Revolution Notes: How Big MLS Moves Affect Revs

During the past few days two major moves went down in MLS. Atlanta United traded Julian Gressel to DC United and LA Galaxy signed Javier Hernandez. Both moves are haymakers in terms of league composition and the Gressel trade directly affects the New England Revolution.

Atlanta sent Gressel to DC in exchange for a minimum of $750k in targeted allocation money that could reach $ 1.1 million if certain thresholds are hit. The former Providence College Friar heads been in MLS for two seasons and at 26-years-old has solidified himself as a star.

In his first three seasons in MLS the midfielder has appeared in 98 matches, 88 starts, with 15 goals and 35 assists and won the 2018 MLS Cup with Atlanta.

On paper the move feels odd for Atlanta but Gressel was entering the final year of his entry level deal that would only pay him $150k. D.C. plans on changing that by reportedly upping his salary and extending him.A few weeks ago D.C. United was in an odd place with no real urgency to replace Wayne Rooney. Now they have transferred in midfielder Edision Flores for $5 million and made a move for Gressel.

Feels like D.C. United could be right back where they were last season and have upside to grow as a side under the watchful eye of Ben Olsen.

New England faces D.C. 6/6/20 and 8/29/20.

Unclear how this affects Atlanta but it feels like a big step backwards given the playmaking ability’s of Gressel. Not only did Atlanta trade away Gressel but they also traded Darlington Nagbe who started 32 matches for them last season.

Atlanta did make a move on Thursday transferring in 23-year-old midfielder Jake Mulraney. The Dublin, Ireland native comes over from the Scottish Premiership where he has appeared in 17 matches this season with one goal and two assists. Coincidently his first pro contract was with the Queens Park Rangers, the former second tier side of Revs defender Michael Mancienne.

Tough to get a read on Atlanta at the moment.

The Revs take on Atlanta on 7/8/20 and 8/12/20.

Zlatan Who? Meet Chicharito

As for the Galaxy landing Hernandez is a game changer with the Mexican superstar being the perfect match for the market and to fill the void left by Zlatan. The 31-year-old is a goal scoring machine most importantly he is a winner. Two Premier League titles, Mexican Primera Division, FIFA Club World Cup, Concacaf Gold Cup, and Concacaf Cup.

This move doesn’t directly affect the Revolution but it should keep the Galaxy firmly in the Western Conference playoff picture and the Revs actually face LA in preseason action on 2/10.
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Connelly’s Top Ten – Patriots Turning into Bengals?

1. Patriots offseason

* The nightmare that started with the spa in Florida continues – two arrests since season ended (Edelman / Williams)

* Patriot draft picks 1st round / 3 round / 4th  round / 3 – 6th rounds / 3 – 7th rounds

* Report Brady needs to provide answer before 3/16 – he isn’t going to like ultimatums – maybe that’s their hope

2. Twenty-six Patriots have caught at least 15 TD passes over their Patriot career:

* Tight Ends (8)…………Gronk, Coates, Hernandez, Hasselbeck, Francis, D. Graham, Watson, Whalen

* Flanker / Split End (3).Colclough, Cappelletti, A. Graham* Running Back (3)………Faulk, White, Garron

* Wide Receiver (12).….Morgan, Welker, Edelman, Fryar, Brown, Vataha, Glenn, Branch, Moss, H. Jackson, Cedric Jones, Patten

3. Baseball Hall of Fame stuff:

* Larry Walker average at Coors Field .381 / Away from Coors .282

* Hall of Famers voted since 2000 who only one season in which they finished TOP FIVE in MVP voting: Tony Perez, Ozzie Smith, Wade Boggs, Tony Gwynn, Barry Larkin, Pudge Rodriguez, Tim Raines, Jim Thome, Edgar Martinez

4. What could have been – Patriots tight ends in 2011: Gronk and Hernandez – 212 receptions / 25 TD’s / 2,237 yards

5. Bruins / Celtics stuff:

* Celtics top five in field goal attempts: Tatum 18.2, Walker 16.6, Brown 14.7, Hayward 12.7, Smart 10.9

