Tag Archives: Darrius Barnes

Soares, McCarthy what’s left of the snap-back crew and New England’s central defense

A.J. Soares will need to step up in Saturday's game against Sporting Kansas City with all the injuries in the New England Revolution defense. (Photo Courtesy New England Revolution/Revolutionsoccer.net)

 By Kevin Koczwara

A.J. Soares and Stephen McCarthy sat at their lockers with old-school snap-back hats straight out of the 90’s on their heads. It was media day for the New England Revolution, and the second year players sat next to each other in front of their lockers dressed and ready to go. I decided to approach them and talk about their second seasons in Major League Soccer and their second year with the Revolution.

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New England Revolution Make Important Moves Before MLS Draft

By Kevin Koczwara

The New England Revolution has been quiet for a large portion of the Major League Soccer offseason. The team has been doing more cutting than adding since the end to the dismal 2011 season. But ahead of this week’s MLS 2012 SuperDraft, the Revolution went out and made a surprise move. A move that should help the team in the upcoming draft.

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Revolution struggle to find consistent approach

An examination of the Revolution’s tactical struggles heading into Seattle for a game against a surging Sounders team.

By Kevin Koczwara

Steve Nicol has been trying to get the New England Revolution to play a 4-3-3 this season, which in turn is really a 4-5-1 with a pivoting midfield triangle. So far, the tactic hasn’t worked. In theory, the Revolution have the midfielders to play the three man central midfield, but it hasn’t worked because the outside players for the Revolution haven’t created any width or exposed opponent’s outside backs. The team has done its best to try the hoof and pray tactic out of the back, skipping the midfield triangle where its best players play. The long ball tactic kills any and all moment out of a 4-5-1 and Nicol’s desired 4-3-3, so something needed to change. Nicol knew it was time to give up on his experiment, so he switched to a more traditional 4-4-2 (really a 4-4-1-1).

In Saturday’s, 1-1, draw with the Chicago Fire, Nicol went with the tried and true 4-4-2 with Pat Phelan taking more defensive responsibility in the midfield, and winning plenty of tackles with little extra “umph”, giving Shalrie Joseph more freedom to roam and create. Kenny Mansally moved into the second striker role, playing in front of Rajko Lekic, making the formation more of a 4-4-1-1.

Early on, the formation proved effective. Mansally dropped deep to pick up any scraps, headed clearances, and to give the back a shorter outlet. His movement freed up both Chris Tierney and Sainey Nyassi on the wings. The two wide midfielder only one defender to take on after Mansally dragged his player underneath and out of position. Mansally’s movement took pressure of Lekic to hold play up and create as the sole striker, something that’s been difficult for the striker as he still adapts to the physical play of Major League Soccer. It was a nice change for the Revolution, and the team looked more confident and comfortable playing out of the back.

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New England Revolution SuperDraft 2011 recap and importance of Reserve League

The New England Revolution selected 22-year-old center back A.J. Soares with the sixth pick in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft. The former University of California player's playing style has been compared to that of former Revs center back Michael Parkhurt. (Courtesy Major League Soccer)

By Kevin Koczwara

BALTIMORE, Md. — The New England Revolution disappointed in the 2010. The club failed to reach the MLS Cup Playoffs for the first time in eight years and the Revs never really got going in league play. New England did reach the SuperLiga finals, but lost, 2-1, to Monarcas Morelia.

The Revolution had the fourth worst record in Major League Soccer last year, granting them the sixth pick in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft — expansion sides the Vancouver Whitecaps and Portland Timbers took the first two picks in the draft. New England was looking to fix it’s bottom ranked defense that allowed 50 goals last year, or the third worst offense in the league that mustered up a club low 32 goals scored.

A.J. Soares slipped perfectly into New England’s plan to reshape and revamp its defense this year after last year’s dismal season. Revs selected Soares with the sixth pick. The 22-year-old central defender fits nicely into a young defense that also boasts two-budding, solid defenders in Kevin Alston at the right back and Darrius Barnes as the rock in the center of the defense.

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Revs Report Card 2010: Lack of Finishing and Poor Defending, Not A Good Mix for New England

Steve Nicol was unable to coach the New England Revolution into the playoffs for the first time since 2001.  Courtesy Revolutionsoccer.net/Keith Nordstrom

By Ryan Fleming, Kevin Koczwara and Michael King

To say the season was a disappointment would be a severe understatement. At the beginning of the season the New England Revolution struggled early and often; unfortunately that abysmal pattern followed the Revs all season.

Missing the playoffs for the first time since 2001 will hurt no one more than the team’s longest tenured player, Shalrie Joseph.

