Tag Archives: Pat Phelan

Revs producing early question marks

By Ryan Fleming

 

The New England Revolution continue to flip and flop their roster with moves that many could see coming. There are those, still, that have many losing their hair, following up with the obligatory “here we go again” motto.

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Feilhaber Making Strides, shows his potential against Manchester United

By Kevin Koczwara

The scoreline in the New England Revolution’s friendly against Manchester United on Wednesday night is misleading, a 4-1 win for United. The Revolution hung in and played some quality soccer against the reigning English Premier League champions, even if in the end the team was undone by United’s dynamic attack.

For the most part, the positives for the Revolution came in the first half — the Revs held United scoreless through the first 45 minutes — when Benny Feilhaber, Shalire Joseph and Pat Phelan were marauding in the center midfield. The three players finally looked comfortable with one another, and Feilhaber finally looked like the kind of player the Revolution were hoping they were signing back in April.

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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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Revolution and Fire play out to draw

Despite plenty of chances, neither the New England Revolution or the Chicago Fire can find a way to score the winning goal.

By Kevin Koczwara

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Neither the New England Revolution or the Chicago Fire could find the back of the net more than once despite both sides having numerous scoring chances and opportunities to get an important win and three points. Dominic Oduro opened the scoring the 32nd minute for the Fire (2-4-9, 15pts) and New England (3-7-6, 15 pts) responded in the 48th minute through Rajko Lekic.

Chicago and New England occupy spots in the bottom half of the Eastern Conference standings and they both proved why at Gillette Stadium last night. Neither team could secure a real hold on the game. Both sides enjoyed a plethora of chances that should have resulted in goals, but neither was able to convert.

In the 16th minute Chicago had a great chance as Cristian Nazarit made a clever move to fool Revolution defender Franco Coria and to get himself some space just inside the box. Nazarit had Revs goalkeeper Matt Reis fooled on his shot, but the spin on his out-swinger carried the ball into to the corner of the goal, banging off intersection of the post and crossbar.

New England responded quickly with its own chance, though. The Revolution had a proper build-up and showed a flash of what the team is capable of in the 21st minute when Sainey Nyassi hit a solid cross toward Lekic at the back post. The Revs striker did well to take the ball down and hit a solid effort on a half-volley, but Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson was well positioned and punched the ball clear. Both Pat Phelan and Nyassi followed up Lekic’s half-chance as Chicago struggled to clear the ball and gain possession.

Lekic would hit another half-volley attempt in the 28th minute, this time from a little deeper out and courtesy of a long ball from Darrius Barnes headed down by a streaking Kevin Alston. Lekic’s chance forced Johnson into a diving save and almost found the bottom corner of the Fire net. But it wasn’ meant to be.

Despite having the majority of the ball and the chances, the Revolution came away empty handed in the first half. Chicago, on the other hand,  made the best of its chances in the first half. In the 32nd minute Oduro opened the scoring after the Fire cleared a Revolution corner to Patrick Nyako in the midfield. Nyarko sprung Oduro with a diagonal ball into his feet. Oduro had one man to beat, Revs defender Darrius Barnes. He took on the converted left back with his pace and turned him inside out and then slotted the shot home pass a charging Reis.

“I think it was a breakaway from Patrick’s (Nyarko) end. Again, we’ve been working on this transition,” said Oduro. “He saw me make a run, through ball, took the guy on the run, I saw an opening and I just put the ball right there.”

The Revolution would get one more shot at net before the half time whistle though. Nyassi flicked a cross with the outside of his right foot into the box and found the head of a streaking Kenny Mansally in the 38th minute. It looked like a clear goal opportunity with Mansally six-yards out from goal, but he was unable to convert to free header, missing high.

“To be honest, it feels like a loss. We come in at half time one down when we should be three up; we’ve been great defensively this year, tonight we defended terribly,” said Revolution manager Steve Nicol after the game. “But saying that, going forward we created chances. We could have had three in the first half.”

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The Benny Feilhaber Impact on the Revolution

By Kevin Koczwara

Chivas USA and the Philadelphia Union both passed on signing U.S. Men’s National Team Midfielder Benny Feilhaber in the Allocation Draft because of his league maximum salary of $425,000. The salary cap implications of signing the midfielder were too great for the two teams with the top picks in the draft lottery, so the Brazilian-born American fell to the New England Revolution with the third pick in the draft. The Revs didn’t pass on the chance to see the 26-year-old fall from their grasp; the team drafted him and his league max salary, bolstering its midfield and allowing the team to even shop the player around if it wants.