* Celtics league rank in 3 point shooting efficiency: Brown 50th / Walker 51st / Tatum 79th / Smart 99th* McAvoy is 0 for his last 77 shooting

 * Rask has played in 28 games / Halak 24

6. The 1970 Stanley Cup Bruins had 27 out of 28 players born in Canada (Hodge born in England). This year the Bruins have four of 21 from Canada

7.Old School – In the 1983-1984 season – five Celtics (representing 72% of shots) shot a combined 52.7% from the field:

Kevin McHale………55.6%

Robert Parish………54.6%

Cedric Maxwell…….53.2%

Gerald Henderson…52.4%

Larry Bird…………..49.2%

8. Amazing Stat – Walter Bell is the eighth highest paid Massachusetts employee at $629mm – bang for the buck – his team was 1-11

9. Just a Little Bit Outside – Mental Health – Sports not immune to the problems of society – Boston athletes who have reportedly struggled:

* Jimmy Piersall

* Delonte West

* Antonio Brown

* Jeff Reardon 

* Brandon Lloyd

* Roger Moret

10. Randomocity

* You know its bad when you start recognizing cars in traffic from past traffic jams

* Six of the top eight scorers in NBA history played for the Lakers – Kareem, K. Malone, Kobe, LeBron, Shaq, Chamberlain, 

* In the documentary American Factory – Chinese managers are trained – If you want to get American workers to do anything you have to flatter them – “Americans have a very high opinion of themselves”* Imagine Coors Field and Steroids

 * The Oscar-nominated documentary For Sama is a terrible name seeing the couple exposed their daughter to death in Syria to do the film – should have been  named “For Me”* At the Staten Island Groundhog Day – Mayor DeBlasio dropped the groundhog and the animal died

* Machado’s dirty slide cost Pedroia the Hall of Fame
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Bryant Beats Wagner To Get Back On Track In NEC Play

Bryant University Bulldogs Beat The Wagner College Seahawks To Get Back On Track In NEC Play After Losing Four Straight

The Bryant University Bulldogs hosted the Wagner College Seahawks on Thursday night at the Chace Athletic Center. After a slow start by the Bulldogs, they were able to take a 26 to 23 lead a the half. That’s despite the Bulldogs taking 12 less shots the the Seahawks in the half.

In the second half, Bryant was able to limit the turnovers and hit their three point shots as they were 8 for 18 from three point range in the half. They ended up outscoring the Seahawks by a score of 53 to 35 in the second half. “I knew eventually we would start playing well. We played better today. In the second half, we kind of looked like ourselves again” said head coach Jared Grasso after the game.

That second half surge by the Bulldogs helped lead them to a 79 to 58 win over the Seahawks. This win by the Bulldogs ended their four game losing streak in NEC play as they now sit at 2 and 4 in NEC Play. Bryant now has also matched their overall win total from a year ago with 10 wins on the season. Adam Grant led all Bulldogs scorers with 21 points in the victory over Wagner. That included Grant going 6 for 10 from three point range.

“We shared the ball, we made some shots. When you see the ball go in, you start feeling confident and you defend a little better. I was happy with our effort” added Grasso.

Bryant Freshman Are Playing Big Minutes

Three Bryant Freshman have been playing a lot of minutes this season. Benson Lin, Michael Green the 3rd, and Charles Pride have played a lot of big time minutes for the Bulldogs this season.

“They’re good players. They work hard everyday. Charles Pride had knee surgery over the summer, so he didn’t start playing until October. He comes back and he’s playing really well. Rookie of the week a couple of times. Sprains his ankle and is out a month. Then he comes back and he’s trying to get back in shape. He’s a very good player” said Jared Grasso after the game when talking about the play of Charles Pride. On Thursday night, Pride scored 16 points and came down with 8 rebounds in 31 minutes.

