The recent firing of Revolution coach Brad Friedel marks the beginning of a new era for the New England Revolution. The 2019 season has been somewhat of a disappointment for Revolution fans. Currently, the club sits in eleventh place in the MLS soccer standings. This month the Kraft family decided to go in another direction and hired well respected Bruce Arena to guide the organization. As a coach, Arena is one of the most successful coaches in soccer history. In this post, we will review three why hiring Bruce Arena is a step in the right direction. One Of The Most Successful Coaches In MLS history In Arena, New England gets one of the most successful coaches in soccer history. His resume includes five MLS Cup championships. Three with the LA Galaxy in 2011, 2912, and 2014. Also, a Supporters Cup Shield in 2011. The decision to fire Brad Friedel came as a result of another slow start by the Revolution. Friedel compiled a 12-21-13 record in his brief tenure as head coach, Certainly not good enough to compete for a world cup. For the past five seasons, the Revolution have been struggling at the bottom. Currently, the Revolution are 4-8-4 and stand in 11th place in the MLS East. With Arenas, winning history fans can expect a total housecleaning. Impressive Resume Another reason for the hiring of Arena, was his remarkable resume. He began his coaching career after graduating from Cornell in the late sixties. At Cornell. he participated in soccer and was the team’s goalkeeper for four years. As for his coaching experience, Arena has had a brilliant career coaching the LA Galaxy, DC United, and NY Red Bulls. In Los Angeles Arena guided the Galaxy to three MLS titles Also, in 1996 and 1998 he led DC United to two World Cups. Not to mention a supporters cup in 1995. Winning Formula Taking over the Revolution will be a challenge. As an organization, the club has never won a US Cup. despite four attempts in the early part of the millennial. In 2000 the team won a US open cup trophy. The Future Ahead By hiring Arena the Kraft family is sending a message that significant changes are coming. After their worst start in franchise history, the team can only go up. As for the roster, the Revolution do have several players with plenty of upside. Some talented names to watch are goalkeeper Cody Cropper, Midfielder, Scott Caldwell, forwards, Teal Bunbury, and Diego Fagundez. It will take some time, but look for Arena to do what needs to be done and bring a World Cup to Gillette stadium.
What a difference a year makes. In 2018 the Celtics lost to Cleveland in the Eastern Conference Championship. That roster was minus a Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward. This year, with a healthy roster the team slipped all the way to a fifth seed in the East. Several factors can contribute to this year’s disappointment. In this post, we will examine three reasons why the Celtics failed to play a brand of basketball fans can be proud of.
No More Finger pointing One area that needs to be addressed in 2019/20 is no more finger pointing. This was the norm for this year’s squad. Previous Celtics greats Larry Bird, Bill Russell, Bob Cousy, Kevin McHale, and Paul Pierce would never blame other teammates.
The Boston Bruins are enjoying a very sweet 2019 playoff run in a quest for their second Stanley Cup of the millennial. One of the reasons behind the successful run is the play of netminder Tuukka Rask. Rask has guided the Bruins past victories over Toronto, Columbus, and two wins over Carolina with game three Tuesday night. In this post, we will examine three reasons, why Rask has been so successful and where he stands amongst recent Stanley Cup goalies.
What Separates Tuukka Rask From Other Elite NHL Goaltenders?
Young Defensive Group Outside of Charlie McAvoy the team has an extremely young group of talented defensemen. Starting with Charlie McAvoy the team is a well_ balanced unit with Brandon Carlo, Matt Grzelcyk, Connor Clifton, and Torey Krug.
Post Season Success It wasn’t too long ago that Tuukka Rask was getting criticized for his lack of victories in postseason. With consecutive losses to Ottawa and Tampa Bay, it’s safe to say that Tuukka Rask has finally arrived as an elite NHL goaltender.
With a quarter of the 2019MLB season completed, it’s safe to say the 2019 Red Sox have many question marks. Question number one is pitching. Currently, the club is tied for third in the ALEast behind Tampa and New York. Any hopes of a mid _season surge into first place will fall on the starting pitching. In this post, we will review three areas that the organization needs to focus on a return to return to first place.
