Revolution Legend Sharlie Joseph Added To Academy Staff

Remember when former New England Revolution players ran for the hills after their time in New England? Not anymore, Bruce Arena has sought to that. On Tuesday the Revs announced that club legend Sharlie Joseph would be joining the Academy Coaching Staff.

“It’s a great feeling to be back where I belong, a place that made my dreams come true,” Joseph said. “Now I have one of the most important jobs and that’s to try and inspire the next generation of Academy players to be great and achieve their dreams.”

Joseph will join the organization as the head coach fo the Under-15s and will work under Bryan Scales the Director of Youth Development and Curt Onalfo the clubs Technical Director. The Grenada international since retiring from professional soccer has already shown an ability to coach. Joseph served as the head coach of the Grenada National Team in 2018-19 and helped them qualify for the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup and a promotion to League A in the 2019-20 Concacaf Nations League. After his departure with Grenada, Joseph has been working with the Revolution Academy in an unofficial capacity.

“Shalrie was one of the most impactful players in MLS over a 10-year span,” Revolution Director of Youth Development Bryan Scales said. “His ability to compete at the highest level was the catalyst of those top Revolution teams of the 2000s. We look forward to having him back on the field to help develop the next generation of New England Revolution homegrown players.”

The 42-year-old is known for being a club legend after being drafted 14th overall in the 2002 MLS SuperDraft and setting a record for both games played and started between 2003-2012 & 2014. In his Revs career, he was named to the MLS ALl-Star team seven consecutive times and was apart of a team that went to three straight Eastern Conference titles.

“Shalrie is without question one of the greatest players to ever put on a Revolution uniform, and it is with great excitement that we welcome him back to a role with the club,” Revolution President Brian Bilello added. “It is no mistake that we chose Shalrie as one of the players to be prominently honored on the walls of our new training center, as the example he set on and off the field make him the perfect role model to inspire and develop the next wave of Revolution players.”

MLS Youth Development Platform Expanding

The MLS youth program is expanding. On Tuesday the league announced that its new youth development platform would be opening the application process for youth clubs to join their 94 founding member clubs.

According to the league, they will allow a limited number of new clubs with a number of criteria those interested have to check before joining. Player identification, player development philosophy, quality coaches and staff, and a proper environment that fosters development and performance are just some of the things MLS is looking for.

Applications will be accepted through July 17th but the league is looking for clubs to submit by July 4th. This platform was launched a few months back by MLS after the USSF’s U.S. Soccer Development Academy decided to pack it in and give up on the development of the youth game in the United States.

“Following an exciting launch to the elite youth development platform, MLS is looking to expand its inaugural 2020 season of competition with additional elite-level clubs. The existing members of this competition platform are committed to building a collaborative and integrated environment and we’re excited at the prospect of strengthening our foundation with clubs who share similar values,” said Fred Lipka, Vice President and Technical Director of MLS Player Development.

Photo Credit: NEFC

From a local perspective the New England Revolution, FC Greater Boston Bolts, NEFC, and Valeo Futbol Club are Massachusetts representatives in the program thus far. Rhode Island does not have a participating club thus far, so here’s to encouraging those involved in the youth game to step up and join the MLS platform which will provide youth players with a platform to not only impress MLS clubs but also open them up to collegiate and foreign opportunities.

It is worth noting that Brett Johnson who is spearheading the USL Pawtucket project also owns a stake in Phoenix Rising FC which will participate in the MLS youth development platform. For what it’s worth, Johnson wants to create a top tier youth program in Pawtucket down the road.

“I have every interest and aspiration of emulating that in the state of Rhode Island. And again, there are countless what I call hero’s that are working with boys and girls youth sports and we want to have relationships with them and we want to find ways to support them.”Brett Johnson in a Q&A with Trifecta Sports in March on Youth Development
The post Revolution Legend Sharlie Joseph Added To Academy Staff appeared first on Trifecta Sports.