Feilhaber signed with the MLS from Aarhus GF in Denmark’s Superliga. The MLS paid for his transfer fee from the Danish club. Feilhaber’s contract was due to expire in June of this year. He scored four goals in 18 matches this season for Aarhus GF.

Here are some quick thoughts on the signing of Feilhaber:

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Rookie McCarthy Needs to Lead Revolution's Midfield In Houston

Stephen McCarthy heads the ball

Stephen McCarthy will have to step up his game on Sunday when the New England Revolution play the Houston Dynamo. (Courtesy Revolutionsoccer.net/David Silverman)

By Kevin Koczwara

The New England Revolution lost its first game of the season last Saturday to Real Salt Lake — arguably the best team in Major League Soccer. In the, 2-0, loss, the Revs lost more than the game.

The team’s captain, Shalrie Joseph, and one of his center midfield partners, Pat Phelan, were both dismissed from the game with second half red cards, leaving Stephen McCarthy as the only healthy and eligible center midfielder for this weekend’s game in Houston against the Dynamo (1-1-2, 5 pts.) — Phelan and Joseph must serve a mandatory one-game suspension.

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Revolution hold on to beat D.C. United in home opener

By Ryan Fleming

FOXBOROUGH — It’s been said, but a year can make the difference. For the New England Revolution, a year means another chance at putting a frustrating, lackluster season behind, and improving to 1-0-1 on the year, isn’t a bad way to start.

The Revs (1-0-1, 4 pts.) defeated DC United, 2-1, in their home opener, in front of nearly 13,000 supporters, showing their supporters that perhaps this year will be a bit different.

“It’s huge,” midfielder Pat Phelan said when describing the importance of the win. “There are so many doubts coming into the season off of our results from last year. Would we have enough quality to get the points?

“And it’s still really early in the season and we shouldn’t be holding our heads too, too high, but we are flying high and we’re excited now. We’re looking forward to next week.”

Similar to last week’s game in LA, New England didn’t wasteany time in making its mark on the score sheet. In the eighth minute the dependable Shalrie Joseph launched a 40-yard ball ahead to Zach Schilawski, the lone Revolution forward, who continued to pester DC throughout. Charging in the box, the ball seemed to bounce up, clearly hitting his hand, then after returning to the ground, the forward volleyed the ball past United’s keeper Pat Onstad while no whistle was given.

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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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What the Revs Could Do Right in the Offseason

Marko Perovic was a standout signing for the New England Revolution last year. Revs fans named him MVP for a disappointing 2010 season. (Courtesy Keith Nordstrom/Revolutionsoccer.net)

 By Ryan Fleming

The MLS season has been over for about a month now. League Champions, the Colorado Rapids, are surely still celebrating somewhere in Colorado, even though most of the Midwest is lost, packed beneath feet of snow.

Here, in Massachusetts, the snow hasn’t quite reached us, but for the New England Revolution, the snow could have came months ago and it wouldn’t have mattered.

The Revs flopped this season, aided by some bad luck and were, for all intents and purposes, out of the playoffs a couple months before the playoff seeds were slated.

Amongst the Revolution supporters, there were cries for a designated player that were unheard all season. There were rumors thrown about about a possible link to a player or two, but this is soccer, rumors manifest and live here.

Longtime fans are looking for Mike Burns, Revolution Vice President, Player Personnel and manager Steve Nicol to make their dreams a reality. Continue reading

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Revs Make Mistake Not Securing Phelan

The New England Revolution could lose a key member of its team if the Portland Timbers or Vancouver Whitecaps take Pat Phelan in Wednesday's MLS Expansion Draft. Courtesy Keith Nordstrom/Revolutionsoccer.net

By Ryan Fleming

The New England Revolution, along with the rest of the MLS, came out with its protected list of players for Wednesday’s Expansion Draft. The Vancouver Whitecaps and the Portland Timbers will go through the pool of players in a 10 round selection process.

Interestingly enough, the Revs took a different approach at this year’s protected list. Both Bobby Shuttleworth and long-time goalkeeper Matt Reis were both on the Revs’ exclusive list – the only team in the MLS to have two keepers on it.

Also on the list was Shalrie Joseph, Kevin Alston and team MVP Marko Perovic. You can see both lists here.

The Revolution’s move is alarming and quite silly because the team is leaving quality players off of the protected list who are apt to be selected to either of the two expansion sides.

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