CASA GRANDE, Ariz. – The New England Revolution and Sporting Kansas City met in what was both teams’ first preseason friendly on Friday morning, playing to a 0-0 draw at Grande Sports World.
One week after opening preseason camp, both teams used the game as an opportunity to get new players integrated into the team and begin working on game fitness and tactics by playing three 30-minute periods to comprise the traditional 90-minute game. Both teams made numerous substitutions, including the Revs who put out three distinct lineups for each period.
Revs midfielder Kelyn Rowe had the game’s first chance in the ninth minute, forcing Sporting KC keeper Jimmy Nielsen into a low save to his left.
Sporting Kansas City's best scoring opportunity came in the 42nd minute through C.J. Sapong and Soony Saad. Sapong cut in from the right flank and slipped a pass behind the New England backline to meet Saad's well-timed run. Defender Darrius Barnes slid in to disrupt Saad’s run, allowing Revolution goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth to come out and take up space before Saad could get a shot off.
New England Homegrown product Diego Fagundez had a chance in the 55th minute, breaking in on back-up Sporting KC goalkeeper Erik Kronberg. Luke Spencer sent him in behind the SKC defense, but Kronberg came up for the save after cutting off Fagundez’s line.
Kansas City inserted U.S. Under-20 goalkeeper Jon Kempin in for the final 30 minutes, and he was forced to come up with a pair of saves two minutes apart on Gambia international Sainey Nyassi to preserve the shutout. In the 64th minute, Nyassi ripped a shot from the top of the area, but Kempin rose to tip it out of harm. Two minutes later in the 66th minute, Scott Caldwell sent Nyassi in for a one-on-one with Kempin, but the goalkeeper again came up big.
Neither team challenged the area in the game’s closing minutes as both teams maintained long periods of possession, but were unable to break into the penalty area with a clear threat.
The Revs will play their next preseason friendly on Tuesday, Jan. 29, when they face Vancouver Whitecaps FC at Grande Sports World at 5 p.m. MT.
2013 Preseason Friendly
New England Revolution vs. Sporting Kansas City
January 25, 2013 – Grande Sports World (Casa Grande, Ariz.)
New England Revolution 0, Sporting Kansas City 0
Sporting Kansas City: Jimmy Nielsen (Eric Kronberg 31, Jon Kempin 61); Seth Sinovic (Brian Fekete* 48, David Leichty** 76), Yann Songo'o (Lawrence Olum 48), Aurelien Collin (Ike Opara 48), Chance Myers (Mechack Jerome^ 31); Oriol Rosell (Michael Thomas 48), Peterson Joseph (Mitchell Cardenas* 48), Paulo Nagamura (Mikey Lopez 31); Bobby Convey (Christian Duke* 48), Soony Saad (Kyle Miller 48), C.J. Sapong (Mike Reidy* 48)
New England Revolution (first 30 min.): Matt Reis, Kevin Alston, Jose Goncalves, A.J. Soares, Bilal Duckett^, Chris Tierney, Andy Dorman, Kalifa Cisse, Kelyn Rowe, Dimitry Imbongo, Matt Horth
New England Revolution (second 30 min.): Bobby Shuttleworth, Tyler Polak, Stephen McCarthy, Darrius Barnes, Andrew Farrell, Quinton Griffith^, Ryan Guy, Scott Caldwell, Gabe Latigue*, Diego Fagundez, Luke Spencer*
New England Revolution (third 30 min.): Bobby Shuttleworth, Tyler Polak, Alex DeJohn*, Andrew Farrell, Quinton Griffith^, Donnie Smith*, Diego Fagundez, Scott Caldwell, Gabe Latigue*, Chris Thomas*, Sainey Nyassi
^ - Training camp invitee
* - Unsigned draft pick
** - Academy player
NE – Kalifa Cisse (caution) 4
SKC – Soony Saad (caution) 12
Referee: Jair Marrufo
Weather: Partly cloudy, 68 degrees