Monday, June 28, 2010

Brian Bilello Speaks!

First off, the Revs had a solid crowd on hand of 12,000 plus on Sunday night. Lets see if we can break the 13,500 barrier at the next game. Actually, it's against LA so we should do better than that. Lets aim for 15,000. I'd be pretty happy with that. There was some guy near us who hates Pat Phelan. I will admit, I'm not a huge Phelan fan, but I don't hate the guy either. In my opinion, he's a solid player to have on the bench. He is versatile and can start when needed. Anyways, this guy hating on Phelan was pretty entertaining.

Now, in regards to Bilello. You can find his responses here. So it looks like the Revs are going to look at Sommerville again as well as three other possible sites in the Boston area. Lets hope something comes out of this. The most important thing for a new stadium to be successful in the Boston area is for the stadium to be easily accessible from the T, similar to the Garden and Fenway. I'd also like to see a playing field that is the same dimensions as those found in Europe. I wish he had given a time frame but that might be too difficult at this point.

It would've been cool to see Super Liga in Boston. I wonder what they looked at. Harvard Stadium, BU, BC?

I've heard a lot of people complain about the crest. I actually like the crest. I guess it depends what the new crest would like. I agree 100% that a new crest should go with a new stadium in Boston. That way the team can completely rebrand itself.

I don't know about that attendance answer. At the end of the day the attendance this year has been terrible. It doesn't matter how you slice it. It's just plain awful. It's like a CEO coming out and saying "We only lost $300 million this year, much better than the $350 million we lost last year".

I can't believe he didn't mention the creation of this blog. It's the first thing he should've mentioned when talking about media coverage. Is he living under a rock? Maybe he just hates us. I don't know.

I'm just kidding by the way, just wanted to make that clear. I kid a lot and many times people can't tell. But really though, I wonder if he's ever read this thing.

I've been meaning to write a post about the media coverage this year. It's been much better than last year. now has a Revolution flag (this is actually important as it acknowledges that the Revolution do indeed exist) on it's main sports page, ESPNBoston has a blog dedicated to the Revs. Comcast Sports actually shows highlights, and we can listen to games on the FM radio. It's been a good year. Certainly a lot more room for growth but a good start. Now you just need to keep the momentum going, so go build that stadium in Boston.

I just noticed he made no mention of the DP. He's probably leaving that one for Mike Burns.


Thursday, June 24, 2010

Twellman Out for the Season

So Taylor Twellman is out for the season as reported on the Revs site. Bad news indeed. Not only is he our best attacking player, but he also takes up a big part of the salary cap.

His injury must be career threatening. I'm not an expert on concussions and don't know exactly what his injury is but lets look at it this way. Patrice Bergeron of the Bruins suffered a severe concussion which some said could be career threatening. It was awful. He went weeks in which he couldn't do anything. He was dizzy and had trouble walking. He was out for less than a year. He's now back and is playing in the NHL. Twellman has been out considerably longer which makes me wonder if he'll ever be back. The season ends in October. It's June and the team is saying he's done for the year. This is very worrisome. I hope he makes a full recovery and is able to return at some point, but I have to admit that it doesn't look very good at the moment.


Monday, June 21, 2010

Getting some answers from the Revs? Get a beet from Chris Tierney! Portugal shows up

Brian Bilello and Mike Burns will be answering questions by us fans either late this week or early next week. An exact date hasn't been announced. I like that they're doing this as it's a chance for us to ask questions about issues that matter to us like a soccer specific stadium, a DP, and whatever else is on our minds. Hopefully it's a success. Lets see what they have to say, but I think there's a good chance we'll be disappointed with a lot of it. I guess I have negative outlook but maybe it will change.

On Wed. June 23 from 5-8pm you can head over to McGreevy's over on Boylston Street in Boston where Chris Tierney will be bartending. I'm not sure if that's a good fit for him although if he were to become a full time bartender I'm sure it would be very interesting. Boston's a small city. Word spreads fast my friend. That's all I'm going to say.

