ORLANDO, Fla. – Sainey Nyassi scored the only goal of the game in the 10th minute and goalkeeper Matt Reis made four saves to preserve the shutout as the New England Revolution closed its 11-day stay in Orlando, Fla., with a 1-0 win over FC Dallas on Wednesday afternoon at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
The Revs have yet to concede a goal in the 2011 preseason, going 3-0-0 with a trio of shutout wins in Orlando. Prior to Wednesday’s victory, the Revolution claimed 2-0 wins over the University of Central Florida and members of the U.S. Under-17 National Team program.
Already without starters Shalrie Joseph and Kevin Alston after the pair was sent back to New England because of disciplinary reasons, the Revs were also missing Marko Perovic on Wednesday as the club’s 2010 MVP rested a tight right adductor.
Despite key absences, the Revolution jumped out to an early lead following a piece of individual skill from Nyassi in the 10th minute. Second-year forward Zack Schilawski controlled the ball in the middle field and sprayed it wide right to Nyassi, who burst past his defender before driving a shot inside the far post, off the fingertips of sprawling FC Dallas goalkeeper Chris Seitz.
Dallas responded with a pair of quality chances in the next 10 minutes. Scott Gordon freed himself in the box but couldn’t direct Eric Avila’s corner kick on target in the 18th minute, while Maykel Galindo dragged his shot wide of the left post when Bruno Guarda played him through on goal two minutes later.
Chris Tierney came inches from scoring for the second straight game in the 27th minute, working his way inside from the left wing and sending a left-footed rocket across the face of goal, just past the right post.
The back-and-forth nature of the first half continued in the 37th minute when Reis came up with an impressive double save to deny Galindo and Guarda, with the second effort coming from close range.
At the other end of the field, Nyassi almost had a second goal four minutes before the halftime break. After receiving a pass down the right wing, Nyassi cut inside past a trio of defenders before unleashing a 20-yard drive. The Gambian’s left-footed shot was on target, but Seitz got down well to make the save.
A mistake from Nyassi almost handed FCD an equalizing goal in the 69th minute, but Reis was alert to cut out the danger. Nyassi’s short back pass almost allowed Galindo in alone on goal, but Reis charged off his line to clear the initial effort, then recovered to block Victor Ulloa’s follow-up attempt with his thigh.
Reis was called into action once again in the 81st minute, tipping Bobby Warshaw’s 20-yard free kick over the bar.
The Revs had one last chance to add a second goal when Zak Boggs’ cross found substitute Kheli Dube in the 89th minute, but Dube’s header flashed wide of the right post and the Revolution settled for a 1-0 win.
With their 11-day stay in Orlando complete, the Revs will now briefly return to New England before departing for Kennesaw, Ga., next week. The Revs will be stationed in Georgia from March 3-13, with three matches scheduled against the Columbus Crew (March 6; March 9) and Houston Dynamo (March 13).
New England Revolution vs. FC Dallas
February 23, 2011 – ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex (Orlando, Fla.)
NE – Sainey Nyassi (Zack Schilawski) 10
New England Revolution: Matt Reis, Didier Domi, Ryan Cochrane, A.J. Soares, Zak Boggs, Chris Tierney (Seth Sinovic 89), Stephen McCarthy, Pat Phelan, Sainey Nyassi (Ryan Kinne 70), Zack Schilawski (Kheli Dube 70), Ilija Stolica
Substitutes Not Used: Bobby Shuttleworth (GK), Clint Irwin (GK), Tim Murray (GK), Fernando Cabadas, Alan Koger, Steven Perry, Roberto Linck, Andrew Sousa, Darrius Barnes
STATS: Shots: 10; Shots on Goal: 3; Saves: 4; Corner Kicks: 7; Offside: 1; Fouls Committed: 6
FC Dallas: Chris Seitz (Josh Lambo 60), Moises Hernandez, Alexis Pradie, Scott Gordon (Roberto Lopes 65), Andrew Wiedeman, Bryan Leyva (Paul Bim Ogunyemi 46), Bobby Warshaw, Andrew Jacobson, Eric Avila (Peri Marosevic 58), Bruno Guarda (Victor Ulloa 56), Maykel Galindo
STATS: Shots: 5; Shots on Goal: 5; Saves: 2; Corner Kicks: 3; Offside: 3; Fouls Committed: 6
NE- Didier Comi (caution) 80
Referee: Chris Penso
Assistant Referee: Eric Proctor
Assistant Referee: Matthew Miscannon
Weather: Partially cloudy and 75 degrees