TUCSON, Ariz. – The New England Revolution opened play in the Desert Diamond Cup with a 0-0 draw against Real Salt Lake at North Stadium at Kino Sports Complex on Wednesday night. Brad Knighton recorded a shutout and was one of two players who played the whole game as Revs head coach Jay Heaps switched almost every field player at halftime.
With the draw, the Revs moved to 1-0-3 in preseason action with three games remaining – all in Tucson.
The teams played evenly in the first half and came out level with no goals. Revs rookie Steve Neumann had a go in the fifth minute when his volley from 12 yards sailed narrowly high, and then Salt Lake’s Tony Beltran had a pair of chances in the 18th minute and 20th minute. Beltran’s first chance came after he worked through the Revs’ defense and launched a right-footed shot on a hard angle, but his attempt was high and wide of the near post. His second came two minutes later when a Javier Morales corner kick came out to him at the top of the box, but Knighton made a fingertip save to prevent the long-range shot from finding the goal.
Heaps changed nine of his 11 players to start the second half, and the team’s first chance of the stanza came in the 57th minute through guest player Marvin Ogunjimi. The Belgian raced through the midfield to get on the end of a Scott Caldwell long ball, but his low, sideways volley was saved by RSL keeper Jeff Attinella.
Rookie Patrick Mullins had a chance in the 65th minute but his 25-yard shot traveled narrowly wide of the left post as substitute RSL keeper Lalo Fernandez dove helplessly.
Alvaro Saborio’s chance in the 71st minute went close as he got on the end of Joao Plata’s free kick, but his glancing header from 10 yards was saved by Knighton.
RSL continued to push and Plata and John Stertzer played a one-two in the 76th minute that almost resulted in a goal. Plata sent in Stertzer one-on-one with Knighton, but the goalkeeper stood tall for the close-range save to keep the game scoreless.
The Revs responded with a strong chance in the 90th minute when Donnie Smith got on the end of a free kick, heading a shot toward goal that prompted a reaction save by Fernandez to preserve the scoreless draw.
In the first half, Revolution Academy Under-18 midfielder Zachary Herivaux entered the game in the central midfield, playing the final 15 minutes of the half.
The Revolution returns to the field this Saturday, Feb. 22, when the team faces Chivas USA at 8 p.m. ET, in the Desert Diamond Cup. A live stream of that match will be available on revolutionsoccer.net and mlssoccer.com.
MLS Preseason –Desert Diamond Cup
New England Revolution (MLS) vs. Real Salt Lake (MLS)
February 19, 2014 – North Stadium at Kino Sports Complex
New England Revolution 0, Real Salt Lake 0
New England Revolution: Brad Knighton, Kevin Alston (Donnie Smith 46), A.J. Soares © (Jose Goncalves 46), Stephen McCarthy (Darrius Barnes 46), O’Brian Woodbine (Jossimar Sanchez 46), Andy Dorman (Zach Herivaux 30, Scott Caldwell 46), Dimitry Imbongo, Steve Neumann (Alec Sundly 46), Lee Nguyen (Player X 46), Pierre Omanga (Patrick Mullins 46), Jerry Bengtson (Marvin Ogunjimi 46)
Substitutes Not Used: Paolo DelPiccolo, Luis Soffner
Real Salt Lake: Jeff Attinella (Lalo Fernandez, 60); Tony Beltran (Ryan Neil, 30; Rich Balchan, 60), Nat Borchers (Chris Schuler, 60), Aaron Maund (Carlos Salcedo, 60), Abdoulie Mansally (Chris Wingert, 60); Cole Grossman (Joey Dillon, 60), Sebastian Velasquez (Ned Grabavoy, 60), Luke Mulholland (John Stertzer, 60); Javier Morales (C) (Jordan Allen, 60); Olmes Garcia (Joao Plata, 60), Devon Sandoval (Alvaro Saborio, 60)
Substitutes Not Used: Nick Rimando (GK), Kyle Beckerman, Benji Lopez, Kwame Watson-Siriboe, Justen Glad
Referee: Baldomero Toledo
Assistant Referees: Frank Anderson, Jonathan Johnson
Fourth Official: Juan Guzman
- Following today’s result, the Revs are now 1-0-3 in preseason action in 2014 … the team has three remaining preseason matches: Feb. 22 vs. Chivas USA, Feb. 26 vs. Chicago Fire and March 1 in a placement game at the Desert Diamond Cup
- A.J. Soares served as the team’s captain for the first half, while Jose Goncalves was the second-half captain
- A total of five players were unavailable because of injury or injury precaution: Charlie Davies (calf), Andrew Farrell (foot), Kelyn Rowe (groin), Saer Sene (ankle), Chris Tierney (foot)
- Two additional players were rested: Diego Fagundez, who arrived in Tucson on Tuesday evening after three days in New York City for the 2014 MLS Media & Marketing Tour, and Bobby Shuttleworth
- Tonight marked the preseason debut for both Steve Neumann and Stephen McCarthy … Neumann missed all three matches in Bradenton with an ankle sprain, while McCarthy missed the matches with a groin strain.