Joe Public beats NE Revolution in CONCACAF opener.
By: revolutionsoccer.net.Revs drop first leg of CONCACAF Champions League preliminary series, but Mauricio Castro scores a crucial late goal to boost New England’s chances in the return leg at Gillette Stadium.
MACOYA, Trinidad – A determined Joe Public FC club from Trinidad and Tobago defended its home field and defeated the New England Revolution, 2-1
, on Tuesday night in the first leg of a CONCACAF Champions League preliminary-round series at Marvin Lee Stadium. However, Mauricio Castro converted a late penalty kick for the Revs, giving them a crucial goal in the two-game series that will be decided on aggregate score.
Castro’s goal is even more critical in that it was scored away from home, giving New England a possible edge in the first tiebreaker should the Revs and Eastern Lions finish even on aggregate after the second leg on Sept. 2 at Gillette Stadium. If the two teams are tied on aggregate goals after the second match, the first tiebreaker is away goals.
Just as they did in Toronto three nights prior, the Revs began the match in a 4-4-1-1 formation, with Steve Ralston playing as a withdrawn forward behind lone striker Taylor Twellman.
Joe Public – which out-shot the Revs, 11-2, in the first half – had a great chance to open the scoring in the ninth minute when forwards Gregory Richardson and Reon Nelson linked up inside the box, but Nelson didn’t connect on his shot and the effort rolled harmlessly wide.
New England was forced to shuffle its formation in the 25th minute, as back spasms forced Ralston out of the game, to be replaced by Wells Thompson. Castro shifted into Ralston’s withdrawn forward position, while Thompson slotted into left midfield.
The Revolution’s best chance of the first half came in the 35th minute, when Twellman was taken down 20 yards from goal to set up a free kick in the center of the field. Jeff Larentowicz, filling in as a center back, stepped up to strike the free kick, but his driven effort was parried over the bar by Joe Public goalkeeper Alejandro Figueroa.
Nelson almost put the host Lions into the lead right before halftime when he ran on to Kerry Baptiste’s long ball behind the Revs’ defense, but again his shot went wide.
The home side finally did take advantage of its possession and go ahead, 1-0, in the 51st minute. Baptiste broke free down the right wing and played a ball across the face of goal to Richardson, who tapped into the empty net from six yards out to finish the move.
Joe Public forward Jamal Gay replaced Nelson in the 69th minute, and then proceeded to score with his first touch of the game just one minute later to put the Eastern Lions ahead, 2-0. Once again, Baptiste burst down the right wing before playing a teasing cross to the six-yard box, where Gay one-timed a shot past Revs goalkeeper Doug Warren.
Six minutes later, New England cut the deficit in half, as Castro converted a penalty kick after Shalrie Joseph was taken down in the box. The goal was Castro’s first for the Revolution since joining the team prior to the start of this season and handed the Revs a huge boost heading into the final match of the series.
New England will host the second leg of the preliminary series at Gillette Stadium on Tuesday, Sept. 2, with the winner of the series advancing to the tournament’s group stage. The match will once again be televised nationally on Fox Soccer Channel at 8 p.m. ET.