Lack Of A Closer Will Prove Costly For 2019 Red Sox
No, Craig Kimbrel In 2018 the Red Sox bullpen had a combined total of 46 saves. A lot of the credit went to closer Craig Kimbrel and setup man Joe Kelly. Kelly was instrumental in the post _season last year as he was one of the managers Alex Cora’s trusted relievers. In the offseason, Kelly signed a multi _year deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Since Kelly’s departure, the majority of the responsibility has rested on reliever Ryan Brasier. Brasier has so far been adequate but does not even come close to Joe Kelly’s caliber. Kimbrel, on the other hand, remains a free_agent. He is believed to be seeking a long _term deal perhaps equaling six or seven years. Lack of Hitting So far, the Red Sox are 17-19 in the American League East. Overall, the club is hitting 283 as a team fifth best in the league along with a total of 42 home runs. As of late outfielder, Mookie Betts has been on a torrid hitting streak. Newly recalled Michael Chavis had been one of the teams most productive hitters belting seven home runs in less than two weeks. Also contributing with the bat have been Rafael Devers and catcher Christian Vazquez, and JD Martinez has been consistent. Starting Pitching Needs To Be Healthy After 36 games, the Red Sox starting pitching has suffered injuries to two key pitchers. Both starters David Price and Nathan Eovaldi have been placed on the DL Out of the two, Evoldi’s injury is considered more serious. It was diagnosed that Eovaldi will miss at least 4to 6 months of pitching due to Tommy John surgery.
If the team has any aspirations of returning to first place, then they will need a healthy David Price and Nathan Eovaldi. Also on the injured list is lefthander Brian Johnson. Johnson’s injury is not regarded as serious. The season Ahead If the club expects to have any hopes of postseason then a lot will depend on the health of the pitching. Also, investing in closer is one alternative the organization needs to think about if they expect to play even close to last season.
With the 2019 NFL Draft officially underway, the quarterback issue is an area of concern as long as Tom Brady stays healthy. Barring an injury, the only capable backup is veteran Brian Hoyer. The question is can Hoyer carry the Patriots through the whole season and the playoffs. Some possible names to keep an eye on are Justin Herbert of Oregon, Drew Lock of Missouri and Will Grier of W Virginia. In this post, we will examine three quarterbacks who could help the Patriots and make the 2019 roster. Three Quarterbacks Who Would Be A Perfect Fit In A Patriots Uniform In This Year’s Draft
Justin HerbertOregon Herbert is an interesting possibility whose stock has climbed the past month. The 21 year_old has the height 6’6” and weight 224 lbs. that appeal to a lot of NFL coaches. In 2018 Herbert threw for 3151 total yards and 29 touchdowns 8 interceptions. As a three year starter at Oregon, has thrown for 63 touchdowns with his longest an 83_ yard bomb in 2018. Herbert’s strong points are his decision making and arm strength. Look for Herbert to go in the mid_ rounds in this year’s draft. Herbert certainly has the size a characteristic that head coach Bill Belichick relishes. Will Grier West Virginia Grier has shown considerable interest from the Patriots as a possible fit in New England. The former transfer from Florida had a career year in 2018 throwing for 3,498 yards and 12 touchdowns. Grier’s strengths are his throwing accuracy and pocket presence. With, three _third round picks the chances of Grier being available are slim. Do not expect Bill Belichick to trade up to get him. Drew Lock Missouri Locke is an interesting candidate. As a three year starter at Missouri Lock has thrown for over 3000, yards in each season. In 2017 led the nation with 44 touchdown passes. At 6’4” Lock has the size and agility to be a legitimate NFL quarterback. He comes with the reputation of being a gunslinger and lacks patience. With an impressive resume under his belt look for Lock to be a fourth or fifth round selection. The Upcoming Season With a total of eleven draft picks this year look for the Patriots to be quite active. With Rob Gronkowski retiring the team has several needs to fill. The question still remains the Patriots will win as long as Tom Brady stays healthy.
