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Thursday’s Morning Mashup: NCAA tables proposal to slow down football with 10-second rule 03.06.14 at 7:45 am ET
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Welcome to Thursday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

THURSDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NHL: Capitals at Bruins, 7 p.m. (NESN)
NHL: Avalanche at Red Wings, 7:30 p.m. (NHL Network)
NHL: Blue Jackets at Blackhawks, 8 p.m. (NHL Network)
NHL: Penguins at Sharks, 10:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
NBA: Heat at Spurs, 8 p.m.. (TNT)
NBA: Clippers at Lakers, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: Villanova at Xavier, 7 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: Memphis at Cincinnati, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Iowa at Michigan State, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Charlotte at Marshall, 7 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: LSU at Vanderbilt, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Penn State at Northwestern, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: George Mason at La Salle, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)
College basketball: Hawaii at UC Santa Barbara, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Butler at DePaul, 9 p.m. (FS1)
College basketball: VCU at Richmond, 9 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: UCLA at Washington, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: USC at Washington State, 11 p.m. (ESPNU)

AROUND THE WEB:

— The NCAA football rules committee on Wednesday tabled a proposal to slow down the game by instituting a 5-yard penalty for offenses that snap the ball before 10 seconds have run off the 40-second play clock.

The controversial proposal was widely criticized despite support from some high-profile coaches including Alabama’s Nick Saban, who claimed it would help protect players from injury. During the feedback period after the proposal initially passed on Feb. 12, 75 percent of the 324 comments the NCAA received opposed the change.

“What the committee agreed to do was table that proposal to allow time to gather more information from the medical community and allow time for a broader discussion for the implications of that change,” NCAA national coordinator of officials Rogers Redding told The Associated Press.

Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez, a harsh critic who went so far as to make a video mocking the proposal, noted that there was no factual evidence supporting the claim that players were at risk of injury.

“I don’t know where it goes from here, but I appreciate the rules committee realizing it was a mistake to put it out there right now,” he told the AP.

— The Revolution, who open the season Saturday night with a game at Houston, unveiled new jerseys at a media event this week.

The adidas jersey features a navy blue jersey with a large UnitedHealthcare logo and the team’s logo over the left chest, with red stripes on the shoulders. On the back, the “Flag of New England” is centered between the shoulders.

“We’€™re very pleased with this design and are excited to begin wearing it,” Revolution president Brian Bilello said. “We worked with adidas to integrate some key design elements into the kit that are important to our club. For a long time, our primary kit has been solid navy, with only lesser red and white accents. We wanted this primary uniform to reinforce the region’€™s Revolutionary identity by having a greater balance of red, white and blue.

“The Flag of New England is also a key icon for our club, one which our supporters have been instrumental in growing. Unlike some teams that have their key icon or identifier on the ‘€˜jock tag’€™ on the lower seam of the jersey, we were insistent that the flag be very visible and somewhere that everyone could see. And there is no better place than right above the players’€™ names and numbers ‘€“ reminding everyone that they’€™re all part of New England.”

The players also will wear navy blue socks with thin white horizontal stripes.

— With New Jersey showing that a cold-weather city can be a successful Super Bowl host, other cities are looking at their options. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is taking a look at the possibility of expanding Soldier Field, partly in an effort to improve his city’s chances.

“It’s an exploration to see what, if anything, is possible,” an Emanuel spokeswoman told the Chicago Tribune.

Soldier Field, the smallest stadium in the league, seats 61,500. The NFL’s preferred minimum for a Super Bowl is 70,000.

“We’ll work with that footprint. It’s all a process,” Emanuel said last month, indicating that he thought a Super Bowl would “be good for the city and good for the NFL.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On March 6, 1986, which Bruins forward recorded his 600th NHL point with two goals in a 5-4 overtime loss to the Nordiques at Boston Garden?

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: New England Revolution, nick saban, Rahm Emanuel, rich rodriguez
Revolution’s Kevin Alston named 2013 MLS Comeback Player of the Year 12.03.13 at 12:49 pm ET
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Revolution defender Kevin Alston was named MLS Comeback Player of the Year on Monday after playing this season despite being diagnosed with chronic myelogenous leukemia, a rare but treatable form of leukemia, back in April.

The 25-year-old Alston started the first four games of the 2013 season before he left New England’s game against Dallas on March 30 feeling sick. After multiple medical tests, it was revealed that Alston had been diagnosed with cancer.

Alston was placed on the disabled list on April 8 and immediately began treatment. Alston returned to the pitch July 27 and proceeded to play in five of New England’s final 14 games, including the last three games. Alston’s presence out on the field was huge down the stretch, as he helped New England advance to the playoffs for the first time since 2009.

Alston handily won the vote over Philadelphia’s Conor Casey, Seattle’s Lamar Neagle and Portland’s Donovan Ricketts, receiving 99.8 percent of the vote from players, team officials and media members. 

Alston is not the only New England player to garner accolades this season, as Jose Goncalves was named Defender of the Year while Matt Reis was voted the MLS Works Humanitarian of the Year.

