CASA GRANDE, Ariz. – For the second time in three nights, the Revs took to the training field at Grande Sports World under the lights for an intra-squad scrimmage. Following the 60-minute session, the split squads played to a 1-1 draw with both goals coming in the first 30-minute stanza.
Kenny Mansally put the orange team up in the 13th minute, first-timing Alec Purdie’s cross from the left, then grey team leveled in the 30th minute – just before the halftime whistle – when Saer Sene dispossessed Rick Smith just outside the area and curled a shot past Matt Reis.
“I think tonight was another good night, getting the guys out,” head coach Jay Heaps said. “You saw some more creative stuff tonight. I think players are starting to recognize runs and starting to recognize each other. And that’s good. It didn’t all come off, but at least the thought process is starting to develop. You can also see fitness levels are starting to get a little bit better. We’re still working on that, while also trying to build what kind of style we’re going to play.”
Like Tuesday’s night’s scrimmage, few changes were made at the half. However, one noticeable difference from Tuesday was the participation of the Revs’ first-round draft pick, Kelyn Rowe, who joined the team on Wednesday night following a two-and-a-half week stint with the U.S. Under-23 squad.
“It was nice to see Kelyn (Rowe) get in there and play,” Heaps said. “He went a full 60 minutes and didn’t miss a beat, so it was nice to see the rookie get in there.”
With two intra-squad scrimmages in the books, the team’s attention turns to the club’s first outside opponent of the 2012 preseason, FC Tuscon – the club’s host for its second preseason trip later in February – who the Revs will play in Casa Grande on Saturday evening.
“Now we’re going to start focusing a little bit more Saturday night,” Heaps said. “We’re going to have a training session tomorrow morning based on how we’re going to play going into that game. Not just from a defensive standpoint, but also tactically. Where are going to attack? What are we going to do to present problems for the team coming in.”
For the first time in the team’s preseason preparations, Heaps will have the luxury of planning a training session and game strategy with his complete roster. Benny Feilhaber, who has been in camp with the U.S. National Team, arrived in Revs camp on Thursday night from Panama following Wednesday night’s U.S. match.
With Feilhaber now in camp, further preparation – and more importantly, the team’s personality and temperament – can start to blend to form its 2012 identity.
“It’s nice. Benny got here, which is great,” Heaps said. “Personalities are going to start coming together, and you’re going to see the effect of guys getting to know each other better.
“That’s what preseason is a part of – it’s not just what you do on the field, it’s also about getting to know each other off the field and what everyone does. A lot of these guys know each other, but now we’re a team going into 2012 and we can start to further develop those relationships more,” Heaps continued.
Four players did not see action on Thursday. Colombian signings John Lozano and Fernando Cardenas, who arrived in Casa Grande on Tuesday night, were run through a conditioning workout with strength and conditioning coach Nick Downing during the match following full participation in the morning’s training session. Ryan Guy, who picked up a slight knock earlier this week, also sat out but is not expected to miss extended time. Defender Darrius Barnes was also not in action, as he returned to North Carolina to tend to family matters.
Grey: Bobby Shuttleworth, Chris Tierney, A.J. Soares, Junior N’Tame, Kevin Alston, Michael Roach, Shalrie Joseph, Clyde Simms, Jeremiah White (David Foley 23’), Sainey Nyassi (Zack Schilawski 31’), Saer Sene
Orange: Matt Reis (Tim Murray 31’), Tyler Polak, David Garcia, Stephen McCarthy, Zak Boggs, Alec Purdie, Diego Fagundez (Sainey Nyassi 31’), Kelyn Rowe, Ryan Kinne, Kenny Mansally, Rick Smith
Orange: Kenny Mansally (Alec Purdie) 13
Grey: Saer Sene (unassisted) 30