Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Revs Stadium Review

I was contacted by someone from StadiumJourney.com about posting a link to their site. I had never heard of the site but from what I've seen, they write reviews about all sorts of different stadiums and arenas. They even cover the AHL!!! How can you not love a site that covers AHL arenas? There's actually a reason behind that statement and maybe one day I'll expand this site a bit to include that.

Anyhow, the article covers the game day experience of someone who does not sit in the fort, and I don't think this person usually goes to games. I don't agree with everything in the article, infact I disagree quite a bit on a rating or two, but it was interesting to see how a non supporter feels about the game day experience.

Here it is.


Monday, August 27, 2012

Toja picked up by Revs

Juan Carlos Toja has come back to MLS and was picked up today by the Revs. You may remember him from his time with Dallas, where he did quite well. So well infact that he earned a move over to Romania where he played for two seasons before going over to Greece. He had a solid run over in Europe and he is already familiar with MLS, which is why I am a bit concerned. Back when the MLS Rumors site (which reported on stories from reputable sources) was around last year there were a few reports out of Greece and Columbia that stated MLS clubs were interested in Toja. In these articles Toja stated that he did not want to return to MLS where "they would break my legs", with one article even claiming that he took a 50% paycut last year to stay with his Greek club. Unfortunately I cannot find these articles as the site has been down for quite some time, so you'll have to take my word on this.

So this is a bit concerning, a year ago he wanted nothing to do with MLS and now he's back, probably for some big money. If he's here for the money and his heart isn't in it, then this could be a very bad expensive singing. We don't need any more players here who don't want to be here.

On the other hand, if he does want to be here then we have a player who is 27 who should be in his prime. He has good vision, can attack and can even do a little defending in the midfield. He could be a great compliment to Simms, which would allow Feilhaber to either play up top behind a forward or play on the wing. I'd like to see the Revs maybe try a 4-4-1-1 with Feilhaber playing behind a forward. Perfect time to try it.

So, if the Revs did their job, interviewed Toja and learned that he really wants to be here then this is a very good signing.

If the Revs didn't do their homework, which they have been guilty of in the past, then this could be another disaster.


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Andrew Sousa Signs with Operario

Former Rev Andrew Sousa has signed on with Portuguese third division side Operario. You can check out the team page at zerozero.pt. Sousa never got a chance with the first team here which is a shame. A talented offensive player who was from the area (he's from Fall River, MA) who grew up watching the Revs, and from what I hear some other team that I prefer not talk about. For whatever reason he never got a chance last year, which is a bit of a mystery as we had a pretty big problem scoring goals.

He spent this past summer playing for the Boston Victory in the PDL. Operario is probably a pretty good place for him. They are located in the town of Lagoa, just outside the main city of Ponta Delgada on the island of Sao Miguel. He's from Fall River, so there is a good chance his family is from Sao Miguel. Operario is a small club, even by third division standards, but has done very well the past few years consistently finishing in the top half of the table. The team is playing in the Central zone (the third division is split up into three zones.) and Operario should have a solid squad. This might be a bit too optimistic but I expect them to be in the hunt for promotion to the second division. Hopefully he can use this opportunity to move up to the second or first division, a move like that is not uncommon. Sao Miguel has a team that is a regular in the second division, Santa Clara, which has signed many players from Operario in the past.

Operario begins the season this weekend when they play in the first round of the Taca de Portugal at home against Vila Real and they begin the regular season on September 2 away at Tocha.


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The year so far

At some point this morning I decided that I needed to write something about the current Revs season, then about 5 minutes later I found out that Joseph was traded to Chivas USA in order to clear cap space. Instead of writing about the trade, I'm going to focus on the original intent of the post.

Points wise the Revs aren't much better than last year, however the Revs play soccer this year which is a big plus. The Revs try to attack and are watchable, something that can't be said about their last two seasons. I am a fan of Jay Heaps. I think he's brought the right mentality to the team. They play to win. Last year the Revs tried to tie every game, not attack, and hope that the other team didn't score and that they could get a lucky bounce, score and win the game.

The fact that the last two seasons were complete failures makes this season look like a complete success, but it hasn't been. The team still has some holes and it's going to be pretty tough to make the  playoffs, which sadly I don't see them making. As I've said before I am a fan of Heaps but there are a few things that I'd change.

Lets start with Rowe, who was a high draft pick. He has shown a few flashes of what he can do but for the majority of the season he has been invisible. There have been many games where I didn't know he was playing. I'd see or hear his name when the starting line ups were announced and then I'd hear it again when he was subbed off and be like "Rowe was playing? WTF? Where was he?" He's a rookie, going from college to the Pros is a huge step up and he needs time to adjust. I just think we have better options at the moment if we wanted to make a run at the playoffs.