NWSL Challenge Cup: Utah Royals v Houston Dash An Instant Classic

The NWSL is back and with it, top-notch soccer in the United States. Tuesday’s match between the Houston Dash and the Utah Royals was a thing of beauty with six goals being scored making it the highest-scoring match of the Challenge Cup. The match which was broadcasted on CBS All Access ended in a 3-3 draw with both teams picking up one point.

Utah got on the board first with Diana Matheson scoring in the 35th minute assisted by Amy Rodriguez. One minute into stoppage time at the end of the first half Rachael Daly scored assisted by Veronica Latsko.

Two minutes into the second half Daly scored again, this time assisted by Kristen Mewis. Houston opened up to a 3-1 lead in the 67th minute with Shea Groom scoring, assisted by Katherine Stengel. Utah, in their home city, battled back with Veronica Boquete scoring on a free kick in the 82nd minute and then, rookie Tziarra King scoring in the 89th minute to tie the match at 3 apiece.

“Obviously this whole day was special to me,” said NWSL Rookie Tziarra King on her Royals Debut. “From the warm-up Craig had told me ‘you are going to be that spark off the bench’. I am glad I could step up to that role that they wanted me to be.”

This was the kind of match where you sit there and say feed me more goals. Stunning back-and-forth nail-biting action that the NWSL has become known for. One of the key takeaways for me is that Daly might be able to carry this Dash team pretty far in this tournament if she can stay in this goal scoring form. The English footballer almost had a hat trick in this match with her third goal being quickly ruled as a no-goal by the official. Last season Daly scored five goals in 17 starts, down from 20 goals in 24 starts in 2018.

“No, they said they are going to review it,” said Rachel Daly on if she received an explanation on the non-goal. “Very disappointed to be honest. But, I will be interested to see what comes back. But, hey, It happens, it’s tournament football and you just have to move on.”

A secondary takeaway from this match was the lack of track back by Utah and failed to get numbers back behind the ball which led to easy opportunities by Houston. Set piece defending was also weak by both sides. On the 82nd minute free kick the Houston wall had a massive gap on the right side that nobody including the goalkeeper Carolyn Campbell picked up. Sloppiness leads to a lot of goals and in-turn an exciting match.

The Challenge Cup will continue tonight at 10:30 p.m. with the OL Reign taking on Sky Blue FC on CBS All Access.
The post NWSL Challenge Cup: Utah Royals v Houston Dash An Instant Classic appeared first on Trifecta Sports.

Rob Parker Takes Shot At Tom Brady While Assessing Cam Newton To Patriots

Well-known Tom Brady hater Rob Parker, to no surprise, used Cam Newton’s reported deal with the New England Patriots as another way to take shots at the 43-year-old signal caller.
Newton, who released a video depicting his arrival in New England, reportedly agreed to a one-year contract with the Patriots on Sunday. He’ll compete for the job to take over Brady’s old post, along with second-year QB Jarrett Stidham and veteran Brian Hoyer.
“I love this move. Yeah, I was a little surprised. I thought that Bill Belichick was going to try to do it all himself. But now he goes and gets a real quarterback, who doesn’t have a noodle arm, and has big upside. So, I’m looking forward to this,” Parker said recently on FS1’s “First Take.”
“Bill Belichick has an able-bodied, able-armed quarterback, who could continue to win in New England even without Tom Brady,” Parker continued. “I love the idea that Cam Newton has the chance to redeem himself, go to Boston. Imagine if he wins this job and they win the division and make the playoffs and Tom Brady is down there in Tampa Bay…”

Parker even went as far as to say while Newton and the Patriots could be on their way to the postseason, while Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will finish third in the division.
More NFL: Skip Bayless Changes Tune On Cam Newton’s Potential With Patriots

PawSox Baseball Not Occurring 2020, MiLB Season Cancelled

Back on April 29th, I wrote an article with the headline “PawSox Games At McCoy Seem Unlikely In 2020”. Fast forward essentially two months forward and that headline has become a reality, PawSox baseball will not occur at McCoy Stadium in 2020. On Tuesday, Minor League Baseball (MiLB) announced that there would be no 2020 MiLB season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

For PawSox fans with tickets the ticket office will be reaching out with options that include refunds.