Before finishing the preliminary-round series with Joe Public next Tuesday, the Revs will host David Beckham and the Los Angeles Galaxy in an MLS regular-season match at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 30, at Gillette Stadium. New England Revolution at Joe Public FC
August 26, 2008 – Macoya, Trinidad (Marvin Lee Stadium)
JPF – Gregory Richardson (Kerry Baptiste) 51
JPF – Jamal Gay (Kerry Baptiste) 70
NE – Mauricio Castro (penalty kick) 76 New England Revolution (4-4-1-1):
Doug Warren (GK), Chris Tierney, Jeff Larentowicz, Michael Parkhurst, Jay Heaps, Mauricio Castro (Joe Germanese 80), Shalrie Joseph, Pat Phelan, Sainey Nyassi (Amaechi Igwe 65), Steve Ralston © (Wells Thompson 25), Taylor Twellman Substitutes Not Used:
Brad Knighton (GK), Matt Reis (GK), Rob Valentino STATS: Shots 5;
Shots on Goal 2; Saves 4; Corner Kicks 3; Offside 2; Fouls Committed 7 Joe Public FC (4-4-2):
Alejandro Figueroa (GK), Jason Springer, Keyeno Thomas, Christopher Harvey, Carlyle Mitchell, Wolry Wolfe (Kerry Noray 81), Dale Saunders ©, Arnold Dwarika (Lyndon Andrews 83), Kerry Baptiste, Reon Nelson (Jamal Gay 69), Gregory Richardson Substitutes Not Used:
Andre Foster (GK), Peterson Desrivieres, Gary Glasgow, Elusma Pierre STATS: Shots 15;
Shots on Goal 6; Saves 1; Corner Kicks 3; Offside 4; Fouls Committed 11 Misconduct Summary:
NE – Wells Thompson (caution) 26
JPF – Wolry Wolfe (caution) 55
JPF – Carlyle Mitchell (caution) 74
JPF – Jamal Gay (caution) 78
NE – Michael Parkhurst (caution) 88Officials;
Referee: Courtney Campbell
Referee’s Assistants: Egbert Paesch (SAR), Pablo de Avila (JAR)
Fourth Official: Jaggernath Goolcharan
Time of Game: 1:55
Weather: 82 degrees and cloudy
Attendance: 2,100 NOTES
The match was not only the first-ever meeting between New England and Joe Public FC, but it also marked the first time that the Revs played any team from Trinidad and Tobago.
While the CONCACAF Champions League is in its inaugural year of competition, the Revs twice competed in the region’s previous premier club tournament, the CONCACAF Champions Cup … New England played in the round of 16 in the 2003 Champions Cup and the quarterfinal round of the 2006 Champions Cup, falling to LD Alajuelense of Costa Rica both times.
Mauricio Castro’s goal was his first for the Revolution in all competitions … Castro, who joined the Revolution prior to this season, has three assists in all competitions.
Goalkeeper Doug Warren started in place of the injured Matt Reis (R adductor strain) for the third straight match, though Reis was available as a substitute on the bench.
Khano Smith was unavailable for the match, as the midfielder is with the Bermuda National Team for the Digicel Caribbean Cup.
Chris Albright was unavailable after suffering a concussion and a left hip flexor strain in the Revs’ previous match at Toronto (Aug. 23) … while the rest of the club went straight from Toronto to Trinidad, Albright flew back to Massachusetts.
With Chris Albright unavailable, Jeff Larentowicz moved back to the center of defense to pair with Michael Parkhurst, while Jay Heaps moved out to the right.
Forwards Adam Cristman, Kheli Dube and Kenny Mansally were all unavailable because of injury.
Amaechi Igwe replaced Sainey Nyassi in the 65th minute, pushing Wells Thompson to right midfield while Igwe took over at left midfield.
New England altered its formation once more in the 80th minute when Joe Germanese replaced Mauricio Castro … Amaechi Igwe dropped back into the center of defense with Michael Parkhurst, Jeff Larentowicz slid into defensive midfield, Germanese took over on the right wing and Shalrie Joseph played behind lone striker Taylor Twellman.
The surface at Marvin Lee Stadium is FieldTurf, similar to that at Gillette Stadium.NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION HEAD COACH STEVE NICOL
"The big problem we were always going to have was what we had left in our legs. We saw today that when Joe Public got out ahead of us, with the schedule we've had and the travel we've had, it's been taken out of us. Certainly, we're pleased to only lose 2-1. Joe Public had a couple of chances, but we had a couple of chances, as well. So we've given ourselves a chance."
"We knew Joe Public had good players, players we had to keep our eyes on. And what we saw tonight was exactly what we'd thought we'd get."
