Meet The Coach, with selected excerpts and direct quotes for the most part. This is only a portion but we thought it some of the best... this took us 4 hours so shut it if you don't like the fact we left stuff out...
Bilello on Season Tickets
"Right now we have a little over 700 season tickets sold on the west side"
"Our season ticket number is up this year vs. last year so we're already ahead of our full season ticket number for 2010 in both renewals and new are both up where they were for final numbers for 2010.
"Right now we're 4th or 5th in the league in terms of season ticket growth both in total number of growth and percentage growth...
"Season ticket... renewals went really well for us this year, 83% right now...
"Multi-game package sales, we're also already ahead of our total number from 2010 and theres a lot more time to sell multi-game packages..."
Bilello said that he sees and expects to see growth across the board on all ticket types, including group and Ticketmaster sales and that multi-game packages have been feeding well into season ticket sales and that they think 2012 will be even better.
"When you count our sponsor tickets which are part of our overall season ticket base we're a little over 5,000 right now total full season tickets.
Bilello on a stadium
"There's nothing really hard to report... 2014, 2015 would not be unrealistic at this time, but there's nothing concrete to really report on, to say yes it is we feel like it's a good date, but it's certainly not a date that's out of the question for us given the progress we're making on a couple of sites."
Bilello on friendlies
"We have 2 friendly dates lined up right now both of them I'm very sure they are going to happen, but they're not locked in yet, not announced yet. One will be 2 national teams playing each other here at Gillette Stadium that will not involve the Revs in a doubleheader or anything like that... the other friendly will be a Revs versus an international opponent. Those two are what I will say will be very big games, it should be really exciting, I think everyone in the room will actually enjoy both of them very much. They are going to be two really great friendlies they're going to be big events for us... hopefully we will have something that will be dropped on that by the end of the month in terms of both those games what they are, when they are..."
Burns on offseason changes...
"This past offseason has been an enormous amount of change at both the league level and at the Revs...
"Currently we have 27 players on our roster and that will increase, we have 11 new faces downstairs, 4 new international signings and a 5th if you count Diego Fagundez."
Burns commented on how he is happy with the new reserve league because it is more fair for those under contract and that they can use academy players and not people off the street.
"We feel like we've made some real strides in the offseason in terms of both the defense and the midfield an we still are actively looking for one or two forwards to help us get to where we ultimately want to be. It's still a work in progress..."
Burns on our Season Opener/Injuries
"At this point the only two players I can tell you for certain that will not travel, that will not participate are Ousmane Dabo who's got a little bit of a quad injury and Kevin Alston who has a little bit of a hamstring injury. Without obviously being able to guarantee you anything we are very optimistic that they both will be back and available for the game on the 26th, that's obviously barring any setbacks. Both their injuries are minor but obviously it's no sense of risking it for one game when have 33 after. Didier Domi will be a gametime decision he will likely travel with us probably train out in LA on Saturday and we'll see how he feels. He's got a little bit of swelling in the knee, he says he feels fine but he also hasn't trained in 3 or 4 days, so again it's one of those situations do you risk it this early in the season to have him possibly out 3 or 4 games after that...
Burns on Diego Fagundez
"Homegrown players can be signed both domestically and internationally... right now he is one of our 8 [allowed] international players."
"I don't often do this, and actually I shouldn't even admit it, but before we signed him I went out and had a training session with the 16's and 18's just because I wanted to see first hand, and I will say this; from that to him being called in with Wilmer to the under 17's to Jimmy Carlow with the under 15 National Team program, right now he's rated even though it's not a true ranking system as one of the top 2 players in the country at 16 years old. We had a lot of discussions with Brian, myself, Stevie, Sunil, and we come out with this that there is no guarantee and I've said this to Diego and his parents, because I've had meetings upon meetings with them and we went through everything and it was a long, long process. There is no guarantee that he's ever going to play for the first team... how many 15 or 16 year old kids peak at 15 or 16 and then they're nowhere to be found when they become 25 and how many kids are 15 or 16 nowhere to be heard of and then they are a superstar at 25, so we get all that. We had a long discussion with Diego about school, about professional soccer and it was made very very clear to us by both he and his parents that, absolutely zero desire to go on to college. So we said, he's this talented right now and he's clearly the best player we have in our program, when we're hearing he's not going to college and we have this program, and it was never you have to sign or you're off, we actually approached him, but you're going to leave and try to go on trial in other countries, why do we have the program? It made every sense for us in this particular case to offer him a contract. We felt that if a kid is this talented at this age and he's not going to go to school, and he potentially wants to leave to go on trial, he wants to be a professional, well then this is why we have the program, so that's why we did it.
Burns on the Reserves
"The reserve schedule has just been finalized today believe it or not... Our first reserve game is in March.
"We will have 10 reserve games 5 home, 5 away and they'll be against Toronto, DC, Columbus, New York and Philadelphia.
"Within the next week or so we'll have a reserve team coach we believe on board. We're in the final stages of getting this done, he'll be exclusively the reserve team coach he'll also assist Stevie as well."
Burns on Designated Players
"To be real honest we were real close or we thought we were real close a little while ago, but we're not just going to sign a designate player just to say we've signed a designated player. I don't think that does us any good, I don't think that does you any good, I think that probably we can make a good argument that there have been more bust designated player signings in our league than players that you'd actually take and we're going to be real careful and real diligent on who we bring in. I've said it and we think it makes sense we're looking for strikers both designated player strikers and non-designated player strikers... It is not for lack of effort and certainly not for lack of desire.