“Naturally, as baseball fans, we are deeply disappointed to not have a summer of PawSox Baseball, especially in our 50th-anniversary season,” said club president Dr. Charles Steinberg.  “Yet all of us recognize that the health, safety, and well-being of our players, fans, and entire community are paramount.  But we will keep the faith; this may not be how the story ends.

While Major League Baseball will occur, the financial reality that allowed it to do so is not a luxury minor league teams would have. MLB has the broadcast rights and the capital to fund a no-fan season while MiLB teams do not have either to fall back on as game-day revenue is a significant portion of their overall financial viability. In addition, if MiLB had decided to try and put on a season the teams would have had to provide their own players. The reason for that being MLB had stopped the working agreement with MiLB due to the national emergency and they would have to re-instate it and that seemed highly unlikely.

“These are unprecedented times for our country and our organization as this is the first time in our history that we’ve had a summer without Minor League Baseball played,” said Minor League Baseball President & CEO Pat O’Conner. “While this is a sad day for many, this announcement removes the uncertainty surrounding the 2020 season and allows our teams to begin planning for an exciting 2021 season of affordable family entertainment.”

MiLB has reaffirmed its commitment to returning in the 2021 season but there is certainly risk involved as a COVID-19 vaccine or therapeutic would have to be widely available to make that plan attainable.

It does appear that McCoy Stadium will have a baseball use in 2020 however. The Boston Red Sox are planning on using the Pawtucket based stadium as a training ground for their taxi squad. More on that in the coming weeks.

Last Of The PawSox?

This sort of brings us to the harsh reality that the last PawSox game in the team’s history us already in the books. Pawtucket is slated to move to Worcester and become the WooSox to start the 2021 season upon the completion of Polar Park. Opening the 2021 season at Polar Park is certainly not a given, construction was halted for several weeks due to COVID-19 and there is no guarantee that the MiLB season will start on-time in 2021.

Pawtucket may have to make alternative plans for 2021 that could involve an extension of their lease at McCoy Stadium. City officials have stated an willingness to have that discussion with the team in the past but are also looking at the future long-term use of the site.

“We continue to speak with the Mayor of Pawtucket, the Hon. Donald R. Grebien, and other public officials, about the uses this summer–and beyond–of McCoy Stadium.  So many high school and college players have loved playing on this field through the years, and we will see if there is a way to continue to provide that opportunity.  We have also loved welcoming so many Rhode Island families to enjoy Dining on the Diamond, and we will see if we can continue to offer that experience as well.”

One thing that is not contemplated yet is if the MilB season kicks off in 2021 with no fans and Polar Park is not completed the team could elect to still play in an uncompleted Polar Park as not everything has to be completed for that to occur.
The post PawSox Baseball Not Occurring 2020, MiLB Season Cancelled appeared first on Trifecta Sports.

NWSL Challenge Cup CBS Broadcast Draws Strong Ratings

This past Saturday a domestic women’s soccer league was on network television for the first time and fans responded by tuning in. The North Carolina Courage v Portland Thorns FC broadcast on CBS at 12:30 p.m. had 572,000 viewers, a big number for the National Women’s Soccer League.

In terms of soccer broadcasts on American television, it was the highest-rated broadcast of the week according to ShowBuzzDaily. It is worth noting that CBS is in 120 million households due to it’s over the air status. While NBCSN (EPL) is in 80 million and ESPN (FA Cup & last years NWSL Champ) is in 86 million households.

As an NWSL comparison, the 2019 NWSL Championship drew 166k on ESPN. 572k is now the NWSL broadcast record beating the previous record 190,000 which was set in August of 2014 when Houston took on Portland.

Here are the top ten markets according to CBS with respective NWSL teams:

1. Portland (Portland Thorns)

2. St. Louis

3. Nashville

4. Memphis

5. West Palm Beach (Orlando Pride)

6. Salt Lake City (Utah Royals FC)

7. Hartford

8. Kansas City

9. Pittsburgh

10. Houston (Houston Dash)

Challenge Cup Opener on CBS is Most-Watched @NWSL Match Ever— CBS Sports PR (@CBSSportsGang) June 30, 2020

I would encourage the NWSL to dig into the market data as potential expansion markets. Wouldn’t read too much into a one-off but it is worth a look. From a local perspective it isn’t shocking to see Hartford Connecticut make the list. Hartford, home of the USL Championships Hartford Athletic, is a regular top ten market for soccer broadcasts in the United States.

