Sunday, October 12, 2008

Revs Lose Game, Ralston

The New England Revolution lost Steve Ralston and Mauricio Castro to injury en route to falling 1-0 to the Kansas City Wizards.

Ralston broke his leg on a rough Herculez Gomez tackle in the 12th minute and Castro left limping late in the second half. Ralston’s loss is the more significant. He suffered a broken right fibula and is expected to miss 6-8 weeks, putting the remainder of his season in jeopardy.

A 61st minute Jimmy Conrad goal was all the Wizards needed to keep their playoff hopes alive and hand the Revolution their ninth loss of the season. The loss drops the Revs into a tie in second place with Chicago with 43 points each.

Read the rest at Soccer New England.

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Thursday, July 17, 2008

Ralston an All-Star Replacement

NEW YORK -- Major League Soccer announced that Chivas USA defender Jonathan Bornstein, New England Revolution midfielder Steve Ralston and FC Dallas midfielder Juan Toja were selected by All-Star head coach Steve Nicol to replace Sacha Kljestan, Michael Parkhurst and Robbie Rogers who were named to the U.S. Olympic Team roster today and will miss the All-Star game.

18-Player Game-Day Roster

Goalkeepers (2): Pat Onstad& (Houston Dynamo), Matt Reis* (New England Revolution).

Defenders (4): Jonathan Bornstein& (Chivas USA), Jim Brennan& (Toronto FC), Jimmy Conrad* (Kansas City Wizards), Frankie Hejduk* (Columbus Crew).

Midfielders (8): David Beckham* (Los Angeles Galaxy), Cuauhtémoc Blanco* (Chicago Fire), Dwayne De Rosario+ (Houston Dynamo), Christian Gomez& (Colorado Rapids), Shalrie Joseph* (New England Revolution), Pablo Mastroeni& (Colorado Rapids), Steve Ralston& (New England Revolution), Juan Toja& (FC Dallas).

Forwards (4): Juan Pablo Angel& (forward, New York Red Bulls), Edson Buddle+ (Los Angeles Galaxy), Kenny Cooper* (FC Dallas), Landon Donovan* (Los Angeles Galaxy).

* First XI Selection
& Coach's Selection
+ Commissioner's Selection

Inactive Roster (14)

Goalkeepers (2): Jon Busch (Chicago Fire), Greg Sutton (Toronto FC).

Defenders (4): Michael Parkhurst* (New England Revolution), Gonzalo Segares (Chicago Fire), Bakary Soumare (Chicago Fire), Marvell Wynne (Toronto FC).

Midfielders (6): Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Maurice Edu (Toronto FC), Amado Guevara (Toronto FC), Sacha Kljestan* (Chivas USA), Guillermo Barros Schelotto (Columbus Crew), Robbie Rogers* (Columbus Crew).

Forwards (2): Brian Ching (Houston Dynamo), Luciano Emilio (D.C. United).

* First XI Selection

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Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Ralston named MLS Player of the Week, Manzonelli called up to U-20s

Revolution captain Steve Ralston earned only his second ever MLS Player of the Week honor for his two goal performance last weekend in the Revolution's 2-1 win over Toronto FC. Ralston's only other Player of the Week award came in 1997. With five goals in June, he certainly must be a favorite for Player of the Month honors as well. Despite the Revolution sitting atop the MLS standings, this is the first time this season one of their players has been named Player of the Week.

18-year-old Brandon Manzonelli, who signed for the Revolution on May 21st, was called up by US U-20 coach Thomas Rongen for their match against Mexico on July 12th. As part of the 16-player roster, Manzonelli stands a good chance of seeing his U-20 debut.

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Tuesday, April 1, 2008

From the Stands: Early Injury Bug

So the calendar has just hit April and already I am reading about Twellman being out for at least a month and a half and Ralston out at least 3 weeks. At first I thought, it was an April Fool's joke, but alas it wasn't just a horribly mean gag played on me. Eventually I got around to thinking about this and the result may not be all that bad. Yes a knee injury is never what you want to hear for a professional athlete like Twellman' torn meniscus. However, if he manages to get through the surgery and is able to make a full recovery by mid-May, he would miss approximately 8 games, however, they would all be early season MLS regular season matches. The joy of the MLS season, as long as you aren't hoping for the Supporter's Shield, an early season tough run would not hurt the Revs too much. It might have been nice to see Mansally and Twellman build up a relationship, but it will benefit the entire strike force in the long run. Having Fernandez, Dube, Mansally and Cristman all battling it out for 2 spots up top should lead to some interesting competition in training which should just improve them all even more.