Portugal showed up today. That was cool. Hopefully they can tie or beat Brazil and move on. I'm not convinced they have qualified. This is Portugal we're talking about here. If anybody can fuck this up it's them. I guess I just have a negative outlook but maybe it will change.

France is an embarrassment. Anelka was sent home, what a shocker. He's not exactly the greatest person in the world. Although, over the weekend John Terry reassured the world that Anelka is indeed of the highest character and a stand up guy. Perhaps I'd take those statements a bit more seriously if they were made by Lampard or Wayne Bridge.

Not that Domenche is a stand up guy. He sucks too. We can also put Henry in there. I don't get why people suddenly think he's such a terrible person because he played the ball with his hand. I've been saying he's a terrible person for years but nobody believed me.

Wow, this post became really negative about people really quickly. I guess I have a negative outlook.


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Twellman on CSN, again

I posted a few days ago that Taylor Twellman would be doing some World Cup coverage on CSN's Comcast Central show, a half-hour long Boston sports news show. I've seen a few clips on the show's website, but I actually watched the show for the first time tonight.

Firstly, Twellman's segment lasted about two minutes. There was basically no time for him to say anything insightful. For the time he had, he spoke well, but it was almost a waste of time for being so short. Also, it was stuck in at the very end of the show. The show went from 10:30-11pm, and Twellman's segment went from 10:36-10:38. In the first fifteen minutes they covered the Red Sox, Seabass-- I mean Cam Neely-- and the Bruins, the Celtics, and the Patriots. Then they took a commercial break, and said something like, "Coming up, we'll show you the first major upset of the World Cup. Guess which favorite they beat!" But when they came back from the break they went over two of the same exact news stories they had opened with: Cam Neely becoming President of the Bruins, and Perkins's knee injury in the NBA Finals. They took a second commercial break before coming back with brief WC highlights and Twellman's two and a half sentences of commentary.

It's cool that Twellman has something to do while he waits for clearance to return to training with the Revolution, but the CSN show doesn't quite do it for me.

I'd actually like to hear more of Twellman's take instead of an hour of Andy Gray's over on FSC, which I'm watching right now on a show called "Ticket to South Africa." It's a decent review show, but there are four panelists and they totally lean on Andy Gray. It might as well be called "Hear What Andy Gray Thinks of Today's World Cup Games While These Three Other Guys Take Turns Asking Him Questions." For those of you who don't know, Andy Gray is ridiculously pro-everything English. However, he's a big name and a big personality, with a well-known voice, and FSC is getting everything it can out of him while they have him, originally getting him for Champions League games this season.


Monday, June 14, 2010

Cruzeiro and Salaries

Although the Revolution lost 3-0 last night it was still a fun game to watch. The Revs played well at times and deserved to score a goal. Mansally's effort didn't appear to go in from where I was standing and after watching the replays at the stadium it still didn't appear to enter. I enjoyed watching Roger. He no longer has the pace he once had but he can still pass the ball with accuracy and find the open man. What could've been a very good players never was. I was very impressed with Cruzeiro. They played very well as a team. Good passing. I know this will sound stereotypical but often times Brazilian teams are full of players with no desire to pass the ball. All they want to do is dribble. I know that's not the case normally but often times in these international friendlies that's what we see. It was a fun game to go to.

Ralston enters and gets hurt. I guess it's just been that type of season.

The Benfica game had around 12,000 fans, almost all of which where Portuguese. I haven't found a number for last night but I'd say last night was also around 12,000, most of whom were Brazilians. That's 24,000 people who normally don't go see the Revs. How do the Revs convince these people to come see them? I think a lot of it comes down to the style of play. Lets face it, the Revs often resort to kick and run soccer. At times they put together good passing but they're unable to do it for an entire game. A designated player would help. As I've said before, it doesn't take 3 years to find one. The Revs need to market to soccer fans and not families. They have shifted their marketing approach the past two seasons but it's going to take a lot of time to erase the memories of "Rev it up!! The New England Revolution!!!!!" Yeah, I was in 5th grade and thought that was pretty stupid. I tried finding the commercial on youtube but couldn't. Seriously, if you were 20 something and saw that commercial you would pretty much be convinced that you should avoid a Revs game at all costs.

