CASA GRANDE, Ariz. – The New England Revolution opened their 2015 preseason schedule with a 2-1 victory this afternoon against Real Salt Lake. Charlie Davies and Sean Okoli scored on either side of halftime of the 80-minute contest for New England, who started eight of the 11 players that started MLS Cup 2014 for the club last month. Saturday’s game was the first of six that the Revs have scheduled for the preseason.
In cold and wet conditions, Davies got the Revs off to a perfect start, scoring just seven minutes into the game. The New England forward intercepted a loose pass in RSL’s defensive third and calmly hit a left-footed shot past Salt Lake goalkeeper Dalyan Hawes, giving the Revs a 1-0 lead that they would take into halftime.
Both teams made wholesale changes at the half, and New England’s second group started just as brightly as the starters had. Okoli, who is in his first preseason with the Revs after being acquired from Seattle two weeks ago, doubled the New England lead in the 48th minute. Japanese trialist Yuzo Tashiro collected the ball in midfield and dribbled past a pair of RSL defenders before laying the ball off to fellow trialist Tim Mulgrew. Mulgrew split the Salt Lake defense with a pass that found the streaking Okoli, who buried his shot past Jeff Antinella in the RSL goal, making the score 2-0 in favor of New England.
Real Salt Lake would pull a goal back in the 63rd minute when Sebastian Jaime bundled the ball over the line from close range. Olmes Garcia got behind the Revolution defense on the left wing and his initial shot was saved by Brad Knighton, but the rebound could not be cleared and Jaime was able to get the final touch following a goalmouth scramble, making the score 2-1.
RSL would have a chance to level the score in the game’s final seconds when they won at freekick at the edge of the penalty area. Jaime stepped up to take the freekick, only to see it blocked by the wall, sealing the win for the Revolution.
New England will be back in action on Wednesday, Feb. 4 when the club takes on Vancouver Whitecaps FC at the Kino Sports Complex in Tucson, Arizona.
For up-to-the-minute information on the Revolution, visit the team’s official website at revolutionsoccer.net, or join the conversation and interact with fans on any of the team’s social platforms.
New England Revolution 2, Real Salt Lake 1
January 31, 2015 - Grande Sports Complex (Casa Grande Arizona)
NE - Charlie Davies (Unassisted) 7'
NE - Sean Okoli (Timi Mulgrew, Yuzo Tashiro) 48'
RSL - Sebastian Jaime (Unassisted) 63'
New England Revolution:
First Half: Bobby Shuttleworth; Chris Tierney, Jose Goncalves, Andrew Farrell, Jeremy Hall (Donnie Smith 20'); Andy Dorman, Scott Caldwell, Kelyn Rowe, Daigo Kobayashi (Steve Neumann 30'), Teal Bunbury; Charlie Davies
Second Half: Brad Knighton; Donnie Smith, Jacob VanCompernolle, London Woodberry, Jeremy Hall; Marco Fenelus, Tyler Rudy, Timi Mulgrew, Steve Neumann, Sean Okoli; Yuzo Tashiro
Real Salt Lake:
First Half: Dalyan Hawes; Abdoulie Mansally, Jordan Murrell, Phanuel Kavita, Boyd Okwuonu; Fito Ovalle, Pecka, Lucas Baldin, Jordan Allen (Ricardo Velasco 21'); Eti Tavares, Coco Navarro
Second Half: Jeff Attinella; Demar Phillips, Chris Schuler, Aaron Maund, Tony Beltran; Kyle Beckerman, John Stertzer, Luke Mulholland, Olmes Garcia; Sebastian Jaime, Devon Sandoval