TUCSON, Ariz. – The New England Revolution finished the first leg of the 2017 preseason with a 2-0-1 record after Tuesday’s win against Sporting Kansas City, 2-1. New England won the contest at Kino Sports Complex courtesy of goals by Kei Kamara and fourth-round SuperDraft selection Joshua Smith.
Smith gave the Revolution an early lead off a set piece in the 22nd minute. The former University of San Francisco defender came free near the far post and headed Chris Tierney’s service into the upper part of the net to put New England ahead, 1-0. Kamara nearly doubled the lead in the 28th minute when he connected with another Tierney cross, but the header hit the underside of the crossbar. Soon after, Kamara tallied his third goal of the preseason in the 44th minute after a clever combination from Lee Nguyen to Daigo Kobayashi, who set up Kamara for a shot into the lower left corner.
Goalkeeper Cody Cropper started the game and played most of the first half, before Brad Knighton relieved him in the 36th minute. In the second half, Knighton snuffed out Kansas City’s first scoring opportunity with a double save in the 59th minute. Bobby Shuttleworth later came on for Knighton in the 62nd minute. Sporting KC got on the scoresheet in the 81st minute with a strike from the right side across the face of goal. The Revolution defense held strong to close out the victory, and, offensively, late chances from Teal Bunbury, Tristan Bowen, and Diego Fagundez showed promise, but did not find the netting.
The Revolution will travel home to Foxborough, Mass. on Wednesday and will resume training at Gillette Stadium on Sunday, Feb. 12. The club will then return to Tucson, Ariz. on Monday, Feb. 13 for the second leg of preseason action in the Desert Diamond Cup, which features games against the Houston Dynamo (Feb. 15), the Colorado Rapids (Feb. 18), Sporting Kansas City (Feb. 22) and an opponent to be determined (Feb. 25).
NE – 22’ Joshua Smith (Chris Tierney)
NE – 44’ Kei Kamara (Daigo Kobayashi, Lee Nguyen)
SKC – 81’ Nansel Selbol
New England Revolution (1st Half): Cody Cropper (Brad Knighton 36’); Andrew Farrell, Antonio Mlinar Delamea, Joshua Smith, Chris Tierney; Scott Caldwell; Diego Fagundez, Kelyn Rowe, Daigo Kobayashi; Lee Nguyen, Kei Kamara.
New England Revolution (2nd Half): Brad Knighton (Bobby Shuttleworth 62’), Andrew Farrell (Tyler Turner 62’), Antonio Mlinar Delamea (Otis Earle 62’), Jeremie Sabaly, Chris Tierney (Brian Wright 62’); Je-Vaughn Watson; Scott Caldwell (Diego Fagundez 62’), Lee Nguyen (Zachary Herivaux 62’), Kelyn Rowe (Emmanuel Appiah 62’); Teal Bunbury, Kei Kamara (Tristan Bowen 62’).