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11 April 3:56 pm

Revolution forward Blake Brettschneider celebrates his 23rd birthday today.

Blake shares his birthday with such names as Nigel Pulsford of BushDylan Keefe of Marcy PlaygroundChris Gaylor of All-American Rejects and singer Joss Stone. Sorry Blake, tried for some "A-listers" but these are the best we could find.

Speaking of A-listers - do you share your birthday with Blake? If so, happy birthday!

10 April 10:31 am

What do an isthmus, Californium and aspartame all have in common?

Well, not much, really. Except that they were all correct answers which helped Red Card the F.O. – a motley crew made up of Revolution President Brian Bilello, Director of Marketing Cathal Conlon, Account Executive Kyle Lindsay and myself – finish third in last night’s Midnight Riders Trivia Night held at the Pour House on Boylston Street. As much as I’d love to take credit for our solid showing, I have to admit that Bilello (@RevsPrez) was our MVP. Apparently MIT is a decent school or something. I am proud to declare that I, however, was the one who knew which HBO series debuted in 1998 and became the first cable show to win the Emmy for Best Comedy; Sex and the City. Actually, maybe “proud” is the wrong word.

The night wasn’t without late drama as we actually took a five-point lead into the final question of the evening only to be tripped up by which city saw a baseball stadium demolished in 2000 to make way for a football stadium in 2003. Our guess was Cincinnati. The correct answer was Seattle. Alas, victory slipped away at the death.

We actually finished on the podium with a third-place showing, but passed on our prizes to the fourth-place finisher in exchange for the entire bar joining in on a particular chant about not liking D.C. United very much. You know the one. As you can guess, it wasn’t hard to convince everybody.

Of course there were really only winners on the night as it was announced at the end of the event that approximately $7,000 had been raised for Adam Kopoyan, an incredibly brave young boy currently recovering from a traumatic brain injury. You can read more about Adam’s story and you can continue to donate to the cause HERE.

All in all, a fantastic night put on by the Midnight Riders and all for a good cause. Red Card the F.O. will most definitely see you next year … and we’ll be ready.

04 April 9:13 pm

It's been an interesting week here in Dallas, to say the least. First we had all of the tornado activity yesterday (which thankfully did not touch down around here) and now we have Stephen McCarthy's new hairdo to deal with. Don't get me wrong, I think it's cool. His teammates? Not so much. Let's hear what Stephen has to say about it:

03 April 7:09 pm

We knew when as early as yesterday morning that there was a threat of severe weather forecast for today. (“What do they mean by severe?” “Don’t know, it just said SEVERE across today on the seven-day forecast.”)

That said, Jay Heaps took the initiative to try to move training up 30 minutes this morning. While the team ended up getting underway a bit earlier than originally scheduled, even that didn’t keep us from avoiding the weather outright. At the end of the team’s 75-minute training session at UT-Dallas, the sky opened up and even Jeff Lemieux had to finish recording his post-practice interviews at the hotel to avoid getting the equipment wet.

The group came back to the hotel in south Frisco and everyone showered up and got ready for lunch. With TVs on in most rooms, about half the travel party knew that tornadoes were in the area and headed our direction. As just about everyone was in the meal room – and some had even wrapped up and headed back to their rooms - team administrator Nick Kropelin came in to say that the hotel warned him the tornadoes were a few towns over and the hotel said to stay in the stairwells if we needed to go up to our rooms.

The guys keeping themselves entertained
in the Hotel basement

With the heads up, we continued to eat lunch and just a few minutes later, the hotel-wide announcement came over the loudspeakers directing everyone to the basement through the lobby area. Most of the group went straight down from the meal room, but some had to run up to the team’s floor to make sure everyone was heeding the announcement and hustle them down. (Mind you, some of the group had already experienced this situation last year when we had tornado sirens and hotel announcements come in Kansas City for our U.S. Open Cup match in May.)

After a headcount came up correct in the basement, everyone – including all the hotel’s guests and staff – settled in. While we were only down there for about 30 minutes, maybe a bit longer, the staff was tremendous and provided drinks and snacks as everyone was crowded into an area no bigger than a bank lobby.

Finally we got the go-ahead to go back to our rooms and saw that our area was spared. The cell that came over us apparently did some awful damage a short distance away, several towns over. What we did see was spectacular lightning, the remnants of hail and driving rain that was on the backside of the cell that came through. We didn’t really experience much heavy wind, but the sky was still pitch black until the storm moved further off to the northeast.

For all of our friends and family who tried to reach members of the travel party while we were in the basement, we appreciate it and we’re all fine. Unfortunately we didn’t have cell service and then it took about an hour to settle out and return to normal.

We hope that all of our FC Dallas brethren are OK, including friends, family and supporters.

02 April 2:42 pm

Chris Tierney and the Revs quieted the LA Galaxy on Saturday night - this photo kind of sums things up.

Credit: Kelvin Kuo-US PRESSWIRE

01 April 2:40 pm

 

The Revs played their second placement game on Saturday morning, heading to the Nike Football Training Center early after breakfast at the hotel.

A full game story from the Revs’ second meeting with the Orlando Pirates – a 4-2 loss – will be available on revolutionsoccer.net.
 
Following the match, the team went back out onto the field to kick the practice balls into the stands for the many children who had watched. Thrilled about the idea of catching a ball, the kids swarmed each time another flew into the stands.
 
