TUCSON, Ariz. – The New England Revolution opened the 2016 Desert Diamond Cup with a 3-3 draw versus Real Salt Lake on Wednesday night at Kino North Stadium. Charlie Davies turned in a second-half brace and second-round SuperDraft selection Michael Gamble added a goal in a match that saw 24 Revolution players log minutes.
New England’s first-half lineup featured the preseason debuts of three players, including US Men’s National Team January camp standout Lee Nguyen, midfielder Gershon Koffie – acquired from Vancouver Whitecaps FC via trade last week – and third-round SuperDraft selection Femi Hollinger-Janzen. The Revs meshed quickly despite the infusion of fresh faces and second-round SuperDraft pick Michael Gamble opened the scoring in the 13th minute by beating RSL goalkeeper Rimando to the near post with a powerful left-footed strike. Lee Nguyen almost doubled New England’s lead in the 25th minute, ringing a free kick attempt off the cross bar from distance that Juan Agudelo nearly put back with a bicycle kick.
The Revolution’s backline, manned by Jordan McCrary, Andrew Farrell, Jose Goncalves, and trailist Jeb Brovsky, kept Salt Lake’s attack at bay and off the scoresheet despite several set pieces from scoring range.
Jay Heaps swapped in an entirely new lineup to open the second half, giving Sambinha, a 23-year-old defender acquired on loan from club partner Sporting CP in January, his MLS debut. Less than one minute into the second frame, Real Salt Lake defender Aaron Maund was issued a red card for a handball in the box. Charlie Davies, who sliced through RSL’s defense to create a scoring opportunity and draw the penalty, buried a penalty kick to double the Revolution’s lead.
Real Salt Lake was awarded a penalty kick of its own six minutes later after Darrius Barnes challenged Joao Plata in the box. Javier Morales converted from the spot with a stutter step and calm finish to put RSL on the board. In the 68th minute, Jamison Olave equalized the match with a stunning diving header, and RSL took the lead in the 77th minute thanks to a goal from Olmes Garcia.
The match’s frantic pace continued late into the second half. Moments after Revolution right back London Woodberry was sent off following a second yellow card – leaving both teams with 10 men – Charlie Davies corralled an errant long ball outside of the box and netted an equalizer with a line drive that beat a sprawling Nick Rimando. With his brace tonight, Davies now has four goals in three preseason appearances.
New England Revolution 3, Real Salt Lake 3
February 6, 2016 - Kino Sports Complex (Tucson, Arizona)
NE – Michael Gamble (Kelyn Rowe) 13’
NE – Charlie Davies 47’
RSL – Javier Morales 54’
RSL – Jamison Olave (Javier Morales) 68’
RSL – Olmes Garcia (Justen Glad) 77’
NE – Charlie Davies 84’
RSL – Javier Morales 23’ (Yellow Card)
RSL – Aaron Maund 46’ (Red Card)
NE – London Woodberry 81’ (Yellow Card)
NE – London Woodberry 83’ (Yellow Card = Red Card)
New England Revolution Lineup:
First Half: Bobby Shuttleworth; Jose Goncalves, Andrew Farrell, Jordan McCrary, Jeb Brovsky*, Gershon Koffie, Lee Nguyen, Michael Gamble**, Kelyn Rowe, Juan Agudelo, Femi Hollinger-Janzen**
Second Half: Brad Knighton, David Addy*, Sambinha, Darrius Barnes, London Woodberry, Diego Fagundez, Scott Caldwell (Tyler Rudy* 78’), Daigo Kobayashi (Zach Herivaux 78’), Steve Neumann, Teal Bunbury, Charlie Davies
** Unsigned Draft Pick
Real Salt Lake Lineup:
Nick Rimando, Tony Beltran, Jamison Olave, Demar Phillips, Aaron Maund, Kyle Beckerman, Sunny Obayan, Javier Morales, Juan Martinez, Joao Plata, Yura Movsisyan (Olmes Garcia 69’)