These international friendlies are a bit tricky for the Revs. As a fan, I don't really care if the Revs win or not. I just want an entertaining game and if the Revs win it's a bonus. The game doesn't count for anything, hence me not caring about a win. I just want to see a well played game. These friendlies are a good opportunity for Nicol to shake up the team a bit. Maybe try a new formation or shift some players to a different position. Or even have a trialist or two like they did during the Benfica game. However, you also have a lot of soccer fans coming to the game who normally don't watch the Revs. You want to have a good game in hopes of convincing some of these fans that MLS and the Revs are legit and that they should come back for some MLS matches. To do that you can't shake up the team and play trialists. So it's difficult for Nicol to balance that. You don't want an embarrassment like they had with Benfica but you also want to use the game to try something new in hopes of improving the team for the MLS season. It's a tough position to be in.

You can head over to MLS Daily to check out the salary numbers for the 2010 season that were just released. MLS Daily does a great job of tracking attendance figures for each team and the league as a whole throughout the season. I'm a bit surprised by Perovic's salary, it's $190,000. He was signed about a week before the season started. So the Revs had quite a bit of cap room at the start of the season (I can't believe $190,000 is considered quite a bit of cap room). I like how the lowest salaried players now make $40,000 a year. It's a livable wage especially when compared to prior seasons. Take a look, it's always interesting to see how much players in MLS make. Speaking of which, I hate how the league does not disclose transfer fees such as the recent Kljestan transfer.


Sunday, June 13, 2010

USA 1-1 England

A few notes on the US's 1-1 draw with England. It was an okay performance by the US. It was a normal performance by England. I expected the US to win going into it. England has bigger names than the US does, yes, and they qualified more easily than the US did. However, my account of both teams comes from experience watching both teams pretty regularly throughout qualification. By that perspective, the actual performance of England measured up to how the the team has performed in recent history. By the same perspective, the US's performance was not quite where it has been over the past year, but still respectable.

I'd like to see Buddle or Gomez start in the remaining two group matches. Findley was alright, but he doesn't have the nose for goal that Buddle or Gomez has. I also want Clark out of there. Having watched Slovenia-Algeria this morning (and once or twice in qualification), I don't think either team needs any more help running up its tally of incomplete passes. Bradley will be enough disruption for both teams. I wouldn't mind seeing a start from Torres, Edu, Feilhaber, or Holden.

The tournament so far has been very even, and very low-scoring. The games haven't been totally defensive; the teams just haven't been good, overall. Greece is just awful. South Korea should be cautious in its celebrations, because I expect Nigeria and Argentina to beat Greece too, and the scorelines might be even more crooked than 2-0.

I haven't seen Twellman on that CSN show yet; I turned on the 10:30 edition last night to see his commentary on the US-England game, but the first 15 minutes of the show were about the Celtics and Red Sox so I turned it off. Nothing against the Celtics or Red Sox, but I wasn't particularly interested in those subjects at the time.

Revolution-Cruzeiro tonight.


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Twellman joins CSN's WC Coverage

It was announced yesterday on the Revs website that Taylor Twellman will join CSN's World Cup coverage team. The show will run three times per night on gamedays, first at 6pm, then at 10:30 pm and 1 am. It sounds like it will just be a segment within CSN's regular sports roundup show. You can find some clips of Twellman on the show's website.

I'll definitely give it a try. Apparently the coverage started yesterday; I don't know if that means Twellman himself was there yesterday, but I didn't watch it at any rate. I give ESPN credit for covering the tournament, but my guess is that I'll like seeing what Twellman has to say. He sounds pretty good in those clips, and sounds pretty well-spoken and knowledgeable in general. Anyway, we'll see how the segment progresses. At the very least, it's an alternate in case people get tired of Alexi Lalas.


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Return of Steve Ralston

Yesterday the Revolution re-signed Steve Ralston. According to Ralston himself in the video on, the owners of AC St. Louis, the second division team with which he had signed last offseason, has been having financial problems. Apparently he was making too much money, given said problems.

