Revs' Nicol proud to bleed Red
For three hours on Wednesday afternoon, Revolution coach Steve Nicol shifted his focus from practice and preparation for Saturday's game to a huge match across the Atlantic.
Nicol's former club, Liverpool F.C. of the English Premier League, contested Wednesday's Champions League Final against Italian side A.C. Milan in Istanbul, Turkey.
The former Scottish international defender watched anxiously as his side went down 3-0 by halftime before staging a miraculous comeback in the second half, scoring three times within seven minutes to draw level. A 3-2 victory in a penalty shootout completed the resurrection and gave the Reds a fifth European crown.
Nicol provided post-match commentary for ESPN International Wednesday afternoon in Connecticut. He was still incredulous about the turnaround at Revolution training on Thursday.
"It was something else," said Nicol. "I was ready to go home at halftime. You think you have seen most everything, but that was amazing."
It was evident to Nicol how Liverpool managed to claw back into the match.
"We talk about tactics all the time, but pure heart and soul won it for Liverpool," said Nicol. "There was no tactical genius."
The victory provided vindication for Liverpool. The English media had criticized the team for poor domestic form, but victory in Europe has now patched up a previously disappointing campaign.
Nicol believes that the 2005 Liverpool side now deserves a place in the annals of Anfield history beside his 1984 team that won the same competition with Ian Rush, Bruce Grobbelaar, and Alan Hansen in the team.
"You have to listen to other teams saying how great they are," said Nicol. "This team now carries on the tradition. They absolutely deserve a place alongside our team."
Fellow Liverpool supporter and Revolution midfielder Andy Dorman turned up to training with a raspy voice after watching the match.
"It's just a big day [for Liverpool]," said Dorman. "That's why I lost my voice."
Nicol believes that the Revolution can derive a few lessons from the encounter.
"You cannot rest on your laurels, as that game showed," said Nicol. "Even the best players in the world cannot afford it."
Despite his role as manager for the Revs, Nicol admits that a piece of his heart will always remain with the European champions.
"You never lose it," said Nicol.
Kyle McCarthy is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.