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QUEENS, N.Y. – New England Revolution II (0-0-1, 2 pts.) opened the 2022 MLS NEXT Pro season with a 2-2 draw against New York City FC II (0-0-1, 1 pts.), earning an extra point with the first shootout victory in MLS NEXT Pro history, 4-3. Homegrown midfielder Damian Rivera notched both the game-opener and the game-tying goal to record the third brace in team history. Rivera opened the scoring in the sixth minute.

“Yeah, definitely excited to get those two goals under my belt," Rivera stated. "I've been working hard this preseason and to get those goals, it's another confidence booster, and it’s really exciting.”

Esmir Bajraktarevic, Trevor Zwetsloot, Jake Rozhansky, and Meny Silva all converted in the shootout to earn New England the extra point in their season opener, marking the third consecutive season Revolution II has earned at least one point in their first game of the season.

Revolution II saw five players make their professional debut, including current Revolution Academy U-17 forward Malcolm Fry (2005 – Groton, Mass.). He becomes the 19th Academy product to make his professional debut with New England’s second team.

Goalkeeper Jacob Jackson made his professional debut and recorded eight saves on ten shots faced. New England’s 2022 MLS SuperDraft first round pick’s point-blank save in the 69th minute gave his team the momentum needed to head into the attacking zone where Rivera would score the game-tying goal.

“He’s steady," Revolution II Head Coach Clint Peay said. "I think he held the ball well for us. As balls were shot at him, he didn't give any rebounds up. He had a good attitude and really helped command the box on crosses and things like that. It’s never easy for him or any player to come in, but I thought he was steady and did well."

New England returns to action on Sunday, April 3 as Revolution II kicks off its home slate hosting Rochester New York FC at Gillette Stadium with fans in the stands for the first time in team history. Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. and tickets are available on Ticketmaster. The match will also stream on MLSNEXTPro.com.

New England Revolution II 2 (4), New York City FC II 2 (3)

March 27, 2022 –Belson Stadium (Queens, N.Y.)

Five Revolution II Players Make Their Professional Debuts on Saturday

  • New England saw five players appear in their first professional match, with Jacob Jackson, Jose Italo, Ben Reveno and Trevor Zwetsloot all starting with Malcolm Fry making a substitute appearance.
  • Italo, who logged the full 90 minutes, was one of three Brazilian players to sign with Revolution II this offseason.
  • Reveno, New England’s second round pick in the 2022 MLS SuperDraft, and Zwetsloot, who signed from the Melbourne Knights, also both played the full 90.

Homegrown Midfielder Damian Rivera Records a Brace

  • Midfielder Damian Rivera earned the start for Revolution II in their season opener for the second consecutive season, logging 79 minutes.
  • Rivera recorded the third brace in team history – the first since August 5, 2021 (Edward Kizza) – and the first multi-goal game of his career.

Four Revolution Academy Graduates Start in Season Opener

  • Alongside Rivera, Esmir Bajraktarevic, Meny Silva and Hikaru Fujiwara all earned a starting spot in the lineup.
  • Bajraktarevic and Silva each played the full 90 and both scored in the penalty shootout. For the former, it was his first appearance since signing a professional contract last November.
  • Additionally, Academy alum Colby Quiñones, along current Academy forwards Isaie Louis and Malcolm Fry, all made appearances off the bench.
  • Fry became the 36th different player to make his professional debut with Revolution II and 19th Academy player to do so.
  • Louis, who became the youngest player ever to suit up for Revs II in 2020, made his fourth professional appearance, logging a career-high 22 minutes off the bench.

GAME CAPSULE

Referee: Chrisitan Centeno

Assistant Referees: Tom Felice (AR1) Nicola Vesia (AR2)

Fourth Official: Kenneth Rojas

Weather: 44 degrees and cloudy

Scoring Summary:

NE – Damian Rivera 7’

NYC – John Denis 9’

NYC – Chris Gloster 36’

NE – Damian Rivera 70’

Misconduct Summary:

NE – Damian Rivera (Yellow Card – Foul) 60’

NYC – Nicholas Benalcazar (Yellow Card – Foul) 61’

NYC – Piero Elias (Yellow Card – Persistent Infringement) 82’

New England Revolution II: Jacob Jackson; Jose Italo, Trevor Zwetsloot, Ben Reveno, Sean O’Hearn (Colby Quinones 71’); Hikaru Fujiwara (Isaie Louis 68’), Jake Rozhansky, Michel (Malcolm Fry 79’); Damian Rivera (Mike DeShields 79’), Esmir Bajraktarevic, Meny Silva.

Substitutes Not Used: Max Weinstein, Pierre Cayet.

New York City FC II: Luis Barraza; Chris Gloster, Vukasin Bulatovic, Samuel Owusu, Nicholas Benalcazar; Jack Beer, Justin Haak; Jonathan Jimenez, John Denis, Kevin O’Toole; Massimo Murania Yankowitz (Piero Elias 62’).

Substitutes Not Used: Klevis Haxhari, Kenan Hot, Julian Gomez, Stephen Turnbull, Andrew Maia, Diego Rossi, Alex Rando, Stevo Bednarsky.

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