This is good for the Revolution, for two reasons. First of all, we've been seeing some good performances from young players here and there this season, but the team just hasn't been good. Hopefully Ralston's leadership will help the players become a better team collectively, as well as consistently. Secondly, they just plain need help in midfield. Joseph has been the only consistent(ly good) midfield performer-- when he's been on the field at least. In some games we've seen some promise from a young midfielder or two (Tierney and Boggs come to mind), but in other games the team has almost no midfield presence at all, especially without Joseph. You know what you're going to get with Ralston, the MLS all-time leader in games, minutes, and assists.

Anyway, the team has to improve as soon as possible. Getting Ralston back is a good start.


Saturday, June 5, 2010

Joseph's Leave

When Shalrie Joseph originally left the Revolution we were told that Joseph had voluntarily asked to take a leave of absence so that he could enter the league's substance abuse program. So naturally many of us were concerned for his well being. I didn't want to speculate about it but I assumed that he had a substance problem that was effecting his life and that he had realized he had to do something about it. Upon Joseph's return we learned that he had actually been suspended for 5 games. We then learned straight from Joseph that the reason for the suspension was that he smoked marijuana. I was quite angry to hear about this. I understand that MLS players aren't allowed to smoke marijuana and that if they are caught they will be suspended. That's fine, I have absolutely no problem with that. However, I do have a problem with the way that the league and the team handled the situation. As a fan when I heard that Joseph had voluntarily asked for a leave of absence to deal with a personal matter I was concerned with his well being and hoped he could overcome his problem. Well there's a pretty big difference between asking for a leave and a 5 game suspension. If we had known from the start that Joseph had been suspended for 5 games because he smoked some pot then we'd know that he was suspended for doing something stupid, not because he had a serious substance abuse problem. The Revolution really dropped the ball on this one.


Friday, June 4, 2010

ESPN's World Cup promotion

This doesn't have to do with MLS directly, but ESPN seems to be making a serious investment in soccer as a sport. They had UEFA Champions League coverage for a number of years until this one, at which point they were outbid by Fox Soccer, but instead invested in the EPL and Spanish La Liga. This season there were usually two or three games available on either ESPN, ESPN2, or ESPN360/ESPN3 between the two leagues, plus a number of Carling Cup games.

Now, we're seeing a pretty huge amount of World Cup promotion. For existing soccer fans like myself, it's good and bad. The bad part is that the way it's fed to us can be annoying. ESPN has these 30-second commercials that they play pretty routinely where the guy from Gladiator briefs us in very general terms on a nation's team. Sometimes instead of that guy, it's John Harkes or Robbie Mustoe in a studio setting. They're unabashedly aimed at mainstream American sports fans who know nothing about soccer. For instance, they had one on Spain where the guy said things like, "Spain have traditionally underachieved, but they won Euro 2008. Xavi Hernandez is their midfield playmaker." It's Soccer For Dummies.

When I try to look at them objectively however, I think they're very important, in a good way. They reach out to prospective new soccer fans, some of whom will hopefully stick with the sport beyond this summer, and maybe even become MLS supporters in the future. You've got to start somewhere.

Also, there are a relatively huge number of soccer headlines on's main page. That's obviously good. And I'm not sure about this next one, but the "Soccer" link on the main page that usually brings you to the Soccernet home page now brings you to the World Cup home page. You need to click on the "Soccernet" link from there to get to its homepage. Maybe ESPN expects a spike in the number of people clicking on the "Soccer" link due to the WC, most of whom only want to know about the WC. Whatever, they know more about their traffic than I do.

Bill Simmons has also been a sort of crusader for the cause, and he's had two really good soccer-centric podcasts in the past week. He had one with Alexi Lalas a few months to a year ago too, and I'm sure he's talked soccer on more occasions than that. They're pretty good podcasts, even for diehards, and especially for soccer-and-basketball fans.

So ESPN's been pretty good to the WC. We'll see how the actual game coverage is during the tournament. It'll be interesting to hear Martin Tyler's reaction when the US beats England; he's calling that game.