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Eastern Conference Notes: Revs welcome homestand, Donovan praises LSP & more


 Photo by Andrew Katsampes/ 


Having lost five straight games in all competitions while watching its MLS record fall to 3-7-4, the New England Revolution, it's safe to say, has fallen on hard times.

The Revolution has scored just three goals in its last eight games while allowing 14. And Steve Nicol's side also recently lost attacking midfielder Marko Perovic for the season due to an ACL tear.

But New England has a prime opportunity to bounce back with two home games in four days against squads also struggling to keep up in the Eastern Conference: Toronto FC (2-5-8) and the Chicago Fire (2-4-8). The stretch begins Wednesday night against Toronto.

"It's important that we pick up six points," captain Shalrie Joseph said on "All the games at home, you expect to win, you want to win, and it's not different for us Wednesday. We're going to take it to Toronto, try to get that first goal, and once we do that, I think it's going to help us settle the team a little bit."

Here is some more news from around the Eastern Conference:


After snapping an 11-game winless streak with a 1-0 win at Columbus, the Fire is suddenly unbeaten in four and just four points out of tentative playoff positioning. Ahead of Saturday's trip to New England, the Fire players feel that win can be a launcing pad.

"We're more motivated," defender Gonzalo Segares said to "We know that we can go over there and get three points. … If we can win, we’re right in the mix, especially in this conference, where teams haven't gotten too far away from us. I think that were in a good point right now, motivation is high and we just have to keep working hard."


After undergoing knee surgery in November, midfielder Danny O'Rourke is nearing a return to first-team action for the Crew, which could certainly use his veteran presence. Coach Robert Warzycha is trusting the 28-year-old veteran to let him know when he's prepared to make his debut.

"That's up to him," Warzycha said to "He's a veteran. He knows when he's ready. If he tells me he's 100 percent, I'd stick him in the games."


After picking up a 3-2 win in Portland with two first-year defenders and earning a 0-0 draw at Los Angeles with three rookies in the back line, United's defense came back down to earth Saturday during a 4-2 loss at home to the San Jose Earthquakes. According to veteran forward Josh Wolff, placing blame on the youthful unit would be misguided.

"I think defensively, the success for us isn't an individual thing — it's a collective group thing," Wolff said. "When we went to Portland and we went to L.A., 11 guys committed to the task and we went out and did the work. It's not because one defender or two defenders stood on their heads, it's because we worked hard for each other and put out fires when we needed to." 


Defender Eddie Robinson's start at centerback Saturday during Houston's 2-1 win over Chivas USA was just the veteran's second appearance of the season. That said, Robinson's straining a knee ligament that will keep him out of this weekend's match against Columbus is all the more disappointing to the player.

"If there's ever a time you don't want an injury, it's right now, when you're trying to establish yourself on the team when there's minutes available," Robinson told the Houston Chronicle. "More than anything, I'm just frustrated. I'm not in much pain."


As deep and as talented as New York's squad already is, Sporting Director Erik Soler said the club is planning on bolstering its roster during the upcoming summer transfer window, although he avoided mentioning any specific position in need of an upgrade.

"It is generally more [to] look to see if we can bring in a wider group of players who are more experienced," Soler said to


The Union has missed striker Carlos Ruiz for several match with the Guatemala captain on Gold Cup duty. Although coach Peter Nowak told the Philadelphia Inquirer, "It's just the way things are," he did note that international scheduling isn't always thought through properly.

"It's out there that a lot of managers ask MLS players to stay because of their fear of not having enough players available, even with roster expansion," Nowak said. "But scheduling for these games isn't always the best either. I mean, didn't U.S. Soccer schedule a match [against Argentina], two weeks into the MLS season? Come on." 


Kansas City may not have been playing Tuesday night, but the club's new home at Livestrong Sporting Park earned rave reviews as an overcapacity crowd took in a Gold Cup doubleheader including the U.S.'s 1-0 win over Guadeloupe.

"It was fantastic," U.S. midfielder Landon Donovan said to the Kansas City Star. "I think everybody involved should be commended. It was really good. The crowd was great, it was energetic, the stadium is beautiful, the locker room is beautiful. I'd definitely hope to come back here."


While New England sees Toronto coming to town Wednesday night as a prime opportunity for points, the same can be said for the Reds, who are coming off an encouraging 2-2 draw at Los Angeles and are one win away from moving into the top half of the Eastern Conference table.

"We played 45 good minutes," forward Alan Gordon told the Toronto Sun. "We now have to build on that and put together 90 minutes, get some points and move up the table."


  1. “The New England Revolution, it’s safe to say, has fallen on hard times.”