The group returned to the hotel only briefly, eating lunch and packing up the remainder of their belongings, before making the trip back to the fields to watch Atletico Mineiro take on Nacional in the 2012 Future Champions Guateng final.
 
Players watched the final from the grassy area of the stands, and attracted a lot attention from the local children. The kids sat among the players, interacting with the Revs throughout the entire 60-minute match and asking questions about everything from American currency to photo-taking.
 
Touched by their experiences with the children, many of the players began to give away old gear that they had brought along on the trip. Hats, training tops, jerseys – suddenly a large group of South African children were sporting New England Revolution apparel. And they could not have been more ecstatic about it.
 
Before the Revs left the Training Center for the last time, the team posed for a group photo with the K-Stars (Zambia). The two clubs developed a good relationship throughout the tournament, and the photo made for a fitting end to the week.
 
The group then left for the airport directly from the final to begin its 20-hour journey back to Foxborough, Mass., arriving at the stadium around 12:45 p.m. ET the following day.
 
Everyone has agreed the trip was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. It was an opportunity for the Revs to play teams from all over the world, learn about another culture and develop chemistry of their own, and no one will ever forget it.
01 April 1:17 pm

Since it's April Fools' day and we had some shenanigans taking place after Friday's training session, we figured this was worth sharing. What do you think of Shalrie's "Hannibal Lecter" look?

31 March 12:38 am

 

The Revs played their first placement game on Friday, so it was back to the game day routine.

The day began with breakfast at the hotel, and the team then boarded the bus for the trip to the Nike Football Training Center. 
 
Unlike earlier in the week, it was only 61 degrees and rainy for kickoff. But buoyed by the previous night’s performances, the Revs debuted a chant of their own in the tunnel.
 
A full game story from the Revs’ first win of the tournament – 1-0 against Aspire (Qatar) – is available HERE
 
After returning to the hotel, the team ate lunch and took a trip to a nearby grocery store to stock up on snacks and drinks. 
 
Dinner was served shortly after, and all of teams boarded their buses for another tournament-wide excursion.
 
Still in good spirits after their victory, the Revs continued to practice their chant on the bus. But as soon as the team’s new CD of African dance music was on, it became a dance party instead. Everyone got involved: the self-proclaimed good dancers, the self-proclaimed bad dancers and coach Deven Apajee. 
 
Tournament organizers had arranged for the group to see the South African musical Umoja at the Victory Theatre. A journey through the history of South African music and dance, the show told the country’s story through song, focusing on “the spirit of togetherness.”
 
The Revs returned to the hotel after the show and met briefly to discuss Friday’s match against Aspire (Qatar). Kickoff is at 4 a.m. ET and as always, in-game updates will be available on www.twitter.com/nerevslive, while live video can be found on www.future-champions.net
30 March 4:33 am

 

Thursday was a rest day for every team participating in the tournament, and the Future Champions organizers had a full day of cultural activities prepared.
 
After breakfast at the hotel, the 12 teams were split into two groups, with two teams per bus. The Revs shared a bus with the Orlando Pirates, who they played on Monday in the first game.
 
The first stop was at FNB Stadium, also known as Soccer City. The stadium was designed as the main stadium for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, and was the site of the  Final, played by the Netherlands and Spain.
 
The tour included stops at the upper level of the stands, in the locker rooms and on the field. While on the field, music pumped throughout the stadium, giving players a small glimpse at what being a professional player at the highest level could feel like.
 
Before lunch, the bus dropped the group off near Nelson Mandela’s house in Soweto. Street vendors lined the stretch of road between there and the restaurant, so players enjoyed the opportunity to shop for souvenirs.
 
An authentic lunch was served at Sakhumzi Restaurant, giving the group some time to rest before boarding the bus again.
 
The next stop was the Lion Park. The buses drove throughout the grounds, past animals like lions, zebras and wildebeest. Lions typically sleep for up to 20 hours a day, so a highlight included one particularly active female getting up and walking over to within a couple yards of the bus. 
 
Following the safari, players had the chance to wander the other parts of the Park. Everyone was excited to interact with the lion cubs, posing for photos and playing with the animals. A raised feeding station also allowed the boys to get up close to a giraffe. Other animals seen around the park included meerkats, hyenas, wild dogs, cheetahs and antelope.
 
At the conclusion of the day, all 12 teams met up for the gala dinner. The players milled around the grounds for a while between formal team photos. 
 
Once inside, each team was seated at two tables throughout the reception hall. Decorated in reds, blacks and golds, the space gave the night a special feel. 
 
After dinner was served, each team put on a several-minute performance to highlight their culture and values, and most teams chose to sing in their native languages. Because the Revolution is made up of players with so many different backgrounds, the team chose to go a different route. 
 
Introduced by coach Deven Apajee, the players put on a memorable performance. Luke Albertini and Matt Nyeayea showed off their unique (and very different) dance moves, demonstrating the players’ broad spectrum of natural rhythm and their shared appreciation of each other. The rest of the group, who had been supporting the pair in the background, then joined their teammates for a USA chant.
 
Once the night came to a close, the teams boarded the buses for the final time and returned to the hotel. 
 
The Revs met briefly to discuss Friday’s match against Aspire (Qatar). Kickoff is at 6:30 a.m. ET and in-game updates will be available on www.twitter.com/nerevslive, while live video can be found on www.future-champions.net.
 
*NOTE: Larger photos with brief captions are available on www.flickr.com/nerevolution