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Revolution Notebook

Strategy in formative stage

Alignment makes chances, not goals

Toronto’s Joao Plata shoots — in vain — over a wall of Revolution defenders last night. Toronto’s Joao Plata shoots — in vain — over a wall of Revolution defenders last night. (Gail Oskin/Getty Images)
By Frank Dell’Apa
Globe Staff / June 16, 2011

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FOXBOROUGH — The Revolution’s change to a two-striker offense has improved the team’s attacking dynamic. But, similar to the last time the Revolution started a game in a 4-4-2 alignment, they failed to score, this time in a 0-0 tie with Toronto FC last night.

The Revolution opened in a 4-4-2 setup with Rajko Lekic and Zach Schilawski at forwards during a 3-0 loss to Chivas USA April 30. This time, Lekic paired with Kenny Mansally as the Revolution, who have the league’s lowest goal total (11 in 15 matches) were blanked in an MLS match for the seventh time this season.

“It helped us create chances and have an extra body in the box,’’ captain Shalrie Joseph said of the 4-4-2. “And with Chris [Tierney] and Sainey [Nyassi] and [Zak] Boggs putting balls in, we definitely had extra numbers in the box, to get our head or a foot on something, but we just weren’t able to put one in.

“That’s what’s killing us right now — we’re creating chances, but we’re not finishing and we need to get a goal and once we do that the games become a lot easier, because teams have to come out and play. They were wasting time and their goalkeeper was taking his time on goal kicks and that should give you an idea of what they came here to do.’’

Return engagement Revolution coach Steve Nicol did not hesitate to get Ryan Guy involved with the Revolution. Guy arrived in Boston Tuesday and was among the Revolution reserves last night.

Guy was recommended to the Revolution by Warren Barton, his coach with the San Diego Flash and a television soccer commentator, and he grew up playing on the same club team (San Diego Surf) as Revolution defender AJ Soares.

“Warren is an old friend and he made the first contact,’’ Guy said. “I came here and trained for a few days and I impressed enough to earn a contract.’’

Guy played for four seasons with St. Patrick’s Athletic in Ireland, but decided to play in the United States after last season.

“My contract was up, the country was going through some financial hard times, and some teams were going bankrupt, plus I had a family and it was getting difficult to keep in touch with extended family,’’ Guy said. “So, it was time to come back. I had seen the league grow immensely, even in the four years I was there. So, I had an opportunity to come back and make a name for myself.

“I went over as a foreign player. My family is British so I always had a dream to play in the Premier League — it might not be a dead dream. But knowing the work permit and citizenship issues, it’s going to take a different route to get to that. It worked out. A little bit of luck and a little bit of timing got me into playing in Ireland and I had a great time over there.’’

Youth movement Doneil Henry, an 18-year-old central defender, started for Toronto FC.

“He played well, him and Ty Harden in [central defense],’’ Toronto coach Aron Winter said. “We have a lot of young players from our academy and they just need to play to get better.’’

Feilhaber aches to play Both the Gold Cup and Confederations Cup have extra meaning for Revolution midfielder Benny Feilhaber. In the 2007 Gold Cup, Feilhaber provided a key goal off a spectacular volley in a 2-1 win over Mexico. Every four years, the Gold Cup champion qualifies for the Confederations Cup, so the tournament winner this time will advance to the 2013 event in Brazil — Feilhaber’s birthplace.

But Feilhaber missed the Gold Cup after sustaining an ankle sprain in the Revolution’s game against Los Angeles May 28.

“That was the initial thought that first came into my mind when I first hurt it, that I was going to miss the Gold Cup, which was something that was important to me and to the national team,’’ Feilhaber said. “But, obviously, that’s behind me now and I just want to get back and start playing for the Revs, hopefully sooner later than later.’’

Feilhaber, who could return to action when the Revolution visit Seattle June 26, said he discussed the injury with US coach Bob Bradley.

“We both decided it would be tough to keep me on the roster and potentially see me play further down the road when we didn’t know exactly how long the time would be for the rehab,’’ Feilhaber said. “So he took me off the roster and I think it was the right decision.’’

Former Boston College star Alejandro Bedoya replaced Feilhaber on the US roster.

“Alejandro’s been doing well, so, hopefully the team does well and they win it all,’’ Feilhaber said. “So, hopefully, I’ll be in Confederations Cup in two years.’’

Frank Dell’Apa can be reached at

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