TUCSON, Ariz. – If Saturday night’s preseason finale against FC Tucson was about getting sharp, consider it mission accomplished for the New England Revolution.
Teal Bunbury, Kelyn Rowe and Sean Okoli scored in the Revolution’s comfortable 3-0 win, their second straight triumph to close out the Desert Diamond Cup.
“We needed to use this game to kind of get all the kinks out,” said goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth, who backstopped the Revs to their first clean sheet of the preseason. “It’s nice to put up a shutout and get the movements down, get our intensity going and hopefully we can bring that into next week.”
“We wanted to sharpen up,” said head coach Jay Heaps. “We’ve felt like we’ve competed well and we’ve done some things in the games leading up to now, but we just wanted to sharpen things up in the final third and break teams down. Tonight we were able to do that.”
New England broke through for three goals, their best offensive output of this preseason, and Heaps admitted that his side created enough chances to score more. Juan Agudelo was perhaps the most active in the attacking third, while Diego Fagundez and Chris Tierney also had strong chances thwarted.
The chemistry shown amongst the front four was a promising sign for a Revolution side which has been searching for that incisiveness in recent weeks.
“It’s been building ever since the beginning of preseason and to end with scoring three goals is great,” said Bunbury, who finished off a clever pass from Agudelo. “Just getting the chemistry with all the guys, it builds and it takes time and I think it’ll continue to take some time with Juan back in now.”
After spending four of the past five weeks in Arizona, it’s now time for the Revs to turn their attention to next weekend’s season opener against Seattle Sounders FC. The Revs will return to frigid Foxborough on Sunday to begin game-planning for their first opponent of the 2015 regular season.
“Now we get a real focus on the opponent,” said Heaps. “Here it’s a focus on yourself. Now we blend the two and it becomes a focus on what we need to do and how we best can attack an opposing team.”
“It’s exciting to be able to play next Sunday and start the league,” said Shuttleworth. “It’s going to be a tough test for us. Seattle’s a very difficult place to go and play, and we need to be ready to go from the start this year, and I think we will be.”