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New England Revolution

New England Revolution Part Ways With Jay Heaps



The New England Revolution have had a tough go of it all season. Every time they have shown promise and take a step forward there has been a step backward. In a season filled with lack of momentum, the club has decided to take a different route at the coaching role.

This means the Revs have parted ways with Head Coach Jay Heaps who has been at the helm for the better part of the last 6 New England MLS seasons. The rumors of this decision spread out on Twitter on September 18th with the club making the announcement official on Septemeber 19th via a press release.

Here is what the club had to say about the parting of ways with a legendary player and one hell of a coach.

 The New England Revolution announced that the club has parted ways with head coach Jay Heaps, effective immediately. Assistant coach Tom Soehn will take over as interim head coach for the remainder of the 2017 MLS season. 

“Jay has done a great deal for the club over the years and had considerable achievements. I have great respect for him and wish him well in the next steps of his career,” said New England Revolution General Manager Michael Burns. “This decision has not been taken lightly, however, we need to do better than the results have shown from the last couple of seasons and this season left us convinced we need to go in a different direction.”

Heaps leaves the Revolution after six seasons as head coach, having been named the sixth head coach in club history on Nov. 14, 2011. As head coach, the New England native led the Revs to three consecutive MLS Cup Playoff appearances from 2013-15, a trip to MLS Cup in 2014, and the 2016 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final. He concludes his tenure as the Revs’ second-longest serving coach with a record of 75-81-43 in the regular season and a 4-3-1 postseason mark.

“Jay gave the club his all as a player and coach, and we are thankful to him for all his passion and hard work,” said Brian Bilello, New England Revolution President. “We will always be grateful for his efforts in bringing us back to both an MLS Cup final and a U.S. Open Cup Final and wish nothing but the best for him moving forward.”

Heaps has been a central figure in 15 of the Revolution’s 22 seasons in MLS, including nine years as one of the team’s all-time great defenders from 2001-09. He played a part in all five of the Revolution’s Eastern Conference championships, four as a player, and helped lead the club to the U.S. Open Cup Final on three occasions, including the club’s victory in 2007.

As a Revolution player, Heaps totaled 243 appearances, started 238 matches, and recorded 21,619 minutes played, all of which rank third most in club annals. Including three seasons with the Miami Fusion, his regular season career totals include 314 games played, 299 starts, 17 goals, and 34 assists. In the postseason, Heaps added a remarkable 30 appearances, all starts, with one goal and two assists.

Revolution fans have been calling for this move for a while now. Many see Heaps’s American coaching style being too slow for where the MLS has headed and with the type of personnel he had on the field it didn’t seem like a good fit anymore. The counterpoint to that would be ownerships lack of commitment of real money to the team.

Outside of the Jermaine Jones deal a couple of seasons ago the real money spent on the Revolution hasn’t been what it should be for a championship contending squad. Either way, Heaps will leave beloved by the fans for what he did as a player and as a coach.

In his first Tweet ever he made a statement thanking everyone for their support while hinting a comeback of some form will occur shortly.

A classy move by a classy individual. Having meet the man multiple times all I have to say he is a great person and comes across very well to the media. He wasn’t afraid to throw shots right back in pressers and should be able to land on his feet somewhere.

For this organization after some of the losses they had this season this move was neccessary. But going forward a serious commitiment to spend more money on the team and find a legitmate home stadium will be key to the franchcises longterm success. But at this time it is unclear if the Kraft family is willing to do what it takes to acomplish this.

Tanner founded Trifecta Network in Spring of 2016 and has been the Chief of Content for the Network since that time. Currently Tanner covers all the sports teams in Boston and has contacts in many of the teams in the city. Before starting Trifecta, Tanner was a Site Expert for the FanSided site Chowder and Champions before leaving to cover Boston teams on the ground as a member of the media for Trifecta.

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New England Revolution

New England Revolution Take Down Toronto



The New England Revolution defeated Toronto FC 2-1 on Saturday night at Gillette Stadium.

It was a scoreless game until the 82nd minute when Lee Nguyen scored which set off a 5-minute window where 3 goals were scored.

Two for the Revolution, one for first place Toronto.

Even with the playoff chances being next to zero it was a good start to Tom Soehn’s Revolution coaching career with the team moving on from Coach Jay Heaps earlier in the week.

Below is the full Tweet story from the game.

Tweet Story

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New England Patriots

Robert Kraft Along With Patriots/Revolution Fans Raise Over $2 Million



When Hurricane Harvey hit the Houston area the Kraft Family stepped up and launched an effort to raise funds to help support the disaster relief effort.

Robert Kraft pledged to match up to $1 million to support the relief effort with the goal being fans coming up with the money to match the pledge.

Patriots and Revolution fans came up big and donated an impressive $1,094,620 to the American Red Cross through the Kraft page bringing the total number raised to $2,094,620.

An impressive effort by all sides.

On Saturday afternoon the Kraft’s announced that outstanding number and thanked those who joined them in supporting the Hurricane Harvey relief effort.

The Kraft Family and fans weren’t the only members of the organization to help out the cause. Most notably Patriots QB Tom Brady donated $100,000 and head coach Bill Belichick donated $50,000. Both of those donations went to the JJ Watt lead effort that raised somewhere north of $30,000,000.

