DELTONA, Fla. – The New England Revolution and Philadelphia Union played to a 1-1 draw in an MLS preseason scrimmage on Tuesday afternoon at the Dewey O. Boster Sports Complex. After Philly claimed a 1-0 lead through Jack McInerney in the second of three 30-minute periods, Revs trialist Evan Melo leveled in the 60th minute as the teams finished even on the afternoon.
It was the Revolution’s second 1-1 draw in preseason competition, following a similar score line against Swedish champs Malmo FF on Friday night. Tuesday’s scrimmage was the Union’s first preseason action of 2014.
New England head coach Jay Heaps and Philadelphia manager John Hackworth agreed to play three 30-minute periods and both teams used the time frames to make liberal substitutions and use the majority of their available rosters. New England made almost an entire side change in the 45th minute – leaving in only two players – while Philadelphia swapped out their complete 11 every period.
After a scoreless first 30 minutes, McInerney staked the Union to a 1-0 lead in the 44th minute, slotting home a shot after Micheal Lahoud put him in on Revs keeper Brad Knighton.
New England, which changed its entire lineup at the 46th minute, equalized in the 60th as Melo brought down a Donnie Smith cross from the left, turned and beat Union substitute keeper Andre Blake low and to the far post before the teams played to a scoreless third stanza.
Neither team gave the goalkeepers much action in the first period, but the Union forced Knighton into a pair of saves. Conor Casey broke through on a one-on-one in the seventh minute, but Knighton stood tall for the save before coming through one minute later against Sebastien Le Toux on a three-on-one. In the final minute of the period, Jerry Bengtson was played in behind the Union defense eight yards out by Patrick Mullins, but his shot was saved by Zac MacMath.
The Revs kept their same lineup out to start the second stanza, making one change, and went at Philly with three chances in the first six minutes. Trialist Marko Perovic saw his shot saved by Blake in the 32nd minute, follow by Bengtson in the 34th. Two minutes later, Kevin Alston drew a free kick just outside the penalty area, and Mullins’ header off Kelyn Rowe’s service was just high of Blake’s goal.
McInerney put Philly up in the 44th minute, and Revs draft pick Pierre Omanga’s half-volley from 10 yards out was narrowly wide in the 51st minute. Melo’s equalizer came on the final play of the stanza.
Philadelphia had several chances in the final 30-minute period, including a 73rd minute header by Aaron Wheeler against which Knighton made a reaction save. In the 80th minute, 2013 draft pick Jossimar Sanchez cleared another Wheeler shot off the line at the near post to again preserve the 1-1 score.
The Revolution will play their third and final scrimmage during this Florida leg of their preseason training on Thursday, Feb. 6, when they host the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers (NASL) at IMG Academy. Kickoff is set for 3 p.m.
Philadelphia Union vs. New England Revolution
February 4, 2014 – Dewey O. Boster Sports Complex (Deltona, Fla.)
New England Revolution 1, Philadelphia Union 1
PHI – Jack McInerney (Michael Lahoud) 44
NE – Evan Melo* (Donnie Smith) 60
New England Revolution (First Period): Brad Knighton, Donnie Smith, Jose Goncalves, A.J. Soares, Kevin Alston, Andrew Farrell, Marko Perovic, Lee Nguyen, Kelyn Rowe, Patrick Mullins, Jerry Bengtson
New England Revolution (Second Period): Brad Knighton, Donnie Smith, Andrew Farrell (O’Brian Woodbine 46), A.J. Soares (Darrius Barnes 46), Kevin Alston (Jossimar Sanchez 46), Scott Caldwell, Marko Perovic (Evan Melo46), Lee Nguyen (Andy Dorman 46), Kelyn Rowe (Alec Sundly 46), Patrick Mullins (Pierre Omanga 46), Jerry Bengtson (Dimitry Imbongo 46)
New England Revolution (Third Period): Brad Knighton, O’Brian Woodbine, Paolo DelPiccolo, Darrius Barnes, Jossimar Sanchez, Scott Caldwell, Evan Melo, Andy Dorman, Alec Sundly, Pierre Omanga, Dimitry Imbongo
Philadelphia Union (First Period): Zac MacMath, Fabinho, Sheanon Williams, Richard Marquez, Ray Gaddis, Maurice Edu, Brian Carroll, Cristian Maidana, Sebastien LeToux, Conor Casey, Fred
Philadelphia Union (Second Period): Andre Blake, Robert Derschang, Kevin Cope, Ethan White, Mike Seamon,Keon Daniel, Pedro Ribeiro, Michael Lahoud, Zach Pfeffer, Jack McInerney, Danny Cruz
Philadelphia Union (Third Period): Brian Holt, Cristhian Hernandez, Ethan White, Matt Kassel, Jimmy McLaughlin, Corben Bone, Leo Fernandez, Aodhan Quinn, Antoine Hoppenot, Aaron Wheeler, Clesio
NE – Scott Caldwell (caution) 79
NE – Evan Melo (caution) 90
- Following today’s result, the Revs are now 0-0-2 in preseason action in 2014 … the team also played to a 1-1 draw against Malmo FF (SWE) on Jan. 31
- Six players were unavailable because of injury or injury precaution: Charlie Davies (calf), Diego Fagundez (concussion), Stephen McCarthy (groin), Steve Neumann (ankle), Saer Sene (ankle), Chris Tierney (foot)
- All five of the team’s trialists saw time today, including Marko Perovic, Alec Sundly (2014 draft pick), Jossimar Sanchez (2013 draft pick), Evan Melo and Pierre Omanga (2014 draft pick)
- The match was played at the Union’s Florida preseason training base, which was approximately 2.5 hours from the Revs’ training base in Bradenton.