CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – Sainey Nyassi scored for the second straight game and Zack Schilawski added his first goal of the 2011 preseason as the New England Revolution claimed a 2-1 win over the Columbus Crew on Sunday afternoon at Finley Stadium.
Nyassi gave the Revolution a halftime lead with a deflected goal in the 43rd minute, while Schilawski doubled the advantage with an opportunistic finish in the 81st minute.
Crew forward Tom Heinemann became the first player to score against the Revolution this preseason when he broke up Bobby Shuttleworth’s shutout bid with a consolation goal in stoppage time, but it wasn’t enough to prevent the Revs from maintaining their perfect record (4-0-0).
Revolution head coach Steve Nicol used every healthy field player at his disposal against the Crew, playing entirely different lineups in each half. Rookies Ryan Kinne (left midfield), Stephen McCarthy (central midfield) and A.J. Soares (central defense) all started the match, with Soares partnered by recent arrival Franco Coria in central defense. Nigerian midfielder Michael Augustine (right midfield) and trialist Otto Loewy (central defense) entered as part of the new contingent after halftime.
Unavailable because of injury were Kevin Alston (L hamstring strain), Ousmane Dabo (R quad strain), Didier Domi (R knee swelling) and Kheli Dube (R ankle sprain).
Shuttleworth was handed the start between the pipes and was tested in just the sixth minute. Crew forward Emilio Renteria unleashed a dipping drive from 25 yards which Shuttleworth did well to tip over the bar.
Renteria was at it again in the 24th minute when he narrowly missed with an audacious back-heel. Eddie Gaven and Josh Gardner linked up down the right wing to set up the chance, and Gardner’s low cross found Renteria at the near post only for the Venezuelan’s clever effort to clip the woodwork.
The Revs responded with their first decent chance in the 27th minute when Kinne found Nyassi with a hopeful cross-field pass. Nyassi attempted to shoot on the full volley, but his drive flashed across the face of goal and past the left post. The young Gambian threatened again six minutes later as he let fly on another long-range shot, but his 20-yard attempt dipped over the crossbar.
Undeterred by his previous off-target efforts, Nyassi continued to shoot and finally got his reward with the opening goal in the 43rd minute. Marko Perovic’s corner kick was half-cleared to the top of the box, where Nyassi corralled the ball before hitting a low drive through a crowded box. The shot took a wicked deflection off a Crew defender, wrong-footing goalkeeper William Hesmer and bouncing inside the left post.
After both teams made mass substitutions at halftime, the Crew came close to leveling the score in the 51st minute. Rookie Justin Meram cut inside from the left wing and eluded a pair of defenders, but he poked his shot just over the crossbar from the top of the box.
Meram weaved his way through a crowd once again in the 57th minute and had space to shoot from 15 yards, but his low effort was hit straight at Shuttleworth, who made an easy save.
Kenny Mansally almost doubled the Revolution’s lead in the 71st minute with a deceptive free kick. Augustine set up the chance when he was clipped 25 yards from goal, and Mansally almost converted with a low shot around the wall which Crew goalkeeper Alex Riggs saw late. However, Riggs got down well to push the ball around the post with his right hand.
The Revs again came close from a Mansally free kick in the 75th minute, with Pat Phelan’s header flashing just wide of the near post from the Gambian’s left-wing service.
Mansally persisted with his set-piece service and finally helped the Revs break through for a second time in the 81st minute. His curling corner kick was met well by a diving Alan Koger, whose header was cleared off the line. Schilawski showed a goal scorer’s instinct in the follow up, pouncing on the loose ball and drilling a shot into the roof of the net from six yards out.
Trailing by two goals and desperate for some offensive thrust, the Crew began to throw numbers forward late. Meram came close with a 30-yard drive which kicked off the foot of the right post in the 87th minute, while Heinemann finally converted in stoppage time. Following a pass from Meram, the powerful forward held off Darrius Barnes while rounding Shuttleworth and finishing into an empty net.
The goal proved to be mere consolation, however, as the final whistle sounded just moments later.