"What worked against us was the amount of time it took to get here. We had some injuries as well, and had to make some changes, so that was against us. Joe Public played well and deserved to win the game, but we're glad that we have a chance next week."
"They played better, passed the ball better. We knew it was going to be tough. The biggest thing for us was that we gave ourselves the chance to tie."
Public draw first blood.
But tired Revolution stay close.
By: Lasana Liburd (Express).
[/size]Bend it like Baptiste.
If the majority of patrons at the Marvin Lee Stadium, Macoya on Tuesday night turned up for entertainment by top United States Major League Soccer (MLS) club, New England Revolution, they left with newfound respect for hosts bmobile Joe Public and, by extension, the local Pro League.
Public's 2-1 first leg CONCACAF Champions League triumph did not offer much security for their return fixture in Boston on September 2. Yet, it was a timely reminder that Trinidad and Tobago's domestic football is not irrelevant outside the Caribbean.
There were several commendable performances in the Public strip; not least by defender Keyeno Thomas, midfielder Arnold Dwarika, Guyanese striker Gregory Richardson, Jamaican flanker Wolry Wolfe and teenaged substitute Jamal Gay. But it was the educated right boot of Kerry Baptiste that shone brightest.
If Revolution have any idea of how to stave off a capable winger-and the MLS does possess England star David Beckham, mind you-they certainly did not show it in Macoya. The closest Revolution left back Chris Tierney got to Baptiste was when the pair shook hands before kick off as the versatile attacker gave another indication of his worth to national coach Francisco Maturana, who has used him sparingly thus far.
Both Public goals, converted by Richardson and Gay, came off Baptiste deliveries and there should have been at least two more but for poor finishing by Jamaican striker Roen Nelson.
New Public coach Keith Griffith was ecstatic at the triumph and predicted an encore in Boston.
"The players played wonderful football and we deserved the win," said the Barbadian coach, "although I think we should have scored more goals I am confident that we will win (there) and advance."
Griffith spent barely a month at the club before Tuesday's test and suggested that his job was more difficult because he was "Bajan".
He will soon discover that locals are not picky about such trivia as St Lucian Stuart Charles-Fevrier (W Connection), Guyanese James McLean (Economy North East Stars) and Englishmen Terry Fenwick and Ricky Hill (both Clico San Juan Jabloteh) have all been coaches of the year since the advent of the professional game here.
Griffith is some way from matching those imports but Public captain Dale Saunders said his new boss made a good start by virtually erasing the tension that existed under his predecessor, Michael Mc Comie, who deserves credit for getting the "Eastern Lions" this far.
Public certainly played happy, albeit open, football on Tuesday although Griffith should not disregard Revolution coach Steve Nicol's assertion that his team was leg weary and should be in better condition next week.
While Public's last fixture was on August 16, due to several postponements and a gracious break granted by the Pro League last weekend, Revolution played in Boston on August 20, flew to Toronto for action on the night of August 23 before arriving in Trinidad on August 25.
"The big problem we were always going to have was what we had left in our legs," said Nicol. "But we are pleased to give ourselves a chance for the next leg."
Revolution's starting team boasted 28-year-old US striker Taylor Twellman and 30-year-old Grenadian midfield star Shalrie Joseph-a five-time and four-time MLS All Star respectively-but it was 34-year-old former national star, Dwarika, who ignited as Public took early control.
Wolfe forced a save from Revolution goalkeeper Doug Warren in the second minute while Nelson miskicked from one Richardson cross and then failed to meet another within the opening 20 minutes.
A fierce Jeff Larentwicz free kick brought a fortuitous save from Public's Colombian custodian Alejandro Figueroa in the 36th minute but normal service soon resumed and Dwarika had a decent penalty shout, two minutes later, as he dragged the ball past Tierney and fell over his outstretched leg.