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New England Revolution

Revolution’s Quest For A New Venue Could Be In Rhode Island



The New England Revolution have played at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough Massachusetts since the team’s inception. Gillette is a welcoming venue that seats 70,000 fans, plenty of room for Revs fans. But the issue is this, the 70,000+ seats.

As I write this post I am sitting in the press box of Gillette watching the Revolution take on top-ranked Toronto. The crowd is modest given that New England’s playoff chances are little with a season filled with disappointment close to being in the rearview.

There are 22 teams in MLS, in terms of attendance ranking New England is 15th with an average of 18,160 fans attending 14 matches through September 23rd. That number is down from 2016’s 20,185 per game average. Much of that decline has to do with the team’s lack of performance with a disappointing 2017 season. Another reason for the lack of growth could be the venue location and the lack of easy access to public transportation.

Gillette was built for the Patriots. A team that plays in the NFL and sells out the venue for every home game no matter the time of year given their success over the last two decades. When the Revs were a startup franchise in a young MLS it made sense to save money and keep the team under the Kraft roof of Gillette. But now with MLS growing and teams around the league showcasing huge attendance numbers, it is time to analyze why New England has fallen so far behind.

Part of it could be the public perception of the team. Turn on a CSNNE broadcast of the game or come and see one in person and you will witness a stadium that is far below a 50% full marker. This gives off a no interest in the team narrative that is simply not true. There are plenty of fans in the New England area that love this Revs team, but not enough to fill a 70,000 seat stadium every home game.

Bringing up the stadium built for the soccer team story isn’t anything new. Robert Kraft has talked about his own desire publically to build a stadium dedicated to the team. But his reliance on government funding shows the billionaire isn’t willing to go all in on his MLS franchise. Kraft’s importance to soccer in the United States shouldn’t be understated though. Along with being a charter member of MLS he has helped land the United States global soccer competitions and is vying to land a World Cup for the U.S.

But every Revs fan has seen the owner fail to invest in his soccer team and fail to actually pony up and nail down logistics for a new stadium.  Building a venue with 30,000 seats should be the goal. Where should it be will be the real question.

There is plenty of room around Gillette with cheap land owned by Kraft himself. But that would defeat the purpose of separating the two while keeping the team away from public transit. A spot closer to Providence or to Boston would make the most sense.

With a limited amount of home games, each season keeping the venue filled on other days will be key. For that reason, the new soccer stadium could be used for the home games of the Boston Cannons, college teams, and others in the area. Boston and Providence are both littered with colleges and universities with athletic programs. There are plenty of options to keep events going on a consistent basis when the Revs are out of town.

Massachusetts Not Willing To Play Ball

Publically it feels like government officials aren’t that interested in lending a helping hand. Kraft has issued statements with the latest coming earlier in 2017 talking about the Bayside Expo location.

“In 2015, we were invited to put together a stadium proposal for the former Bayside Exhibition Center site. Since then, we have invested millions of dollars and thousands of staff hours to design and structure a venue that would benefit UMass Boston, the City of Boston and serve as an asset to the surrounding communities, with an operating plan that would benefit all local constituencies. We were committed to a fully-funded, privately-financed stadium that would have totaled an investment in excess of $250 million. There was also a full-value land lease to UMass that would have provided annual payments to the university. As is the case with any development opportunity, there were numerous hurdles to overcome and we regularly adjusted our plans to cater to the needs of the project. Unfortunately, and for reasons beyond our control, it has been determined that this project is not feasible to pursue on this site at this time. It is our goal to continue to seek development opportunities where we can invest in a soccer specific stadium that will benefit its surrounding communities while giving our fans and our players a venue they will be proud to call home for generations to come.”

This location is one that would work for Boston residents and access to key public transit through the MBTA. The issue is that negotiations imploded back in April leading to the above statement.

A Boston location or a spot located near that metro hub seems highly unlikely with no city officials willing to play ball.

“I’m not sure where else in Boston we could put a soccer stadium that would have the infrastructure,” Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh told WGBH. “We have to think and see where else potentially this could go in the city.”…

Public funding for an MLS specific venue is almost unheard of in the United States and has never been done in the New England area with the team playing at Gillette. There is a chance that talks with UMASS Boston pick up again at some point. But a suburban area could be in their future.

Now is time to float an original idea out there for a new location for soccer.

New Idea That Could Provide An Easier Route

Down in Rhode Island, there is currently a heated debate on public funding for the Boston Red Sox AAA Affiliate. The Pawtucket Red Sox are looking for a new home. Lawmakers have been back and forth with leaders unsure and skeptical of using public money to assist that ownership group.

But what if the Krafts and the PawSox ownership group link up. Obviously, both play completely different sports with different field shapes. But it wouldn’t be unheard of. New York City FC plays their home games in Yankee Stadium. So there is a track record in MLS of baseball-soccer stadium sharing.

A Rhode Island stadium would be built with both sports in mind. A design isn’t something I can offer, but scheduling can be done to make it work for both sides. A one stadium build would save money and keep the venue filled all year round. Pawtucket has already laid the groundwork with lawmakers and have scouted potential locations for their ballpark.

There are towns and cities in the state that have played ball with them and if Kraft comes onboard access to public funding could be more readily available with a joint bid. Maybe it isn’t a single stadium, maybe it is a complex with both venues. But two heads are better than one. Maybe there is something here, maybe there isn’t. But it is time for something different. Playing in a proper venue is a good start.

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