Diaspora

N.E. Revolution get crushed in pre-season finale, to host Haiti’s Cavaly AS on Tuesday in Concacaf Champions League first round – Fall River Herald News

The New England Revolution were crushed by the LA Galaxy, 4-0, in their second and final pre-season friendly match, Saturday night at Dignity Health Sports Park in California.
Sporting Director & Head Coach Bruce Arena made two changes to the starting lineup that one week earlier had played Los Angeles FC to a 1-1 draw, with midfielders Wilfrid Kaptoum and Arnór Traustason giving way to 16-year-old Homegrown Player Noel Buck and Sebastian Lletget, who had been away with the U.S. National Team.
Kevin Cabral, a Paris native who came up through the Paris Saint-German youth system, also has Cape Verde citizenship, and scored the first two goals for the Galaxy. He opened the scoring in the 12th minute, after a through pass from Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez allowed him to dribble past Revs’ goalkeeper Earl Edwards Jr.
He also scored to open the second half, when Julian Araujo’s perfect feed allowed him to have an easy tap in.
Dejan Joveljic scored the third Galaxy goal and the fourth goal came on a deflection off a Revolution defender.
Although Bruce Arena used most of his starters and the game came a little more than one week prior to the official start of the 2022 campaign, there was no panic in the Revolution locker room.
“I think the most important thing is that we can’t give up, even when we’re down,” defender Jon Bell said after the game. “Obviously it’s a preseason game, and we go into each game like it’s an actual game and we’ve got to be prepared. We want to get the best result, but all you can do from these type of games is learn from it, fix those mistakes, and the next time we come out, we don’t make it happen again.”
16-year-old Homegrown midfielder Noel Buck, who had his first start with the senior team, suggested that these pre-season games provide opportunities to identify problems and focus on the mistakes that need to be corrected prior to the real games.
“The result today is obviously disappointing, but I think there’s a lot to learn from it, especially we’ve got this out of the way,” Buck said. “It’s a preseason game, so we can obviously learn from this, and it’s great that it’s happened now and not during the beginning of the season, because we can learn from this. Obviously coming into the first games of the season, we’ve got high expectations and hopefully we can match that.”
The LA connection
Interestingly, in this game the Revolution used four players who were with Bruce Arena when he coached the LA Galaxy. Defender A.J. DeLaGarza and midfielder Ema Boateng were brought aboard last season, defender Omar Gonzalez and midfield Sebastian Lletget signed this off-season.
 “It’s surreal. One – being with Bruce. Two – being back with Omar,” A.J. DeLaGarza told revolutionsoccer.net. “We never thought we’d play together again and now here we are as the old men on the team. I’m the oldest field player and I think he might be the second-oldest, so it’s just crazy where we’ve come from college to now.”
 “It’s nice, you know,” added Boateng. “We’re old friends. All of us mainly stayed in touch so it’s good to finally be back on the same team.”
Hopefully this familiarity will make it easier for the two newcomers to have a smooth transition to their new team.
 “Having familiar faces makes any kind of move that much easier,” said Gonzalez. “It’s special to work with A.J., Sebastian Lletget and Bruce Arena again, Richie Williams and some of the staff so for me, it’s great.
 “I just want to hit the ground running. Make them proud, make my teammates proud and make the fans proud.”
After setting a new MLS record for points last season, the Revolution have a new goal for 2022, getting their first MLS title.
 “Hopefully we can bring another championship to the city of Boston, so that’s the most important thing, and you’ve got guys out here who just want to win and don’t really care what their role is,” said DeLaGarza.
“They just want to play some part in it. I think that makes for a special team and hopefully a special year.”
The Revolution have returned to Foxboro after spending more than two weeks training in California and they are finalizing their preparations for their first official game of the new season, the Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League opener against Haiti side Cavaly AS. The game is scheduled for Tuesday, February 15, at Gillette Stadium.
 “We’ve got to be ready, mentally strong, we’ve got to be mentally prepared,” said Bell. “We’ve got to have that confidence, that grit. Just go in there and be aggressive, because the games are going to come quick and it’s not going to be easy.”
Originally, the first leg was scheduled to have been played in Haiti, but in December Concacaf decided that “Cavaly AS is currently unable to host Concacaf club matches in its home venue,” a decision that was based on “the extremely challenging safety and security situation in Haiti.” As a result, Concacaf, “following an extensive review of options and proposals made by the club”, decided to move the first leg to Gillette Stadium. The second leg will also be played at Gillette Stadium, on the 22nd.