The Revs and Crew will meet for the second time in four days when the clubs square off in a rematch on Wednesday, March 9. Kickoff from Kennesaw State University Soccer Stadium is set for 7:30 p.m.
New England Revolution vs. Columbus Crew
March 6, 2011 – Finley Stadium (Chattanooga, Tenn.)
NE – Sainey Nyassi (unassisted) 43
NE – Zack Schilawski (unassisted) 81
CLB – Tom Heinemann (unassisted) 91+
New England Revolution: Bobby Shuttleworth, Chris Tierney (Seth Sinovic 46), A.J. Soares (Ryan Cochrane 46), Franco Coria (Otto Loewy* 46), Zak Boggs (Darrius Barnes 46), Ryan Kinne (Kenny Mansally 46), Shalrie Joseph (Pat Phelan 46), Stephen McCarthy (Andrew Sousa 46), Sainey Nyassi (Michael Augustine 46), Marko Perovic (Alan Koger 46), Ilija Stolica (Zack Schilawski 46)
Substitutes Not Used: Tim Murray (GK)
STATS: Shots: 11; Shots on Goal: 3; Saves: 6; Corner Kicks: 4; Offside: 2; Fouls Committed: 9
Columbus Crew: William Hesmer (Alex Riggs 60), Sebastian Miranda (Ben Sippola 46), Julius James (Josh Williams 65), Andy Iro (Eric Gehrig 56), Josh Gardner (Korey Veeder 46), Dilly Duka (Andy Adlard 46), Cole Grossman (Bernardo Anor 46), Emmanuel Ekpo (Leandre Griffit 46), Eddie Gaven (Tom Heinemann 46), Emilio Renteria (Justin Meram 36), Andres Mendoza (Jeff Cunningham 46)
Substitutes Not Used: None
STATS: Shots: 10; Shots on Goal: 7; Saves: 1; Corner Kicks: 3; Offside: 3; Fouls Committed: 7
NE – Sainey Nyassi (caution) 12
CLB – Ben Sippola (caution) 74
Referee: Mark Kaglecik
Referee’s Assistants: Peter Valciunas, Kevin Terry, Jr.
Fourth Official: Andrew Moss
Weather: Cloudy, 41 degrees
- The Revs are now 4-0-0 in their 2011 preseason schedule.
- The team has allowed just one goal in 360 minutes of action, and that came today in stoppage time against the Crew.
- The Revs used every available player today, except goalkeeper Tim Murray.
- Matt Reis did not dress because he is expected to play both upcoming games this week (Wednesday, March 9 against Columbus Crew and March 13 against Houston Dynamo).
- The Revs had four players not dress because of injuries: Kevin Alston (L hamstring strain), Ousmane Dabo (R quadriceps strain), Didier Domi (R knee swelling) and Kheli Dube (R ankle sprain).
- Sainey Nyassi scored his second goal of the preseason campaign … he also scored against FC Dallas on Feb. 23 … both goals were the game’s first goals.
- Zack Schilawski netted his first goal of the preseason campaign … he also added an assist against Dallas on Nyassi’s goal.
- Bobby Shuttleworth saw his first full game of preseason, making six saves in the 90-minute span.
- All but one player on the Revs game day roster was under contract … Otto Loewy is in camp with the Revolution and played the second half at center back alongside Ryan Cochrane.
- Michael Augustine, who joined the Revs on Friday after signing with the team and flying from Lagos, Nigeria on Thursday night, made his first appearance with the team, playing the final 45 minutes on the right wing.
2011 PRESEASON SCHEDULE/RESULTS
Feb. 18: Univ. Central Florida - W, 2-0
Kinne (ua), Joseph (Tierney)
Feb. 21: U.S. Under-17s - W, 2-0
Tierney (ua), Phelan (Tierney)
Feb. 23: FC Dallas - W,1-0
March 6: Columbus Crew - W, 2-1
Nyassi (ua), Schilawski (ua)
March 9: Columbus Crew 7:30 p.m.
March 13: Houston Dynamo 3 p.m.