“Benson Lin works harder then maybe any player I’ve ever seen” said Grasso when talking about the guard. Benson Lin scored 11 points for the Bulldogs in 29 minutes on Thursday.

“Mike Green is a New York City point guard with a high level swagger, and he got back to being himself today” said Grasso after the game. Green scored 15 points in 20 minutes of play on Thursday. In the second half, he played a majority of the minutes over Ikenna Ndugba.

“Those guys are good players, and they’re going to be really good players cause they’re workers. They’re great kids, and they spend a ton of time in the gym together” Grasso added when talking about what the freshman have brought to the table.

As NEC play rolls on, the play of the freshman will have a lot to do with the success of the Bulldogs. Especially if head coach Jared Grasso needs the freshman to play 30 plus minutes per game. As a whole, that’s not something you see a lot in college basketball.

What’s Next For The Bulldogs

The Bulldogs will travel to Mount St. Mary’s this Saturday afternoon as they take on the Mountaineers at 5:00pm. Fans can watch that game live on NEC Front Row.
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Peyton Manning Says Eli’s Retirement From NFL Will Be Bittersweet

Almost four years ago, Peyton Manning called it a career after 18 seasons in the NFL.
Now, it’s his brother Eli’s turn.
The New York Giants quarterback will announce his retirement at a press conference Friday, ending his 16-season career in the NFL. He’s got two Super Bowl rings and two Super Bowl MVPs (all of which came against the New England Patriots) under his belt and wraps things up with a 117-117-0 record in the regular season.
Peyton is proud of the career his brother led.
“I’m happy for Eli, because I know he’s at peace and he put a lot of time and thought into this decision,” Manning told DenverBroncos.com’s Aric DiLalla. “But I am sad, because I won’t get to see him play anymore. And after my dad and Dan Marino, Eli really was my favorite player. So I have to find a new one. But for really 19 years going back to his three years at Ole Miss, 16 years in the NFL, I have enjoyed watching him play, watching him compete, watching him grow into a man. It’s been a heck of a run.”
Peyton always has enjoyed watching his sibling play, especially since retiring in 2016. He’ll miss that now that Eli is hanging up his helmet.
“I really have enjoyed watching him play in person a lot more,” Manning said. “I’ve been averaging about three games a season during the years that I was retired. I certainly got to keep up with his games more. And once again, I wasn’t talking to him every day during the week, but could ask him about the game plan and what the Dolphins are doing on defense. But to go see him play and take my kids down to the locker room and have the chance for them to see their uncle, that was a real thrill. So I’ll miss that. I’ve been doing it for a long time.
“In college, I’d go back and see Eli play one game a year in high school. When I was in the NFL, I’d go see him play one game a year in college. And just to see this growth and development each year — he was just a year older, a year stronger, a year more mature — so I’ve been seeing him play a long time. I will definitely miss that, but I’ll have great memories of the journey.”
And just like that, it’s the end of an era in the NFL.

Tedy Bruschi, Matt Hasselbeck Share Incredible Pro Bowl Exchange On Twitter

The NFL Pro Bowl most certainly has changed over the years.
The NFL’s All-Star game equivalent currently is held in Miami the week before the Super Bowl, but that wasn’t always the case. It used to be held the week after The Big Game in Hawaii and former New England Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi took to Twitter on Thursday to share a fond memory from one of his appearances in which the Pats actually won the Super Bowl the week before.
Former Seattle Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck had the opposite experience, responding to Bruschi’ tweet with a photo of his own after he lost in his lone Super Bowl the week prior.
For more on the hilarious exchange, check out the “Need to Know” video above from “NESN After Hours,” presented by People’s United Bank.