“I guess when the regular season’s done, then it’ll fully hit me,” said Joseph talking about the shock of missing the playoffs.

Well, by now it’s surely hit the captain and the rest of his teammates. The season is over and the visions of a team that was riddled by injuries and a sudden absence of their captain (Joseph) aided their demise.

Forwards: D+

Certainly the most inconsistent position within the team. Scoring only 31 goals on the season, good for 13th out of 16 in the MLS, the Revs’ offense lacked any significant punch throughout the entire season.

The arrival of Marko Perovic a day before the Revs opened the season against LA, was one of the higher points for the club.

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Monarcas Crowned King of SuperLiga, Beat Revolution in Finals

Monarcas Morelia won its first trophy since the club won the Copa Pachuca in 2001. Courtesy Kevin Koczwara

By Kevin Koczwara

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — New England Revolution defender Kevin Alston scored his first professional goal against Mexican team Monarcas Morelia in the SuperLiga final, but his goal wasn’t enough to help the Revolution win the tournament for the second time in three years. Morelia won, 2-1, its first SuprLiga title with two goals from striker Miguel Sabah in the second half.

The Revolution’s loss to Monarcas is the first time the Revs have lost a game to a Mexican team in SuperLiga play (7-1-1). Monarcas’ win makes them the third Mexican team to win the SuperLiga championship in its four years of existence — the Revolution are the only MLS team to be crowned champions of the tournament, 2008.

Neither New England or Monarcas were able to break the deadlock and find the back of their opponents net in the first half. The Mexican side enjoyed much of the possession on the first half as the Revolution came out of the gates slow and Monarcas came close to capitalizing, twice.

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Revolution Underway

Courtesy Revolutionsoccer.net

By Ryan Fleming

To put it lightly, things haven’t been going the way of the New England Revolution. Near the depths of the Eastern Conference and accused by their coach, Steve Nichol, on playing with a lack of “professionalism”, the Revs seemed to be headed nowhere – the postseason becoming a dream rather than a reality.

After getting shellacked by Real Salt Lake, 5-0, last weekend, the Revs seemed to be heading for a similar fate last night against the league’s best team, LA Galaxy.

Something odd happened, though. The Revs got breaks and unfortunately for Edson Buddle, Landon Donovan and the rest of the Galaxy, they made them count.

In perhaps one of the biggest upsets of the season, the Revs beat LA 2-0 and in turn restored faith in their playoff aspirations.

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Revs Look to Win Second in A Row in Seattle

By Kevin Koczwara

The New England Revolution ended a long and dreary May on a high note with a win over the New York Red Bulls last weekend. The win ended the Revolution’s seven game winless streak in the MLS, and gave the team its first win in May. Tonight the Revs look to win back-to-back games for the first time this year tonight in Seattle

New England should be confident going into Seattle. The Sounders are coming off a loss to the Colorado Rapids and the Sounders have not been playing up to their potential and meeting expectations thus far this season.

Fredy Montero has had an underwhelming season — scoring 3 goals in 11 matches so far. Freddie Ljuneberg is having a a sophomore slump as well this year in the MLS.

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Revs Shorthand Against Red Bulls in Open Cup

Courtesy Revolutionsoccer.net

By Kevin Koczwara

The New England Revolution face the New York Red Bulls tomorrow in a U.S. Open Cup play-in game at 8 p.m. at Red Bull Arena. The Revolution and the Red Bulls are both recovering from tough weekend defeats — the Red Bulls lost, 4-0, to the San Jose Earthquakes and the Revs lost, 3-2, to the Columbus Crew on a heartbreaking stoppage time goal — and looking to rebound in the mid-week.

The Revolution will be shorthanded when they make the trip to New York tomorrow. They will bring 14 players with them including two goalies – that makes only 12 field players and only three substitutes on the bench including a back-up goalkeeper. New England has been forced to fight off injuries all season, but at this tough stretch of games, which includes five more games in May, the Revolution are really starting to fight a war of attrition.

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Revolution's Injuries Taking a Toll

Courtesy Revolutionsoccer.net

By Ryan Fleming

The New England Revolution started the season traveling with less than the allotted 18-man roster. Injuries to players Darrius Barnes, Shalrie Joseph and Edgaras Jankauskas troubled the team, but after Saturday night’s 1-1 tie to FC Dallas, “shorthanded” has a whole different meaning.

Saturday night’s referee, Jeff Gontarek, handed out 12 cards, seven of which went to the Revs. Kheli Dube and Joseph Niouky were shown red, both in the second half, which turned entertaining quickly.

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