Earlier this week, Total Mix Radio, the Haitian Sports Network, posted a twit, in French, indicating that Cavaly As was dealing with visa issues that could prevent the club from fielding a team for Tuesday’s game.
There were no other details and the Concacaf web site did not address the issue. On Monday, it simply noted that “the 16 clubs participating in the 2022 Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League (SCCL) have submitted their player lists for the competition kicking off February 15. The lists contain a maximum of 35 players per club.
 “Clubs who have elected to register fewer than 35 players will be able to add additional players up to 44 hours before each match, provided that their roster does not exceed a total of 35 players. Once a player has been registered, he may not be removed or replaced.”
It listed the names provided by the Revolution. The list includes goal keepers Matt Turner, Earl Edwards JR. and Brad Knighton; defenders Andrew Farrell, Henry Kessler, Brandon Bye, DeJuan Jones, Jonathan Bell and Joseph DeLaGarza; midfielders Wilfrid Kaptoum, Matt Polster, Carles
Gil, Emmanuel Boateng, Lucas Maciel, Sebastian Lleget, Arnor Traustason, Thomas McNamara, Noel Buck and Damian Rivera; and forwards Gustavo Bou, Adam Buksa, Justin Rennicks and Edward Kizza.
Both teams must submit their match day roster at least 44 hours before Feb. 15.
Interestingly, Concacaf published on interview on Wednesday with 
Dutherson Clerveaux, a 23-year-old midfielder from Cavaly AS who also appeared in all three matches for the Haitian National Team in the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup.
 “We have been preparing since November and we have been continuing our preparation for this competition because we know it is a big competition. Last Sunday we became champions in the domestic tournament here and that has helped us see how our preparation is going,” said Clerveaux in an exclusive interview with Concacaf.com.
 “It is important to remember what we did during the FCCCC, but it is a different competition, the Champions League is a bigger tournament. We know we need to prepare more and so we are doing that now,” added Clerveaux.
Regarding the series with the Revolution, Clerveaux revealed that his team has done its homework and feels ready to meet the challenge.
“We know some of their players and how they play in watching some of the videos of their games in the U.S. The most important thing for us is our preparation. We are a good team and we have to prepare for this game,” said Clerveaux.
The players from Cavaly AS are taking this series very seriously because they view it as a unique opportunity to “show the rest of the world their quality”.
“For us, it is a dream come true. We have to prepare for it because it’s like a window for us to show what we know and who we are as players. We have to show that we are going to play a good game. We have to make sure that we have a good team and let the New England Revolution know that we have a good team,” Clerveaux said.
“We want to play really well so we can show people watching the game that this is what it means to us to play in this competition.” 
The weather should be a factor. The forecast for Tuesday in Foxboro calls for a high of 31 degrees, and a game time temperature that could drop to as low as 16. By contrast, the forecast for Haiti, on Tuesday, predicts mostly sunny skies, with a high of 91 degrees.
 The game, with a 6 p.m. kickoff, will be televised by FOX Sports and TUDN.
If the Revolution, as expected, advance past Cavaly AS, they will face the winner of the Round of 16 matchup between Deportivo Saprissa (Costa Rica) and Pumas UNAM (Mexico). Those games will be played on March 8-10 (Leg 1) and March 15-17 (Leg 2).
The Revs, who qualified for the 2022 SCCL as Major League Soccer’s 2021 Supporters’ Shield winner, will be participating in international club competition for the first time since the 2010 North American SuperLiga. Their previous appearance in the Concacaf Champions League came in 2008. 
The other MLS teams in the competition are: New York City FC, as the MLS Cup champions; the Colorado Rapids, winners of the Western Conference; the Seattle Sounders FC, as the highest-ranked remaining U.S. Division I club; and CF Montreal, winners of the 2021 Canadian Championship.
No MLS team has ever won the tournament in the thirteen editions of the current format. Toronto FC came closest in 2018, when the Canadian side reached the title game but lost to Mexican club Chivas Guadalajara 4–2 on penalties, following a 3–3 draw on aggregate.
Liga MX teams have won the trophy every year, but the initial 2022 draw gives the MLS contingent a little hope at the outset, since only CF Montreal is facing a Mexican team, Santos Laguna, in the Round of 16 and both Colorado and MLS champion NYCFC could reach the semifinals without facing a Mexican team in either of the earlier rounds. The Revs will likely square off against Pumas UNAM in the quarter-finals.

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