    I don’t know, I think it might be safer to say “The New England Revolution have fallen on hard times.”

    It’s a choice, of course.

  2. Just a few observations on this subject. I went to Tuesday’s games.

    The KC game really did have a sell out feel, with a lot of standing room tickets, putting it over-capacity. Even if the absolute numbers are lower, it will be a lot louder and feel better supported than at a large stadium.

    27.7k, 28.2k, it’s splitting hairs. These are good numbers for soccer in this country, at these prices, against these opponents. I’m not sure if you could expect much more in any city. Maybe Seattle.

    If you consider profitability, it’s definitely far more expensive to operate an event at a 60-80k seat stadium than 20k seat stadium. Another thing to consider is the prices of the seats. Livestrong has a lot of suites, and is able to differentiate the pricing a lot (west side > east (sunny) side > south stand > north member/bleacher section > standing room) without giving anybody a bad seat in an upper section.

    I would have to admit that KC isn’t particularly convenient travel for much of the country’s population. Or maybe it’s a good thing.

  3. It’s about the fans in the area too, in kc u already have the Skc fan and huge ao representation, other ao chapters r more likely to come to livestrong than a crap surface in a football stadium. Play soccer in soccer stadiums, reward cities and owners that support the game.

  4. And last night’s Kansas City report (what can I say, I study economics. I love raw data and speculating about revenue streams and profitability — especially in sports franchises):

    Group C
    June 14 in Kansas City, Kan.
    USA 1 Guadeloupe 0. Goal: Altidore 9.
    USA — Howard, Cherundolo, Bocanegra, Goodson, Lichaj, Dempsey, Jones, Bradley (Edu, 85), Donovan, Wondolowski (Bedoya, 64), Altidore (Kljestan, 78).
    Guadeloupe — Grandel, Comminges, Tacalfred, Zubar, Viator, Loval-Landre (Collet, 25), Nabab (Fautrai, 60), Racon (Gotin, 73), Auvray, Socrier, Jovial.
    Referee: Jeffrey Solis (Costa Rica).
    Att.: 20,109.
    June 14 in Kansas City, Kan.
    Canada 1 Panama 1. Goal: De Rosario (pen.) 62.
    Canada — Borjan, McKenna, Hainault, Klukowski, Ledgerwood, Johnson (Pacheco, 85), de Guzman, De Rosario, Simpson (Ricketts 73), Dunfield, Jackson.
    Panama — Mejia, Baloy, Henriquez, Dasent, Machado, Davis, Gomez, Quintero (Cooper 67), Bonaga, Perez, Renteria.
    Referee: Walter Lopez (Guatemala).
    Att.: 20,109.

  5. Here, direct from SoccerAmerica:

    Group C
    June 11 in Tampa
    USA 1 Panama 2. Goals: Goodson 68; Tejada 19, Gomez (pen.) 36
    USA — Howard, Cherundolo, Goodson (Wondolowski, 78), Ream, Bocanegra, Dempsey, Bradley, Jones (Kljestan, 60), Donovan, Altidore, Agudelo (Bedoya, 61).
    Panama — Penedo, R.Torres, Dasent, Henriquez, Baloy, G.Gomez, Barahona (Torres, 70), Cooper (Quintero, 84), Henriquez, Perez, Tejada (Bonaga, 81).
    Referee: Marco Rodriguez (Mexico).
    Att.: 27,731.
    June 11 in Tampa
    Canada 1 Guadeloupe 0. Goal: De Rosario (pen.) 57.
    Canada — Borjan, Ledgerwood, McKenna, Hainault, Klukowski, De Rosario (Jackson, 63), Dunfield, Johnson, De Guzman (Pacheco, 82), Simpson, Gerba (Friend, 63).
    Guadeloupe — Grandel, Viator, Zubar, Lambourde, Comminges, Gamiette, Fleurival (Loval, 58), Auvray, Racon (Ictoi, 65), Socrier (Nabab, 73), Jovial.
    Red Card: Guadeloupe — Lambourde 3.
    Referee: Trevor Taylor (Barbados).
    Att.: 27,731.
    June 7 in Detroit
    Panama 3 Guadeloupe 2. Perez 29, Tejada 32, Gomez (pen.) 57; Jovial 65, 79.
    Panama — Penedo. L. Henriquez, Baloy, Dasent, Machado (Cummings 82), Barahona (Quintero 77), Gomez, A.Henriquez, Cooper, Perez, Tejada (Renteria 66).
    Guadeloupe — Grandel, Comminges, Lambourde, Viator, Tacalfred, Collet (Gamiette 60), Fleurival, Auvray (Racon 74), Loval, Gendrey (Jovial 48), Socrier.
    Red Card: Guadeloupe — Lambourde 3.
    Referee: Trevor Taylor (Barbados).
    Att.: 28,209.
    June 7 in Detroit
    USA 2 Canada 0. Goals: Altidore 15, Dempsey 62.
    USA — Howard, Cherundolo, Goodson, Ream, Bocanegra, Dempsey, Bradley, Jones (Edu, 79), Donovan, Altidore (Kljestan, 74), Agudelo (Wondolowski, 65).
    Canada — Hirschfeld, Ledgerwood, McKenna, Hainault, de Jong, Dunfield (Beaulieu-Borgault, 81), Hutchinson, Johnson (Gerba, 65), De Rosario (Friend, 81), Simpson, Jackson.
    Red Card: Guadeloupe — Tacalfred 38.
    Referee: Walter Lopez (Guatemala).
    Att.: 28,209.