With, the Red Sox off to their slowest start in franchise history, pitching in the main area of concern. With Chris Sale struggling /850 ERa and Nathan Eovaldi on the 10_ day disabled list the team may have to look into the farm system for help as the season lingers on. In this post, we will review the organization’s top pitching prospects. Top Red Sox Pitching prospects for 2019 Jason Groome; Jason Groome has been in the Red Sox system for three years. Injuries have taken a toll on the young lefthander. Groome however, is still ranked highly by the teams scouting department. Gromme possesses a strong fastball _curveball to add fastball. Control has been his main issue as he does have a high strikeout ratio. If Groome can work on his command 2019 could be a realistic projection for him to make the rotation. Darwinian Hernandez: The lanky lefthander is perhaps the most likely prospect to be recalled this summer. Hernandez saw a substantial amount of innings in spring training. Look for Hernandez to start the season in Double_ A Portland this season. Hernandez best pitches are his fastball and changeup. If he can work on his command, he may be in the rotation sooner than expected. Bryan Mata: Only 18 years old Mata is one of the top_ ranked prospects in the system. Mata throws a strong fastball and curveball. Projected as a reliever he is rapidly rising through the system. If Mata can stay healthy, he should make the 40 man roster by 2020. TannerHouck: Tanner Houck is the 6th ranked prospect in the organization. A former first_ round draft pick last season Houck quickly climbed the ladder reaching Class A Salem. A strong fastball and curveball Houck needs to work on his control. In one stretch, last season Houck struck out 38 batters in40 innings. Despite an ugly 6.16 ERA Houck is projected to reach the big leagues in 2021. The Future: Despite a poor start the 2019 Red Sox do show some light with their farm system. The organization has resigned lefthander Chris Sale and Nathan Eovaldi to long term contracts. Also, shortstop Xander Boagaerts has also committed to a long_ term deal. With the team in dead last in the AL East do not be surprised if the organization starts recalling its prospects sooner than expected.
With the 2019 Major League Baseball season underway here is a projection of which teams will be fighting it out in October. The 2018 Boston Red Sox are frontrunners to repeat. In this post, we will examine which team’s will be standing in Oct
Four Teams That Will Be Fighting It Out For The 2019 American League Playoffs
1st Place AL East Boston’ The World Champions had a relatively quiet offseason. General Manager Dave Dombrowski resigned World Series MVP Steve Pearce. and starter Nathan Eovaldi. As of last week, the organization rewarded ace Chris Sale with a five _year contract extension
Bullpen _wise, closer Craig Kimbrel still remains a free agent. As it stands now, the opening day closer remains veteran righthander Matt Barnes.
Offensively; Offensively the team will open the season with the same lineup as last season. Overall, in 2018 the team finished 6th in the league in home runs /208 and 1st in every other department. The only change in the lineup is catcher Sandy Leon who was released in spring training. Wild Card Yankees; The Yankees had a successful 2018 season winning 100 games. In 2018 the Yankees landed the biggest free agent fish n Giancarlo Stanton. Apparently, Stanton was not enough as the team lost to Boston in round one of the playoffs.
This offseason the Yankees were one of the busiest in baseball. The club acquired Seattle southpaw James Paxton. Resigned JA Haap and Zach Britton. Also coming to terms were infielder Troy Tulowitzki, Outfielder Andrew McCutcheon, Infielder DJ LaMahieu pitchers Lace Lynn and Gio Gonzalez. The Yankees will be serious challengers to the Red Sox as the club added depth to their 2019 roster. One thing is for certain they will be active at the trade deadline.
AL Central Minnesota; This may seem a long shot but the Twins are committed to winning. First_year manager Rocco Baldelli takes a team that finished in third place a year ago with visions of a championship.
In the offseason, the Twins added CJ Cron, Nelson Cruz, and infielder Johnathan Schoop. With an established pitching staff and deep bullpen look for the club to be the surprise of the American League.