The Ralston shoulder injury in a way could have a very similar effect, it might force Nicol to see how Castro looks in the center which is where I thought he would be the most dangerous. With Khano coming back from national team duty it would make perfect sense to slot him on the left and move Castro to the center. After Nicol has admitted speaking to the Honduran national team manager, this does seem a possible move. Castro might benefit having the pace of Smith and Nyassi on the wings, and Joseph and Larentowicz protecting his back side. With all those options, Castro trying a few of those sneaky passes or ball tricks in the middle would not be as fatal as if it gets stolen on the wing.

I hate to try and find a silver lining in any injury, we all understand in the short term having Twellman and Ralston would be very good for our squad, but it is a long season. Having them come back in a few weeks fully healthy while the new players get integrated into the squad so quickly will only help as the SuperLiga, the Olympics, World Cup Qualifying, the Champion's League, US Open Cup or the MLS Playoffs gear up later in the season. Injuries are a big part of any campaign, it will be interesting to see how the Revs cope so early in the season, but more importantly it will be interesting to see how the time will be utilized by young players and players returning to the lineup like a Joe Franchino.

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Twellman and Ralston Injury Updates

It appears the injury that scratched Taylor Twellman from the Revolution starting line-up 15 minutes before the game on Saturday was actually pretty serious. According to a press release today, Twellman apparently suffered a tear of his medial meniscus in training and will have arthroscopic surgery on his right knee on Wednesday. His recovery time is expected to be at least 6 weeks, but will be better known after the surgery.

What training session this injury occurred in is unclear. On Saturday, Adam Cristman, who filled in for Twellman against Houston, stated he had been playing with the first team at the Revs final training session on the Friday before the match because of Twellman’s injury. The extent of the injury at the time must have been unclear if the team had still thought he’d be ready to go up until near kick off.

Ralston, who suffered a dislocated left shoulder in the match, will undergo tests on Thursday to determine the extent of the injury. He had said on Saturday that he hoped to be back in 3 weeks.

With both out at least for the near future, Steve Nicol will have some more line-up changes to make. Khano Smith should return to the Revs after helping Bermuda on Sunday successfully make it to stage 2 of CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying. He may return to his spot on the left wing with Honduran Mauricio Castro slotting into the middle. If the Revs stick with a 3-5-2 this is probably the most likely scenario, though a 4-4-2 on the road is a possibility, if unlikely due to the Revs success against Houston.

As for Twellman’s spot, Cristman and Kenny Mansally filled in very well on Saturday and will likely retain their places in the line-up on Thursday. However, with Costa Rican Argenis Fernandez arriving, and Zimbabwean Kheli Dube making his debut last weekend, if either starter fails to produce, there will certainly be some competition for their spots.

Frank Dell'Apa of the Boston Globe had more on the possible line-up changes, including this quote from Nicol:

"There is no point in making major changes," Nicol said. "We'll take our time in making a decision.

"We want to make as few changes as we can. Going 4-4-2 means a lot of changes, so it depends if we want to make a lot of changes or a few. I've never seen Castro play [in central midfield], but the Honduras manager says he can play there, so it's an option."

For the full story from the Globe, click here.

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Sunday, March 30, 2008

Revenge for Revs in Opener

FOXBORO, Mass. – The stage wasn’t the same, but the New England Revolution managed to extract some revenge against Houston in the season opener Saturday, defeating Dynamo, 3-0, in a rematch of the past two MLS Cups.

Goals from Adam Cristman, Steve Ralston, and the 19-year-old Sainey Nyassi gave the Revs a deserved win for a dominating performance, despite wholesale lineup changes due to offseason departures, injuries and international absences.

"It was a great win," said Revs’ coach Steve Nicol. "We were definitely the better team in the first half. I think the second half you saw the difference in fitness. They have obviously been playing in the [CONCACAF] Champions Cup and playing those games that mean something. I think the second half showed we still have a wee bit to go as far as playing a competitive 90 minutes are concerned. But saying that, I think again you saw the attitude and the commitment of the players. The goal at the end was just the icing on the cake, it was a fantastic goal. It was a great result with a great performance."

Nyassi, the man of the match according to Nicol, sealed the victory deep into stoppage time with a spectacular 50-yard run from midfield before blasting a shot into the back of the net. The Gambian youth international was all over the field making important defensive stops and creating dangerous chances up front for the team all night. The match marked Nyassi's first start for the Revolution and he became the youngest player ever to start on opening day for the Revs......

Read the rest at Soccer New England

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