This was the first professional contact sports league match back in the United States since early March when the sports world came to a halt due to COVID-19. The remainder of the Challenge Cup will be behind a paywall on CBS All Access with the exception of the final which will be on CBS.
The post NWSL Challenge Cup CBS Broadcast Draws Strong Ratings appeared first on Trifecta Sports.

Minor League Baseball Cancels 2020 Season Due To COVID-19 Pandemic

It’s official: Minor League Baseball has cancelled its 2020 season.
Rumors swirled an announcement would be made Tuesday, and that’s exactly what happened when MiLB released a statement.
“These are unprecedented times for our country and our organization as this is the first time in our history that we’ve had a summer without Minor League Baseball played,” MiLB president and CEO Pat O’Conner said, per the league. “While this is a sad day for many, this announcement removes the uncertainty surrounding the 2020 season and allows our teams to begin planning for an exciting 2021 season of affordable entertainment.”
— Minor League Baseball (@MiLB) June 30, 2020

The Pawtucket Red Sox, Boston’s Triple-A affiliate, also released a statement regarding the decision.
“Due to the many COVID-19 related challenges that would accompany staffing team rosters for a two-month season, Major League Baseball has now advised that they will not be assigning players to the teams of Minor League Baseball in 2020,” a team-provided statement said. “This year is the first in the 137-year history of the International League (founded in 1884) that no games will have been played. The PawSox will continue their community efforts to help those affected by the coronavirus, and will continue to celebrate their 50th anniversary (1970-2020).”
More: Red Sox Provide Alex Verdugo, Collin McHugh Updates With Summer Camp Nearing

Skip Bayless Changes Tune On Cam Newton’s Potential Impact With Patriots

On Monday, Skip Bayless called Cam Newton the “perfect possible replacement” for Tom Brady and suggested the Patriots could go 9-7 this season after reportedly agreeing to a one-year contract with the 2015 NFL MVP.
On Tuesday, after looking at New England’s schedule, the FS1 talking head changed his tune.
Bayless now believes it’ll be a struggle for the Patriots to post a .500 record in 2020 despite the addition of Newton, who presumably will compete with Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer for New England’s starting quarterback job.
“The No. 1 most difficult schedule belongs to Cam Newton’s new team,” Bayless said on Tuesday’s episode of “Undisputed.” “So, I start looking at the schedule (Monday night) and I dare you to look at it right now and show me eight wins. Because I’m having a hard time finding eight wins on this schedule.
” … It will be a minor miracle if (Newton) can win nine games and lift this team into the playoffs,” Bayless added. “A minor miracle. If he does that, he will be right in the thick of the MVP race because that’s how mediocre the rest of this roster still remains.”
More Patriots: How NFL Execs Reportedly Reacted To Cam Newton News

The #1 most difficult schedule in all of football belongs to Cam Newton’s new team. I dare you to look at this schedule and show me 8 wins. More @Undisputed, now on FS1
— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) June 30, 2020

Bayless initially said the Patriots would have gone 4-12 with Stidham as their starting quarterback, so his expectations for New England still are higher with Newton under center. But it’s clear Bayless got carried away in the immediate aftermath of the Newton news, forcing him to backtrack to some extent just one day later.
Now, the question becomes: Is Bayless selling New England short? Whatever the case, he fully expects Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to have a better season than Bill Belichick and the Patriots.
More Patriots: Tom Brady Drops Eye-Opening Comment On Julian Edelman’s Cam Newton Post

NFL Rumors: Bucs Aren’t Interested In Signing Antonio Brown After All

Hoping to see Tom Brady and Antonio Brown reunite this season? Well, don’t get your hopes up.
Former NFL executive and current insider Mike Lombardi on Tuesday hinted at the possible reunion during an appearance on “The Pat McAfee Show” podcast. Sirius XM Satellite Radio host John Tournour had made a similar report Monday.
But the Bucs apparently are not interested in bringing Antonio Brown aboard, sources tell ESPN’s Dianna Russini.