Offensively the Twins have a talented group of Max Kepler, MIguel Sano, and outfielder Byron Buxton. Despite Joe Mauer, retiring Twins fans have high hopes for a serious championship run. AL West Houston Astros; The Astros won five games less than the Red Sox in2018 finishing 103-59 and a 636 winning percentage. Considering the fact that they lost starter Charlie Morton to Tampa Bay, they still have an intriguing pitching staff. Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole give the Astros a reliable one and two punch. Collin McHugh and Brad Peacock round out the staff. As for depth, the club has two studs ready in the minors. Youngsters Josh James and Forrest Whitley should join the staff at some point
Peacock rounds out the staff. Depth_ wise, the team has two young studs in the minors. Youngsters Josh James and Forrest Whitley will be recalled at some point during the season.
The organization announced that they had resigned pitcher Justin Verlander and third baseman Alex Bregman to contract extensions. Despite losing Marwin Gonzalez in free agency, they still have plenty of punch with Jose Altuve and George Springer
Tuesday, March 12th marks the opening round of the 2019 Men’s College Basketball Championship. Otherwise known as March Madness. Like every year there are surprises. Last season, for example, Virginia lost in the first round to Wofford. This season the Cavaliers are ranked number one and hope to redeem themselves this season. In this post, we will examine the final eight team in this year’s tournament.
Sizing Up the 2019 Men’s March Madness Contenders
No. Eight Tennessee; The Volunteers have been one of the most surprising teams this season. Coming on strong the past two weeks they find themselves a number 2 seed in the East
The strengths of the Volunteers is their experience. The starters are mostly all upperclassman led by junior guard Admiral Schofield. Schofield’s strengths are his defense and three _point shooting. Other players to watch are Grant Williams, Jordan Bove, and Lamont Turner. Defensively and rebounding wise the Volunteers are one of the best in the country in these categories.
No.7 Virginia; Learning from experience may be the theme of this year’s Cavalier squad. Last season, the Cavaliers were out in the first round by Wofford after finishing 2018 at number one.
If the Cavaliers are going to make a statement, it will have to be done with their defense. Overall, the team was number one on defense give up 54 points per game. With a deep shooting group of De”Andre Hunter, Kyle Guy, and Ty Jerome are one of the best three _point shooting groups in the nation. If the Cavaliers can hit the three_ pointer consistently, they will be in the fight.
No 6 Wisconsin: The Badgers have a history of getting out in front of the tournament early but fall to the stronger teams. This year’s team had a successful season finishing 21-9. Wisconsin is led by one of the best big men in the country in Ethan Happ. Another strong characteristic is their three_ point shooting.
Guards Brad Davison, Nate Reuvers, Brevin Prezi, and Tal Strickland are the best three_ point shooting group in the Tournament.
No 6 Texas Tech; Texas Tech 26-5 is another team that jumps out early and loses in the mid_ round. Outside of Guards Matt Mooney,Jarrett Clarke, Davide Marretti, Texas Tech will not make to much noise.
No. 5 Kansas State; Kansas State finished up the regular season with an impressive 69-58- win over Oklahoma St. Some argue that Oklahoma is the better team but the fact is Kansas State finished the year with a win.
A solid defensive team Kansas State is led by a strong group of Kamu Stoker, Xavier Speed, and Barry Brown. This team had a successful campaign finishing 14-4 in the competitive Big Ten.
No. 4 North Carolina; The Tar Heels finished the regular season at 25-5. Unlike, other team’s North Carolina is in it until the end. This season will be no exception. A young group led by guard Cameron Johnson, Colby White, and Luke Maye. Do not be surprised if they make it to the championship.
No 3 Kentucky; Despite an up and down season the Wildcats finished 26-5 and are a number one seed going into the tournament. One of the youngest team’s in the country we will see how serious they are.
No.2 Gonzaga; Like, every season the Zags are always in the competition. The29-2 Zags are a real threat to win the whole tournament This year the club is led by Rul Hachimura and his 46%three point shooting. Guards Brandon Clarke and Josh Perkins are outstanding shooters.
No 1 Duke; Even if All American Zion Williamson does not return because injury, they are loaded. The Blue Devils have one of the most talented backcourts in the nation in Tre’ Jones, RJ Barrett, Cameron Reddish, and Marques Bolden. Look for Duke to be National Champions for 2019.
