said defender Michael Parkhurst. "We've got quite the rivalry with Chicago. Obviously they have had some success against us this year, but we don't really concentrate on those games now. They are in the past. We really need to focus on who we are and guys stepping up and taking some leadership and younger guys stepping up now. They had a chance early on in the season with a bunch of injuries to step up and get some playing time and they got the job done then. Hopefully we can use that experience here in the playoffs now that we need it."

Read the rest at Soccer New England.

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Sunday, August 10, 2008

Revs Still Can't Solve Fire

An impressive crowd of 19,240 at Gillette Stadium witnessed the New England Revolution take an early lead only to suffer a key ejection, a gaffe by their goalkeeper and a late goal to fall to the Chicago Fire, 2-1, for the third time this season.

Taylor Twellman made his return to the starting line-up and put his name on the score sheet three minutes after kickoff, but a late ejection to Shalrie Joseph, followed by a blunder by Matt Reis and another goal on a questionable play five minutes later allowed the Fire to escape with a 2-1 victory.

Twellman opened the scoring just three minutes in, heading home a Mauricio Castro corner. Goalkeeper Jon Busch got a hand on Twellman's shot from about eight yards out, but could not keep it out of the net.

"It's been a whirlwind," said Twellman. "It was good just to warm up like you are going to play a game. I've been on the bench a couple times, but there is nothing like starting. I thank Stevie [Nicol] for giving me a start again. Obviously I've been out for a while, so it was fun."

Read the rest at Soccer New England.

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Saturday, August 9, 2008

SuperLiga Champs Return to League Play

Who: Chicago Fire at New England Revolution
What: MLS Regular Season
Where: Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, Mass.
When: Saturday, 7:30 p.m. (TV38, Cox 3 [RI], HDNet)

It's been over a month since the first-place Revolution defeated the Los Angeles Galaxy in their last MLS regular season match.

In between league games the Revs won the SuperLiga and advanced to the US Open Cup Semifinals. Now the Revs, who despite the gap in league games have remained in first, will take on the Chicago Fire for a chance to further solidify their spot at the top of the standings.

Though the Revs have been the best team in MLS through 17 games, Chicago has had few problems against them in their first two meetings. In fact, the Fire has handed the Revs their two worst losses of the season winning 4-0 in Chicago and 3-0 in Foxboro. Chicago's form faded after their early success, but recently the team has gone unbeaten in its last six games and now the Fire sit just four points behind the Revolution.

Read the rest at Soccer New England.

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Sunday, May 4, 2008

Revs Thumped By Fire

The Revolution never really threatened the Fire's goal Saturday as they were shutout and beaten handily by Chicago for the second time this season, this time 3-0. The seven goals the Revs have now allowed against the Fire are more than double what they’ve given up in their five other games combined.

After nearly half an hour with neither team threatening to score, Chicago Fire's Chris Rolfe finally got a chance and found the back of the net. Then, shortly after halftime on what was just the Fire's second good chance of the match John Thorrington doubled the lead before Stephen King added a goal in the 77th to give the Fire a 3-0 win.

Rolfe gave the Fire the lead in the 29th minute on the first real opportunity for either team. Thorrington received the ball about 10 yards outside the box and sent in a pass to a completely unmarked Rolfe at the top of the box. Rolfe's first touch looked poor and nearly gave the defense enough time to get in his path, but he managed to turn and send a low shot past Revs’ goalkeeper Matt Reis to the far post.

Read the rest at Soccer New England.

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Friday, April 4, 2008

Revs Burnt by Fire

Referee Baldomero Toledo made two very questionable calls, first just seven minutes in when he gave Chicago a man advantage after ejecting Jeff Larentowicz and then in the 36th minute, when he awarded the Fire a questionable penalty kick to put the game out of reach in an eventual 4-0 Chicago rout Thursday night.

Chicago took the early initiative with Chad Barrett giving the team the lead less than four minutes in, but the Revolution never even had the chance to recover before they found themselves down a man. The Revs still looked strong despite the disadvantage but a defensive miscue saw the team fall further behind, and then Toledo's penalty call helped the Fire put the game out of reach.

The Revs were already without two key players in Taylor Twellman and Steve Ralston and Larentowicz's ejection left them with yet another hole to fill in central midfield. Coach Steve Nicol first opted to make no changes, going with a 3-4-2 formation, then substituted in defensive midfielder Gary Flood for Khano Smith and moved Mauricio Castro out to the left wing. With his defense in shambles, Nicol finally opted to give Chase Hilgenbrinck his debut in place of Kenny Mansally and switched to a 4-4-1 formation in the 39th minute after the Fire scored their fourth goal...

Read the rest at Soccer New England

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Thursday, April 3, 2008

Revs Head to Chicago Minus Key Starters

The New England Revolution are headed to the Windy City without Taylor Twellman and Steve Ralston, the two players on the current roster who have had the most success against the Fire.

Injuries to the Revs all-time leading scorer and assister leave the team without two players who have contributed a combined 17 goals and 10 assists in past meetings between the two teams. Steve Nicol will be forced to make some adjustments to the lineup and the team will likely have to rely even more on the youth that helped lead the team to a dominating 3-0 victory against Houston on Saturday.

The Revs will be aided by the return of Khano Smith from International duty with Bermuda. And it seems he will likely slot back into his spot in left midfield with Honduran Mauricio Castro moving into the middle to fill in for Ralston. Of course Nicol has the players to switch to a 4-4-2 formation with 19-year-old Amaechi Igwe or newcomer Chase Hilgenbrinck starting at left back, but that seems unlikely given the Revs success on Saturday in a 3-5-2. Again the Revs will look to Kenny Mansally and Adam Cristman to take over the scoring duties in Twellman's absence....

Read the rest at Soccer New England

Predicted line-up:

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