ORLANDO, Fla. – Rookie Ryan Kinne and captain Shalrie Joseph scored goals either side of halftime to lift the New England Revolution to a 2-0 win over the University of Central Florida on Friday night at the UCF Track and Soccer Complex.
The match was the first of six scheduled preseason contests for the Revs as they prepare for their 2011 regular-season opener against the LA Galaxy on March 20.
Kinne – currently unsigned after being selected in the third round of the MLS SuperDraft – scored what proved to be the game-winning goal in the 36th minute with a deflected 20-yard blast, while Joseph added an insurance tally in the 61st minute when he finished Chris Tierney’s set-piece service.
As they did for much of the 2010 regular season, the Revs began their first preseason match of 2011 in a 4-4-2 formation. Offseason signing Didier Domi and SuperDraft selection A.J. Soares featured in a revamped backline, while Kinne earned the start on the right wing.
New England’s starting lineup didn’t remain intact for long, however, as right back Kevin Alston suffered a left leg injury and was replaced by Zak Boggs in the 12th minute.
After a quiet opening, Marko Perovic generated the first quality scoring chance for the Revolution in the eighth minute. The Revolution’s 2010 MVP burst past a trio of UCF defenders and surged into the left side of the box, but his low cross was cut out by Knights goalkeeper Sebastian Evers.
Perovic found himself in the center of the action again in the 17th minute, firing a free kick high and wide of the upper left corner after Kinne’s quick footwork earned a free kick just outside the box. The Revs threatened through another set piece in the 30th minute, but Tierney’s effort from a tight angle was easily handled by Evers.
The Revolution’s pressure paid off in the 36th minute when Kinne’s deflected effort gave New England a 1-0 lead. Tierney started the move with a powerful shot at the end of a surging run down the left wing, and when the rebound fell to Kinne at the top of the box, the former Monmouth star struck a full volley which took a slight deflection off a UCF defender before finding the back of the net.
Ilija Stolica almost doubled the Revolution’s lead two minutes before the break, but his dipping shot from 25 yards clipped the top of the crossbar.
Central Florida threatened for the first time 10 minutes into the second half when Cameron Cooksey broke into the right side of the box, but Soares was on hand to make an important block as the UCF midfielder unleashed his shot.
Just minutes after keeping the Knights off the board, the Revs extended their lead to 2-0 when Joseph bundled home Tierney’s free kick in the 61st minute. Tierney’s in-swinging service from the right wing reached Joseph six yards out, and the Revs’ captain held off his defender while using his right foot to poke home a shot from close range.
Immediately after doubling their lead, the Revs made wholesale changes to their lineup, with only Soares and Boggs staying on the field. Soares was the only Revolution player to play the full 90 minutes.
The Revs almost had a third in the 84th minute when Seth Sinovic let loose on an impressive 35-yard drive, but his slicing effort clipped the left post.
The Revolution’s stay in Orlando will continue with a training session on Sunday morning, to be followed by a match against the U.S. Under-17 National Team at 11 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 21.
New England Revolution at University of Central Florida
February 18, 2011 – UCF Track and Soccer Complex (Orlando, Fla.)
NE – Ryan Kinne (unassisted) 36
NE – Shalrie Joseph (Chris Tierney) 61
New England Revolution: Matt Reis (Bobby Shuttleworth 31, Tim Murray 60), Didier Domi (Seth Sinovic 61), A.J. Soares, Darrius Barnes (Ryan Cochrane 61), Kevin Alston (Zak Boggs 12), Chris Tierney (Roberto Linck 61), Shalrie Joseph (Stephen McCarthy 61), Pat Phelan (Andrew Sousa 61), Ryan Kinne (Sainey Nyassi 61), Marko Perovic (Kheli Dube 61), Ilija Stolica (Zack Schilawski 61)
Substitutes Not Used: Clint Irwin, Fernando Cabadas, Steven Perry, Alan Koger
STATS: Shots: 15; Shots on Goal: 9; Saves: 2; Corner Kicks: 8; Offside: 0; Fouls Committed: 8
University of Central Florida: Sebastian Evers (Shawn Doyle 45), Finlay Milne, Ben Hunt, Andrew Quintana, Chris Feigenbaum (Steven Lamberta 79), Luiz Yamashita (Eduardo Jimenez 66), Kevan George, Warren Creavalle, Spencer Scott (Cameron Cooksey 22), Nik Robson, A. J. Nelson (Kyle Cox 87)
STATS: Shots: 7; Shots on Goal: 2; Saves: 7; Corner Kicks: 2; Offside: 3; Fouls Committed: 14
UCF - Kevan George (caution) 70
Weather: Clear skies and 75 degrees