Faithful readers,

I will be taking a bit of a break from The Soccer Guys for the next few weeks to write about the Euros for Bleacher Report. As you can tell already, content has been sparse in the past few weeks because I’ve been put up against the wall with work and getting myself well versed in every team fighting to be crowned champions of Europe.

That does not mean this site is dead. Far from it. I will be writing here as soon as I can. I will have some New England Revolution and Major League Soccer stories coming soon. I have one I have been working on since February when I had a beer with someone American soccer fans and ESPN watchers know all to well.

For now, check out what I’m doing on Bleacher Report for the Euros. As soon as that great tournament, which might be better than the World Cup, is over I will return to this full-time with vengeance.

For now, can Jurgen Klinsmann please find the answer to a cohesive midfield three and a solid center back pairing?

That is all.

See you on the flip side,

Kevin Koczwara

Content Update: Writing about Euro 2012

Ryan Guy Fills in for Clyde Simms in a new role for New England Revolution

By Kevin Koczwara

 

Clyde Simms does more work than it sometimes appears for the New England Revolution. The former D.C. United holding midfielder sits just in front of the Revolution defense and behind Shalrie Joseph and the rest of the midfield. He’s the anchor, the player who picks up the scraps and fills the void left between the midfield and defense,  the area where forwards thrive. But left ankle tendonitis kept him out of Saturday’s game against the Houston Dynamo. That meant New England needed to find another heartbeat in the midfield to work with Joseph, who has abandoned his defensive midfield role for a more box-to-box approach in recent seasons.

Step up Ryan Guy.

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New England Falls victim to the same old trends

By Kevin Koczwara

The New England Revolution have struggled to stop opponents on set-pieces, score on its own set-pieces (including corner kicks) and stopping opponents from scoring goals in the last 15 minutes of the game. Against the Houston Dynamo on Saturday night at Gillette Stadium, the Revolution (4-6-1, 13 pts.) allowed Houston (3-3-4, 13 pts.) take advantage of New England’s shortcomings.

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Lee Nguyen or David Beckham: Who Scored the Better Goal

Both of these goals happened yesterday. And both of these goals are top-class stuff. Beckham’s played a bigger role i the context of the game, but Nguyen’s goals played a bigger role personally. Both are quality. Which do you prefer?

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Stephen McCarthy proved vital against the Vancouver Whitecaps in his new position

Former midfielder could be the answer to the defensive woes for the New England Revolution

By Kevin Koczwara

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Omar Salgado pulled down Stephen McCarthy in the Revolution box just before halftime. The Vancouver Whitecaps player was frustrated with McCarthy’s marking on the previous corner kick and it boiled over into a fit of childish play. But Stephen McCarthy was having none of it.The 6’5” newly converted center back for the New England Revolution began screaming at the Whitecaps forward. The two had to be separated and referee blew the halftime whistle.

New England went into the locker room with a 3-1 lead, which would stretch to 4-1 in the second half after Lee Nguyen scored a magnificent goal, and all the momentum. Stephen McCarthy’s play at the back was one of the main reasons.

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A Quick Word: Martin Rennie on Shoring up the Defense of the Vancouver Whitecaps

Martin Rennie, the Whitecaps new coach. (Photo Courtesy The Vancouver Whitecaps/Major League Soccer)

By Kevin Koczwara

The Vancouver Whitecaps (3-6-0, 9 pts.) travelled to New England today for tomorrow’s game against the New England Revolution and I got to speak with the Whitecaps’ (5-2-2, 17 pts.)new coach Martin Rennie via phone after the team settled up in its hotel about his first year coaching in Major League Soccer and his team.

Under Rennie’s leadership, Vancouver has become one of the toughest sides in MLS to score against and the team got its first road win in the club’s short MLS history. The Whitecaps defense has the second best goals against record in  all of MLS, only seven goals allowed in nine league matches, and sits fourth in the Western Conference with three games in hand over leaders Real Salt Lake and one game in hand on the San Jose Earthquakes.

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New England Revolution Host Vancouver Whitecaps: Three Things to Look For

By Kevin Koczwara

For all the hard work and promising displays on the field, the New England Revolution don’t have much to show in the way of wins or points this season (3-6-0 9 pts.). First year coach Jay Heaps has brought a new attitude to the team — a high-pressure, ball possession and attack-minded approach — but its lead to a few positive results. Instead, New England has loss games it should have won or drew (the 1-0 loss to New York; the 1-0 loss to FC Dallas; the 2-1 loss to Real Salt Lake).

Games aren’t being lost the same way they were in the past few seasons — in the dying moments of the game, or because of a lack of attacking power. This team is losing games because there is something missing right now: that unknown winner’s trademark of being able to gut out a victory.

On the flip side of New England is Saturday’s opponent the Vancouver Whitecaps (5-2-2 17 pts.). First year coach Martin Rennie has come in and instilled a defensive approach to a team that leaked in goals last year at an alarming rate. Even with an attack full of high-octane players — Sébastien Le Toux, Eric Hassli, Darren Mattocks, Omar Salgado, Etiba Harris and Long Tan — the Whitecaps have found goals hard to come by. Vancouver, right now, is the complete opposite of New England. The Whitecaps are eking out wins and have a winning swagger that comes with holding off opponents and beating top-tier teams.

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Revolution Road Trip: Five Things We Learned

By Kevin Koczwara


The New England Revolution has lost four of the last five games, but the  team continues to show light and impress the eye despite not getting the deserved results. An impressive mid-week win over the Colorado Rapids set the stage for a highly anticipated match at Rio Tinto Stadium in Salt Lake City with Western Conference powerhouse Real Salt Lake.  The Revolution took the lead but ended up falling to RSL, 2-1. The game was an open affair, the kind of game New England will have the upper-hand on for the most part with its talented midfield.

Here are five things to take away from the busy week/weekend.

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Rapid Reaction: Henry goal helps New York Red Bulls beat the New England Revolution

By Kevin Koczwara

The New England Revolution were unable to take advantage of a depleted New York Red Bulls team today and loss, 1-0, at Red Bull Arena. New York capitalized in the 7th minute when Thierry Henry scored a magnificant chip from outside the area, beating a stretched Stephen McCarthy to the ball. The Red Bulls held on to the lead for the remainder of the game despite losing Henry to a hamstring injury in the 23rd minute and relentless pressure from the Revolution.

Some thoughts on the game…

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The U.S. Women’s National Team: Numbers Game

By Shannon Hovan

 

0: Before Japan’s remarkable win over the United States in the Women’s World Cup final last July, it beat the US 0 times in over 20 matches, dating back to the 1980’s.

Since that win [a heartbreaking loss for USWNT fans] Japan is 2-0-1 against the US. The July 2011 game has given birth to a US/Japan rivalry, and a turning of the tables it seems. The US has had two opportunities to heal the wound and gain some retribution since, but have fallen short in attaining a decisive victory.

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