Bilello on Designated Players
"They guy we were close on... the numbers signed, we had the numbers, the numbers were signed off by ownership, we were that far along with the deal and the club basically decided they didn't want to let the player go anymore and the player wasn't on a free... It's a player that might still be available... there's still a possibility that in the summer window that very same player could come in. We were very far along in terms of that particular deal and obviously the money is still out there from a club perspective to go get that done this year.
Burns on finding a possible backup for Alston
"Right now our priority is to try to bring in some more attacking players and that's not to say that if another right back comes along... Although Kevin had some injuries last year he's a young player that we're hopeful and optimistic that he's going to be a 34 game player obviously that's not going to be the case. I'm not going to lie to you I wouldn't say that's our primary focus right now to bring in another right back, it's to bring in some attacking players.
Burns on the US Open Cup
" In early rounds of the Open Cup generally speaking most teams in the world don't play their first team. I'd say over the last couple of years it really was the only opportunity we had to play our non-regular starters. This tear it's a little bit different with the reemergence of the reserve league, but it's also one of the few opportunities you can have to play some of your guys that aren't playing league games. I can't tell you right now how we will approach it...
"Ultimately that's a coach decision on what eleven he's going to put out there, if I had to guess it's going to be somewhat of a mix."
Bilello on a shirt sponsorship
"We've got right now, 4 people we're talking about a partnership, in fact one the frankly we might hear from this week on it. We're busy on it, we're still looking at it, we're still trying different people with different ideas. We are hopeful that we are getting one done this year, and I'm hopeful that we might have one done in principal this week. Mike can tell you I told his guys not to embellish the jerseys this year, so we're having serious enough conversations that we're leaving the jerseys downstairs blank so that if we get something done we can try to get something embellished to put on it pretty soon. Does that mean we are going to have a jersey deal done tomorrow, not necessarily, but we're pretty active in negotiations with a few people on it.
Bilello on Sunil Gulati's role in the organization
"Sunil is the president of Kraft Soccer... he attends the Board of Governors meetings with myself and Jonathan and Robert so he represents us at the board level. He represents us on a number of committees at these Board of Governor/Ownership level of the league... and really works much more closely with Michael and Stevie and on the technical side of our business... he works with Michael and Stevie and those guys on the higher level technical issues with the club and the organization.
Bilello on playing the west coast, travel fatigue and away fans
"What does it mean to be an American soccer league, you have to have priorities so let's compare us to the English Premiership. There are a lot of things that are very different that are never going to change their country is this big [small hand gesture], our country is this big [large hand gesture] and travel is a big part of that. Supporters, great group of you, if you look at English culture and English soccer supporters culture is very important. They have to by rule preserve thousands of seats, I think it's 2500 but I don't have exact numbers, for visiting supporters to by at each game. Why? Because you can get from Manchester to Liverpool pretty darn easy, you can get form north London to south London pretty darn easily. In our country, you guys, people in this room, will go to Portland, some people will go to Seattle, some will make those trips. I don't think it's realistic for 2500 fans of any team to travel cross country, I haven heard of any that have done it yet other than like an MLS Cup type thing.
"When I look at what can make us a traditional... or true soccer league, I don't think it's absurd to think of an eastern and western conference where you play a majority of your games in the eastern conference against eastern conference opponents... Some people say well if it's not single table it's not traditional soccer, ya but neither is asking supporters to travel 3000 miles to go to an away match. If we had a more regionalized schedule, one, our supporters and other teams supporters could go to more games which many people would say is more traditional to the sport. The other thing it does is the team isn't getting on a plane, traveling to LA, and then back to a road game against DC, and then to New England, and then to Salt Lake. They're not traveling these long stretches and that's going to, I think,... dramatically improve the quality that we are going to see on the field from all our teams, that's something that's important to all of us as fans.
"When people say you have to be single table, because that's more traditional, yeah that's ok in some cases but what if we put a bigger priority on the quality of play and a bigger priority on our fans and other fans to come see live matches of the team home and away. If that is more important to us as a league, then a heavily burdened conference schedule where we're playing more eastern opponents I think is the answer, and I would say that is traditional soccer for our country because that's how we get a better supporters culture across the board and that's how we can raise the quality of play across the board.
"Look at our record in Salt Lake, Salt Lake is a good team don't get me wrong, and I'm not making excuses and these guys would never make excuses, but it's also high up it's on the other coast, it doesn't set you up well to play well... I just think we need to be open as a group both at the league level with our supporters and our fans and say traditional soccer just can be well this is the way one league does it in Europe, so all those things are the same. I personally like the idea of regionalizing for those two big reasons, I think it helps our quality of play with our players and I think it helps our fans go and attend more games, I think for me that's more important than whether in a single table or not a single table, conferences or not conferences. Great supporters culture, better quality play I think those for me are the priorities that we should all have for the league."
Burns on a striker
Burns: "We'd like to have a player in by the 15th [April] absolutely, we 'd like to have a player in a month ago, two months ago. I can't sit here and tell you it's a 10% chance or a 90% chance, we don't know. We plan on having a player in here next week to take a look at, if that works out the answer could be yes [to having a striker in by April 15th], if he comes in here and we don't like him the answer could be no."