With the Patriots recording their sixth Super Bowl title, the offseason frenzy officially begins. The Patriots who have plenty of cap space have a league _high 12 draft picks awarded to them. Overall, they have six picks in the first three rounds. One first, two seconds and three_ thirds. In this post, we will discuss three areas the team needs to focus on this offseason.
Patriots 2019 Offseason Needs
Draft A Quarterback; With Tom Brady getting better with age the organization has a four_ year window to develop Brady’s successor. The team’s best bet is to draft a quarterback and have him under team control for five years. Signing a free agent quarterback would be risky as long as Brady stays healthy.
Three quarterbacks who may be available at pick 31 are Brett Rypien of Boise State and Shea Patterson of Michigan. Rypien threw for 10,000 yards passing in four years at Boise State. Shea Patterson of Michigan may also be available at 31. Patterson impressed scouts as he 65 % of his passes in four years at Michigan. We all know the last quarterback the Patriots took from Michigan in 1999. Other possibilities may be Daniel Jones of Duke or Jake Browning of Washington. Jones ‘s stock may drop due to a knee injury he suffered in the second game last season.
Draft A Safety; Just after the Super Bowl veteran Devin McCourty considered retirement. In the past, the Patriots have drafted great safeties such as Patrick Chung and Brandon Meriweather. Some names to keep an eye on are Deionte Thompson of Alabama, Chauncey GardenJohnson of Florida, and Nasir Adderley of Delaware. Out of the three Adderley has the best skill set. Adderley is excellent in zone coverage and is a projected 1st round pick.
Edge Rusher; The Patriots defense ranked 15th in the NFL last year. They stopped the Rams run game in the Super Bowl. Adding another edge rusher can never hurt. The current linebacking group of Donta Hightower, Kyle Van Noy, Trey Flowers, Johnathan Simon, and Elandon Roberts could use an extra body. Some names to keep an eye on are Josh Allen of Kentucky, Nick Bosa of Ohio State, Jachai Polite of Florida. Depending on who is available look for the Patriots to select Josh Allen of Kentucky. Allen finished his career with 224 tackles,15 forced fumbles, and 31 career sacks.
Free Agency; With free agency starting March 1st the Patriots will be searching for a tight end and Receiver help. Some players who could be available for the right price are Jesse James of the Steelers, Antonio Brown of the Steelers and Antonio Gates of the Chargers. Benjamin Watson of New Orleans is also a possibility. James can play both receiver and tight end. Depending on Rob Gronkowski’s decision on retirement look for Belichick to stockpile in this department.
As the second half of the 2019 NBA season approaches, the Boston Celtics need to focus on winning. With, rumors of Kyrie Irving leaving and Pelicans star Anthony Davis demanding to be traded winning is secondary. In this post, we will review three areas why the team needs to focus on winning rather than trade talk.
Celtics Need To Focus On Winning
Less Finger pointing; Since the start of the season, the Celtics have been at the center of finger _pointing. Guard Terry Rozier was complaining frequently regarding his lack of playing time. Forwards Marcus Morris and Jaylen Brown were having a heated argument in a game just before the All_Star break Head coach, Brad Stevens has been criticized by the media for not being tough enough on his players. Last season at this time the Celtics were in first place without Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving. Fans have been waiting patiently for Hayward to play at his full potential.
Team Lacks Leadership; At the midway point of the season, the Celtics find themselves tied in fourth place with Philadelphia in the NBA East. So far this season, it has all been Kyrie Irving. Irving has been averaging 25 30 points a game regularly forward Gordon Hayward has been mediocre since coming off a season _ending 2018 injury. If the Celtics expect to reach the finals, it will be done with teamwork and leadership rather than finger pointing. Balanced Attack; With the second half of the season about to start, the Celtics find themselves tied for fourth place in the NBA East with Philadelphia. Considering all the drama, the team has a well balanced_ attack. Outside of Kyrie Irving’s 25 points a game, the club has been getting valuable performances from Jayson Tatum and Marcus Morris. Jaylen Brown is improving while playing on the second unit. Overall, the club ranks ninth on offense and fifth on defense. Playing together is the only way they can reach the NBA finals.