  6. No I’m not mad I just don’t like how some owners think detroit is a good place for mls expansion. I was at the panama game but I agree we don’t deserve a mls team here just look what’s happening with the rays

  7. SoccerAmerica, using the Associated Press Match Reports, reported the Tampa attendance at 27,731.

    I didn’t just make up a random number.

    I won’t definitively say that’s right or wrong, but I don’t think the Associated Press has any beef with the city of Tampa. I’m just using the reported numbers.

  8. Whoa. A wee bit sensitive about Tampa, are we? Gotta love hometown city “patriotism.”

    I wasn’t taking a shot at Tampa. I’m not from Detroit, Tampa, or KC, so I don’t have a dog in the fight.

    For Detroit, SoccerAmerica reported the Canadian fan support was much less than expected. Maybe 3,000 of the 28,000 was Canadian, and that’s being generous — the Canucks really only half-filled one section.

    As a neutral observer, I would’ve guessed Tampa would outdraw Detroit for soccer — especially with a preferred weekend date.

    But I’ll take your word that the heat and opponent drove people away in Tampa. I guess, using your comments and analysis, there’s not much surprise why Florida no longer has an MLS team.

  9. no offense on the ignorant part, just stating that you got your facts wrong, I dont see how you would know that unless you went to the game, which I did.

  10. your ignorant of the true fact, im sorry… Raymond James Stadium did not leave the row under your TV screen available for sale and nor were the upper decks, It was nearly full, if not sold out. Idk why they werent for sale like they were against both El Salvador and Ecuador, but if they were open, you would of seen mid 30,000 atleast…

  11. @JoshD: I used the attendance listed from the match reports at SoccerAmerica, so I just assuming their data is correct.

    @malkin: Good point. Obviously, the hosting venue gets some cut of the gate. But I have no idea what the breakdown is for USSF matches, and if the percentage cut is different between, say, hosting a qualifier at the Rose Bowl versus the Home Depot Center.

    Like you said, technically the USSF is “renting” everywhere it goes.

  12. No how the hell did detroit so close to canada against canada in the first game of the competition in a air conditioned stadium barely outdraw my hometown tampa known for not filling up stadiums in 90 degree heat with no wind against a team we should of crushed. I guess it could be those 28,000 are the only ones in detroit with jobs

  13. The announcers said KC was at 18,000 plus a little more…

    I’d say continue with the big stadiums. We need the money as a Federation. But when it’s expected to be smaller crowds, downsize.

  14. Are there higher costs involved with using an NFL/non-soccer stadium? I only bring this up because of the historic profitability differences of MLS teams w/ SSS…but of course that’s a different story than here because it’s not the USSF’s own stadium regardless of if it’s MLS or NFL

  15. Donovan and Altidore’s positive comments on LSP bring up an interesting debate: should the Nats play in smaller capacity stadiums for the sellout feel? Or should the Federation take the extra revenue from half-filling football stadia?

    To wit, the U.S. Gold Cup attendance:

    Detroit – 28,209
    Tampa – 27,731
    Kansas City – 20,109

    First, how the hell did Detroit on a Tuesday night do better than Tampa on a Saturday night?

    Second, of course, unlike the Spain friendly, Gold Cup money gets split with the rest of Concacaf, but the debate still stands for upcoming WC qualifiers and such.

    I’m genuinely interested in what people think. Take the “sellout” atmosphere of last night or the extra cash from 8,000 more fans in seats — even if the larger stadium is half-full?

    Remember, gate sales are still one of US Soccer’s main sources of revenue.

  16. Great more scandanavians. What is nowak thinking? Its either during the european season or mls and since most of players play in europe its got to be during mls. I do agree we need to take a break for the goldcup group games but it doesn’t even matter to him no one on the union is close to playing for the usmnt.


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