New England is coming off of a bounce-back campaign in 2013, as the Revolution finished third in the Eastern Conference with 51 points.

The Revolution also announced that tickets are on sale for the 2014 season, including four- or six-game holiday gift packs, which also give purchasers exclusive pre-sale opportunities for Gillette Stadium concerts and special events.

Read More: Jose Goncalves, Kevin Alston, MLS, New England Revolution
Revolution eliminated in Eastern Conference semis 11.07.13 at 11:07 am ET
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The Revolution’s incredible late-season run has finally come to a close, as New England was eliminated by Sporting Kansas City in the Eastern Conference semifinals after losing 4-3 on aggregate goals over a span of two games.

SKC’s Claudio Bieler scored the series-deciding goal in the 113th minute. The teams played a mandatory 30-minute overtime as they were even in goals for the series through regulation.

New England led the series 2-1 after its first game on Saturday at Gillette Stadium before losing 3-1 at Sporting Park in Kansas City on Wednesday.

The defeat was the Revolution’s first loss since Sept. 14, as New England was on a seven-game unbeaten streak (5-0-2).

Kansas City dominated in the first half, with an 11-2 lead in shots over the first 45 minutes of play. Kansas City’s constant pressure on New England finally manifested into a goal in the 41st minute, as defender Aurelien Collin put the ball past goalie Matt Reis, tying the series at 2-2.

Entering the second half, Reis gave the Revolution new life after robbing SKC’s Dom Dwyer of a goal on two occasions in the 55th minute. Reis’ clutch play seemed to energize his team, as New England began to generate more offense as the second half wore on. New England finally broke through in the 70th minute, as Dimitry Imbongo received a pass from Kelyn Rowe and proceeded to bury it into the net.

The advantage would not last, as SKC’s Seth Sinovic scored just nine minutes later to once again tie the series at three apiece. It was Sinovic’s first goal in almost a year, as the Kansas City native had not scored since last year’s Eastern Conference semifinals.

With the victory, SKC advances to the Eastern Conference championship, where it will face off against Houston.

Despite the disappointing finish, 2013 was a huge bounce-back season for the Revolution, as they made it to the playoffs for the first time since 2009.

Read More: Dimitry Imbongo, Eastern Conference Semifinal Series, Matt Reis, New England Revolution
MLS draft: Revolution use No. 1 pick on Louisville’s Andrew Farrell 01.17.13 at 3:01 pm ET
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At the Major League Soccer draft in Indianapolis on Thursday, the New England Revolution, who on Wednesday traded up for the No. 1 pick, selected University of Louisville junior defender Andrew Farrell.

Farrell, who stands 5-foot-11 and 165 pounds, this season was named an NSCAA first-team All-America player and the Big East Defender of the Year. The Louisville native, who lived in Peru from the ages of 5 to 15, transitioned from midfield to back before this season and still managed to finish third on the team with four goals and nine points. The Revs project him to be a central defender or right back.

“I don’t know what exactly they’re going to play me at or where they’re going to try me out at,” Farrell said in a conference call with the media after his selection. “I guess I’ll find out soon enough. I’m just excited for the opportunity.”

The Revs were slotted fourth before they traded that pick and allocation money to Toronto FC for the top pick, with an eye on Farrell.

‘€œWe’€™re very pleased to add Andrew to the Revolution,’€ general manager Michael Burns said in a story on the team’s website. ‘€œWe believe he is the best player available in this draft class and proactively made the deal with Toronto to move up the draft order so we could ensure he was available when we picked. We’€™re looking forward to getting him into camp with us and getting him acclimated to the Revolution. We believe he has a very bright future with our club and in this league.”

Two New England college products went right after Farrell, as UConn midfielder Carlos Alvarez was selected second overall by Chivas USA and Boston College’s Kyle Bekker went third to Toronto. Also, BC forward Charlie Rugg went 19th to the Los Angeles Galaxy, Northeastern forward Don Anding went 26th to the Philadelphia Union, and Brown defender Dylan Remick went 35th to the Seattle Sounders.

In the second round, the Revs had two early picks (21st and 23rd overall) and they used them on Charlotte forward Donnie Smith and Xavier forward Luke Spencer. Smith, a left-side attacker, was named to the College Cup All-Tournament team in 2011 after leading his team to the national championship game. He finished the 2012 season with four goals and four assists in 19 games (16 starts). Spencer is a 6-foot-2 senior who had 14 goals and eight assists and led to the Musketeers to an NCAA tournament berth this past season (they lost in the second round to eventual champion Indiana).

With the 36th pick, the Revs tabbed 6-foot-4 goalie Luis Soffner from Indiana. Soffner improved his stock with a strong senior season, recording a 0.72 goals-against average and .816 save percentage in 24 games. He recorded 13 shutouts, including a 1-0 victory over Georgetown in the national championship game, leading to his selection as the College Cup Most Outstanding Defensive Player.

The Revolution, under first-year coach Jay Heaps, went 9-17-8 in 2012, their third straight losing season and second straight ninth-place finish in the Eastern Conference.

Read More: Andrew Farrell, New England Revolution,