Left back is still an issue. We need a true left back. I thought Polak was going to be some serious competition for the job, we even saw him get some minutes in San Jose. If those Bocanegra rumors are true I'd love to see him at left back for the Revs or even center back. However, I am glad that Barnes has for the most part not started at left back. Like I have said many times before, he is a good player but he's not a left back. I'd love to see him get some more minutes at center back.

We still don't have a stadium and have not heard anything. Wasn't there some guy on Fox 25 talking about a 18-24 month time table for an announcement? I'm pretty sure we've hit that mark and no news. Is anyone really surprised by that? Is anyone actually surprised by the embarrassing attendance this year? Yeah, Heaps has nothing to do with this but it's still an issue that is really keeping this franchise from succeeding. Yes, that's right, the Revolution are a Franchise in case you didn't know.

This post is probably coming off as negative and I don't mean it to be. I've actually had a pretty good time watching the games this year, which can't be said about the last two seasons. I think Heaps is doing a good job. Yes, I disagree with some things he does but that's how it usually goes. I'm sure he would do same if we reversed roles. I just hope the team continues to improve and get some more pieces in place during the offseason so that we can make a run at it next year. Or who knows, maybe we get hot and win the rest of our games, make the playoffs and win MLS Cup this year. McWorld!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hey it could happen.

I'm rooting for a Maritimo win tomorrow!


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Pedro Mendes to MLS?

I ran across this article today which hinted that Pedro Mendes might be in discussions to join an MLS side. Mendes is 33 and struggled with some injuries this past season with Guimaraes. He could certainly help a number of MLS teams, a player who can control the midfield and attack. Lets just assume the Revs were interested in him (the article states there are a number of teams in MLS who might be interested but does not name any). Would he be a good signing? It depends on the price as Simms has proved he is a starter and you have Joseph to partner with him. If Mendes were to join you'd have to bench one of them which would be very difficult to justify. You'd probably have an expensive back up and would probably be better off spending money elsewhere. You have also have McCarthy who can fill in if Simms were to get injured. I'd love to see Mendes come over but at this time I'm not sure he would be the best option for the Revs.

I do recall that during the offseason Montreal was in Portugal scouting for players. Perhaps they are one of the teams that are interested. I hope he makes the switch over to MLS.


Sunday, May 13, 2012

A Post!!!

It's been a while since I've been able to post something. Unfortunately I've been quite bust with my professional life. I thought that April and onwards would leave me with some more time to work on this thing, but that hasn't been the case and won't be the case until late June/early July. There have been a lot of things that have happened since I last posted, and for a change a lot of it has been pretty good. Instead of recapping everything I haven't touched on the last few months I'm just going to write some random thoughts about what's been going on.

- Jay Heaps is doing a pretty good job. I'd like to see him in charge for 3 years. You need to give a coach time to build his team. So far he's proven that under him the Revs are going to play to win and they're going to play soccer, as opposed to kicking the ball downfield, running after it and hoping that things work out. I watched the first game of the year against San Jose with my dad and he goes "hey, they're trying to play soccer" and he said it quite confused. You can't blame him for that, after watching them the last two seasons. So yeah, I'm a fan of Jay Heaps. Lets give him some time and I think he can build a very good team.

-Mansally was cut, which wasn't totally unexpected given the Revs level of depth at the wing. I have never been a fan of his and will be a bit surprised if someone picks him up here in MLS.

-I'm pretty sure I said Toronto was going to have a good team this year. They were 0-8 last time I checked, which is not good. Not sure what's going on over there, I haven't seen them play yet this year.

-Attendance with the Revs is still a big issue. Just over 12,000 on Saturday against the Whitecaps, which was a beautiful day, perfect for a soccer game.

- I've seen a few games on ESPN in which Twellman has been a part of the broadcast. From what I've seen he's pretty good. I had seen him do some games before and was not a fan at all. But from what I've seen this year it's been pretty good.

-NBC has done a good job with their coverage although I can't really stand Martino on the broadcast and often contemplate muting the tv. I still can't believe they cancelled Fox Football Fone-in in order to give him a show, which turned out to be one of the worst shows in television history.

Don't expect too many posts over the next few weeks. I'm not even going to bother proof reading this so if there are some errors, I don't really care.

Lets Go!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Jeff Causey's back

The Revs have a new color analyst, former Revs goalie Jeff Causey who will join Brad Fedlman in the broadcast booth. It's an interesting choice to replace Heaps with. It never crossed my mind, then again I didn't really think about it a whole lot. Once again, we'll have to wait and see on this one. I've never heard him talk about the game, although I do know someone who has met him a few times who had nothing but good things to say about him as a person. That's certainly a good start.