Tampa Bay is not interested in Antonio Brown per sources #Buccaneers
— Dianna Russini (@diannaESPN) June 30, 2020

Though some fans would love to see the pair join forces once again, the Bucs probably are better off without Brown in the long run. Trouble has followed Brown wherever he’s gone since his days with the Pittsburgh Steelers, including a number of shenanigans during his brief stint with the New England Patriots in Sept. 2019.
Of course, people can change, and Brown certainly is capable of doing so. But Brown hasn’t necessarily proven he’s done that yet, so it’s understandable why teams (like the Bucs) might lack interest in the receiver.
More NFL: Ron Rivera Explains Why People Shouldn’t Bet Against Cam Newton, Patriots

NFL Rumors: Cam Newton Can Be Franchise Tagged By Patriots In 2021

Cam Newton’s reported one-year deal with the Patriots is looking better and better.
New England and the quarterback reportedly agreed on the contract Sunday night and is said to be “incentive-laden.” While the deal has yet to be made official, that hasn’t stopped Newton from sending messages to the rest of the NFL.
And while details are few and far between regarding what exactly the incentives will be, one did emerge Tuesday that made the deal look sweeter.
Per CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora, the Patriots won’t be prevented from using the franchise tag on Newton in 2021.

I'm told that Cam Newton's one-year deal with the Patriots does not include a provision preventing New England from applying a 2021 franchise tag on the former MVP QB. Wow
— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) June 30, 2020

So if Newton lights it up in his comeback season, Bill Belichick can tag him and keep in New England for another year if the two sides can’t agree on a longer-term deal. And if the 31-year-old QB indeed plays well and showcases what he’s been capable of, it’s entirely possible Newton and the Pats find some common ground that will keep him around a bit longer.
Still, only time will tell if Newton not only will be the Week 1 starter, but will be able to put together a strong 2020 season.
More Patriots: Tom Brady Drops Eye-Opening Comment On Julian Edelman’s Cam Newton Post

Ron Rivera Explains Why People Shouldn’t Bet Against Cam Newton, Patriots

There’s not many in the NFL that are more familiar with quarterback Cam Newton than ex-Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera.
Rivera watched Newton ascend from a No. 1 overall pick to a league MVP, working with the signal-caller from 2011 to 2019 before being fired by the franchise midway through the season. And now, Rivera, the current coach of the Washington Redskins, has expressed his confidence that Newton will make the most of his next opportunity, which reportedly will come in New England.
“He’s headed in the right direction,” Rivera told the McNeil & Parkins Show on 670 The Score. “I mean, he’s probably about as healthy as it gets from what I’ve seen on video. I think he’s ready to bust out. I really do. I would never bet against the young man, that’s for sure.”
The Patriots reportedly signed Newton to a one-year “incentive-laden” deal Sunday night. While the official terms have not been released, Newton posted a video saying goodbye to Carolina and hello to New England on Monday. Newton reportedly only had one other team interested in him.
While that motivation has been previously noted by others, perhaps it’s part of the reason Rivera is advising those not to overlook the 2015 MVP entering the 2020 season.
“Don’t bet against him,” Rivera said. “I really wouldn’t. First of all, you got to know who he is and understand what all he’s gone through. He’s a guy that’s always tried to do things, I think, because he’s felt the pressure. He felt the pressure of being the No. 1 overall pick. He felt the pressure of having won the Heisman Trophy and being the No. 1 overall pick. He felt the pressure of being a Black quarterback, with all the stuff that’s been heaped on him.
“He’s really had to find his way through it, and he’s done a great job with it.”
Newton, of course, will have to beat out second-year quarterback Jarrett Stidham and veteran Brian Hoyer. However, if he does, the Patriots offense could certainly look a lot different.
More NFL: Tom Brady Drops Eye-Opening Coment On Julian Edelman’s Instagram Post About Cam Newton