Tag Archives: Osvaldo Alonso

MLS MVP Candidates

By Kevin Koczwara

The MLS Season is coming to a close, which means it’s time to start sorting out annual end of the year awards. The biggest award, and often most misunderstood award, is the Most Valuable Player Award. The award tends to go to goalscorers with gaudy stats rather than player who may be more integral to his team’s success. Well, this year, two of my three picks are holding midfielders because Major League Soccer hasn’t had a real stand-out forward all year.

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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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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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