Feldman, we could use someone else up there. There were a few events this year and a few comments made by him that really rubbed me the wrong way. I know I'm not alone on that.

The Revs drafted a left back, that is a very good thing.


Monday, January 9, 2012

Two Signings

The Revolution announced the signing of two Columbian players today, 27 year old defender John Lozano and 23 year old attacking midfielder/forward Fernando Cardenas. Both players come from America de Cali, which is historically one of Columbia's better clubs although they've hit a rough patch the last few years and were recently relegated to the second division. It's not yet known how much they'll be hitting the cap for and if the Revs own the contracts or if they are on loan.

Lets start with Lozano, the center back. He'll be fighting for a place with Barnes most likely as it appears that Soares should have his spot secure in the back. I really don't want to see Barnes at left back. He doesn't have the speed to play it. He's a center back. Please play him at his natural position where he's good. I would love to see Barnes and Soares get the chance to play together in the middle on a consistent basis. If Lozano outplays Barnes and earns a starting spot then we've got a very capable back up in Barnes in case one of the starters gets hurt. One thing that has me a little worried about Lozano is the fact he only played in 7 games during the last season, which is an 18 game season. He played in 7 straight weeks which means one of two things likely happened. He got hurt and lost his place or his play lead him to the bench. That's just speculation of course since I've never seen him play. So we're going to have to wait until the season gets underway to judge him. It also might take some time for him and Cardenas to adapt since MLS is a completely new league for them.

Now onto Cardenas who's profile at zerozero.pt does not list a team for him in the 2011 Apertura as it does for Lozano. Check it out here. According to the site the team he last played for was Tolima. Zerozero tends to be a very accurate site when it comes to rosters and player statistics, so the fact that he isn't listed on a roster for 2011 is a bit strange. Again, he's a player I don't know anything about so we're going to have to wait and see how he adapts to the league.

If these guys prove to be good players they could attract some people to the games. There is a good size Columbian population in the Southeastern part of the state. The impact won't be huge but when you're near the bottom in the league when it comes to attendance every bit helps.

So the final verdict here is that we're going to have to wait and see what these guys can do and what their cap hit will be and if the Revs own their contracts or not. I would've preferred we sign a left back instead of a center back, but there is still a lot of time before the season starts so signing a left back remains a possibility.


Monday, January 2, 2012

Bob Ryan Mentions Revolution

A new year has arrived and that means people making all kinds of predictions about what's going to happen in the new year. I was over at Boston.com and was reading one such article written by Bob Ryan. He starts off with the Bruins and goes on to the Celtics, and so on. As I was reading the section on the Celtics I wondered if he'd mention the Revs and didn't think he would. To my surprise, on page 2 he did mention the Revs and did a solid job, giving them a nil chance of winning it all in 2012. You can check out the article here.

I have no idea if Bob Ryan is a fan of soccer or if he hates it. The fact that he included the Revs in his article would seem to indicate that he at least respects the sport and treats it so. The lack of coverage of the Revs by guys like Ryan hurts supporters. The Revs have a couple of beat writers for the Boston Herald and Boson Globe. I read mainly the Globe, which has Frank Dell'Apa, who does a solid job covering the team. The problem with Dell'Apa is that he's the beat writer and columnist all in one. He's the only one at the Globe who covers the Revs. It's a problem because as a beat writer he needs to maintain relationships with the team. He can't just go and write a column bashing someone's play or the coach's decisions. If he does, are they going to take the time to talk to him next time he's around and actually answer his questions seriously? Probably not. As opposed to someone like Ryan who doesn't have any contact with the players or the team but would follow the team closely from a distance and report on the team, good or bad. Can you imagine the type of stuff Ryan would've written about the Fort had he been knowledgeable on the situation. Sure there are blogs like this around the internet that give their opinions on what's going on, but you can't compare the reach of any to something like the Boston Globe/Boston.com. That's why it'd be so huge to have someone like Ryan cover the team on a regular basis, even if it was just once a month to start. Who knows, maybe we're not as far off as we think of having something like that happen.

In some other interesting news, Kevin Garnett has bought a small stake in Roma. KG's a big fan of the game and I'm interested in seeing what kind of a role he take on with the team. Will he be completely hands off or will he play a part in the decision making or promotion of the team. What will happen if Liverpool and Roma play in Europe? Will he and Lebron James have a run in? That would certainly be interesting. Maybe we can get KG to come to the Fort one of these days. Now that would be awesome.