NESN Bruins Podcast: Unpacking David Backes’ Future After Getting Waived

So, what’s next for David Backes?
The veteran forward was waived by the Boston Bruins last Friday, and has until the conclusion of the All-Star break to determine if he will report to the Providence Bruins of the AHL or not.
Meanwhile, the Bruins went into the break still well atop the Atlantic Division, despite some good and not-so-good showings in the final contests.
In the latest episode of the “NESN Bruins Podcast,” NESN.com’s Mike Cole and Logan Mullen tackle those topics and more.
Listen to the full episode in the player below, on iTunes or anywhere else you get your podcasts.
Click here to go to the NESN Podcast Network on iTunes >>> 

Watch Stephon Gilmore Grab Two Interceptions In Pro Bowl Skills Showdown

As if NFL quarterbacks weren’t already aware of his skill, Stephon Gilmore put together more tape.
The New England Patriots’ Pro Bowl cornerback took part in the first-ever ‘Thread the Needle’ challenge during the NFL’s Pro Bowl Skills Showdown on Thursday night. And to no surprise, he finished with two interceptions.
Gilmore and fellow AFC defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick of the Pittsburgh Steelers combined to intercept three passes against NFC quarterbacks Russell Wilson and Kirk Cousins. It wasn’t enough though as the NFC still earned the win.
Gilmore recorded an interception against both Wilson and another Cousins.
You can watch it here:

NEW EVENT ALERT
QBs vs. DBs in "Thread the Needle"
: #ProBowlSkills Showdown on ESPN pic.twitter.com/uYqtrUCa2i
— NFL (@NFL) January 24, 2020

Gilmore also took place in the dodgeball challenge, which the AFC won to propel them to the overall victory in the Pro Bowl Skills Showdown.

Steph & [email protected] | #ProBowl pic.twitter.com/bz2H6wd1ye
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) January 23, 2020

Gilmore and Patriots special teams captain Matthew Slater will play for the AFC in the Pro Bowl on Sunday at 3 p.m. in Orlando.

Chaim Bloom Sheds Light On Red Sox’s Approach To Hiring New Manager

If the Boston Red Sox have a manager by spring training, great. If not, that’s fine as well.
That appears to be the mindset of chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom.
The Red Sox currently are in pursuit of a new manager after mutually parting ways with Alex Cora. Of course, January is not typically when teams are going after skippers, so the Red Sox are in an unusual spot, especially with pitchers and catcher set to report to spring training Feb. 12.
But Bloom indicated to The Associated Press on Thursday that the ideal scenario is the Red Sox having a manager in place by spring training, but that they won’t rush through the process just so that someone is in place by then.
“It would certainly be ideal (to have a replacement by spring training),” Bloom said. “Nobody wants to be at this point in a year without a manager, obviously, so that would become even more important once we get to spring training.
“It’s best for everybody if it just stays private until we have something to share,” Bloom added. “Obviously speed is important, because of the unusual timing of this, but we just want to make sure we’re not going faster than we should, in order to get the best outcome in this process.”
According to the AP, Bloom would not indicate whether the team had conducted any interviews or if internal candidates were ruled out.
How the Mets’ hiring of Luis Rojas impacts the Red Sox’s managerial search >>>

NFL Reports Slight Increase In Number Of Reported Concussions In 2019

The NFL’s concussion problem isn’t going away just yet.
The league says the number of concussions sustained by players rose slightly this season, increasing from 214 in 2018 to 224 in 2019, according to ESPN’s Kevin Seifert.
That said, it’s nothing compared to the number of concussions reported earlier in the decade. There were 281 concussions reported in 2017 and the NFL averaged 266.3 concussions per year between the 2015 and 2017 seasons. The NFL later forbid players to lower their head to initiate contact during games.
NFL executive vice president of health and safety initiatives Jeff Miller says this will help the league assess future numbers.
“From here on, we are going to be driving our concussion reduction efforts against that new benchmark,” Miller said, per Seifert. “Last year’s number was a substantial drop. This year’s number is statistically similar to it. We feel as if we’ve found a new place from where we need to continue to push down the number of concussions.”
Hopefully, this season’s number won’t increase in 2020.