The deadlock was finally broken, five minutes after the interval, as Baptiste ran on to a Nelson pass and his raking low cross was calmly tapped home by Richardson. Nelson wasted a similar Baptiste delivery in the 65th minute while Dwarika headed over from another right side cross as the Public winger ran riot.
Gay, who rose to prominence earlier this year with three caps and one goal in a brief international stint, replaced Nelson in the 69th minute and, within seconds, celebrated Public's second with a close ranged finish off another Baptiste cross. It was Gay's first goal for Public after three appearances off the bench.
But Revolution managed a consolation item in the 76th minute when Honduran Mauricio Castro converted a penalty kick won by Joseph off Public defender Carlyle Mitchell.
Nicol believes the away goal would be crucial but he has underestimated Trinidad and Tobago talent before.
Last season, "Soca Warrior" and 2006 World Cup player Avery John was Revolution's first choice left-back but Nicol did not do enough to keep him on their roster.
Revolution cannot help but improve for the second leg. But, if Baptiste is in the same mood, John's absence could be costly.Joe Public:
- 1.Alejandro Figueroa; 19.Carlyle Mitchell, 20.Christopher Harvey, 23.Keyeno Thomas, 13.Jason Springer; 8.Dale Saunders (capt); 17.Kerry Baptiste, 9.Arnold Dwarika (10.Lyndon Andrews 83), 11.Wolry Wolfe (16.Kerry Noray 81); 21.Gregory Richardson, 14.Roen Nelson (31.Jamal Gay 69).
Joe Public thankful, disappointed.
T&T Express Reports.
The Joe Public Football Club have expressed their gratitude to their supporters following Tuesday night's earned 2-1 victory over the New England Revolution in the opening leg of their 2008 Concacaf Champions League tie at the Marvin Lee Stadium, Macoya.
Joe Public achieved the win courtesy of goals by Gregory Richardson and Jamal Gay to hold an advantage going into the return leg at the Gillette Stadium, Boston on September 2.
There was a one minute silence before kick off in memory of the late Richard Abraham, former general manager of the club.
Sam Phillip, the current general manager, stated: "We at Joe Public wish to thank all our loyal supporters particularly our main sponsors BMobile, Francis Fashion, Sportsworld,VEMCO and Blue Waters for giving us that extra hand in the lead up to yesterday's victory over New England Revolution.
"The club's board of directors wishes to specially thank the coaching staff headed by Mr Keith Griffith and all the players for their superb efforts in achieving what is undoubtedly one of our best results in the history of the club. Our chairman Mr Jack Warner and managing director Daryll Warner has also been of tremendous support to the team."
Phillip added: "We know the journey is far from over but we believe that with continued support and commitment we can go to Boston and complete the win which will take us through to the next stage. We wish to also make it clear that this is not just a victory for Joe Public, but also one for the T&T Pro League and football in Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean which was witnessed by thousands of viewers on (cable TV station) Fox Sports."
However, Daryll Warner, in his capacity as managing director expressed disappointment with the lack of solidarity within the football fraternity and the scheduling of matches on the day his players--representing the T&T Pro League--were playing the MLS' number one team - New England Revolution.
"One finds it very difficult to understand why the Pro League would not fully support such an encounter in which one of its team was participating and representing the League. Despite the obvious lack of support from certain factions within the football fraternity of Trinidad and Tobago, Joe Public FC again defied the odds and were victorious both on and off the field of play and this was viewed live in 35 countries via Fox Sports and other affiliates on the internet as well."
Team coach Griffith said the players' determination was a key factor.
"We felt that we had to play some of our best football and that's what we did on the night. The guys stuck to the plan and they gave it their all. It was disappointing to concede the penalty because I wanted to win by three goals but now we will go to Boston and play our natural game which is to play attractive football and try to win the game. It's a big win for the club and I am happy to be part of it especially after only coming here a month ago to prepare the team for this game. The entire club from the bosses, the coaching and management staff and the players have been a terrific bunch which played a big role in us getting this victory," the former Barbados technical director added.