Revolution fall to Rapids 3-1 in Desert Diamond Cup: Image

Revolution fall to Rapids 3-1 in Desert Diamond Cup

TUCSON, Ariz. – The New England Revolution fell to the Colorado Rapids, 3-1, at Kino Sports Complex on Saturday in the club’s second match of the 2017 Desert Diamond Cup preseason tournament. An early goal from Juan Agudelo and seven saves from Cody Cropper were not enough to secure a win for the Revs.

The Revolution controlled the run of play through most of the first half, but a pair of late goals put Colorado ahead at the intermission, 2-1. Juan Agudelo opened the scoring in the 19th minute when he poked Chris Tierney’s corner kick across the line after it took a couple of deflections in front of net. The score marked the team’s third set piece goal of the preseason. The Revs had a few more quality opportunities in the half, including a curling strike from Lee Nguyen and a strong shot from Kelyn Rowe, both of which were saved, but it was the Rapids who tallied next with a Caleb Calvert equalizer in the 44th minute. Dominique Badji then finished off a cross in the 45th minute to give Colorado the lead. 

The elements had a major influence on the second half, as sustained heavy winds and rain swept through Tucson. In the 60th minute, a Brad Knighton clearance got caught in the winds and fell to Caleb Calvert, who was able to convert his second goal of the match. Cody Cropper replaced Knighton soon after and made several key saves to keep the score at 3-1, finishing the match with seven stops in his 30 minutes of action.

The Revolution are scheduled to play two more games in Tucson before beginning the regular season on March 4 at Colorado. New England resumes Desert Diamond Cup play on Wednesday, Feb. 22 against Sporting Kansas City and will conclude the tournament against an opponent to be determined on Saturday, Feb. 25.

Scoring Summary:

NE – Juan Agudelo (Chris Tierney) 19’

COL – Caleb Calvert (Tony Cascio) 44’

COL – Dominique Badji (Caleb Calvert) 45’

COL – Caleb Calvert 60’

Misconduct Summary:

COL – Sam Cronin 52’ (Yellow Card)

New England Revolution: Brad Knighton (Cody Cropper 61’); Chris Tierney (Donnie Smith 71’), London Woodberry (Kalem Scott 71’), Antonio Mlinar Delamea (Joshua Smith 69’), Andrew Farrell (Tyler Turner 71’); Scott Caldwell (Emmanuel Appiah 71’), Diego Fagundez (Tristan Bowen 71’), Kelyn Rowe (Joe Brito 71’), Juan Agudelo (Napo Matsoso 71’); Lee Nguyen (Brian Wright 71’), Kei Kamara (Daigo Kobayashi 46’)

Colorado Rapids: Zac MacMath; Eric Miller (Jared Watts 61’), Kortne Ford (Dennis Castillo 61’), Axel Sjӧberg (Bobby Burling 61’), Mekeil Williams (Marc Burch 61’); Michael Azira (Ricardo Perez 61’), Sam Cronin (Bismark “Nana” Adjei-Boateng 61’); Liam Callahan (Tony Cascio 31’, Shkelzen Gashi 61’), Dillon Powers (Kevin Doyle 61’), Dominique Badji (Sam Hamilton 61’); Caleb Calvert (Marlon Hairston 61’)

POSTGAME TRANSCRIPTS

New England Revolution Head Coach Jay Heaps

On continuing to grow in the preseason and battling the elements:

Coach Heaps: “You come in looking to try to accomplish a few objectives in each game. You try to progress your group and tactically, you’re trying to add things. For about 35, 40 minutes it was really good, and then situationally, we found ourselves in trouble and we gave up two goals right before half. I think it’s a good learning experience, because those were bad goals to give away at the time we gave them away. Then the second half, dealing with the elements that were really getting progressively worse as you went along. This is why you’re here for preseason. It’s beautiful one day, and then the next thing you know it’s difficult to deal with on the next. It’s good that we have elements to deal with, because we’re going to have elements during the season and we have to be able to react and understand the complexities of it.”

On his takeaways from the game against Colorado :

Coach Heaps: “I think one of the things that we want to take away is that we could’ve been a little cleaner in front of goal and finished our chances and not have to deal with the elements in the second half – be ahead enough where you can deal with it. I think the chemistry’s coming. There were some real positives. The scoreline was difficult, but in the end, I thought there were some real positives we have to take from it, but with a lot of learning experiences to go with it.”

On if he was surprised with how quickly Juan Agudelo reconnected with his teammates after being in U.S. Men’s National Team camp:

Coach Heaps: “Juan [Agudelo]’s been around for a while. We know Juan, they know Juan, players know Juan. It’s great to get him back in there.”

On controlling the game through the first 40 minutes, but conceding at the end of the half:

Coach Heaps: “I think we’re all feeling each other out right now. I’ll focus on us, because I thought we’ve been progressing and getting better and adding Juan [Agudelo] back into the mix really adds an element of firepower for us. But getting them all on same page is key and I thought for a good 35 minutes there, we were all on the same page. I think also we were pressing well, we were doing a good job defensively, and then the last 10 minutes of the half – actually the last two minutes of the half – we didn’t defend well and we got punished. I think that’s one thing we’ve been doing really well and when we turned off for just two minutes, it gave us two goals.”

New England Revolution Forward Juan Agudelo

On getting back on the field with the Revolution after being in U.S. Men’s National Team camp:

Agudelo: “It felt great. Most importantly, I thought we connected very well. You definitely saw the chemistry there. Like I said, it’s a pleasure to play with my family again.”

On if he was surprised with how quickly he reconnected with his teammates:

Agudelo: “Yeah, actually I was a little bit surprised. But after the [first] five minutes, it just started flowing. I thought we did pretty well.”

On battling the elements in the second half:

Agudelo: “I think it was like four different types of weather going on out there, but we adjusted. We tried to adjust at times. It’s preseason, so we need to be a little bit sharper in some areas, but that’s all.”

On if it is important to get playing experience in bad weather:

Agudelo: “It definitely is. There [are] some games at Gillette [Stadium] that we’ve had like that. There [are] some games in Colorado that we’ve had like that, so it’s good to sort of adjust your game to the weather.”

On how the team can improve moving forward:

Agudelo: “Fix the screws a little bit, tighten them up, get a little bit sharper in all areas and continue on doing what we’re doing, because I felt like we’ve been improving every single day.”

New England Revolution Midfielder Lee Nguyen

On his takeaways from the game against Colorado:

Nguyen: “It’s still preseason mode right now and we’re gearing up to try to be ready for that first game, and we got a little bit of a taste of what we’re going to see in March. Obviously, we want to try to work on not letting up the soft goals that we did today, but there were some good things to take away from the game. Attacking-wise, there were some flashes of good stuff. We’ve just got to finish those chances. We created a lot of chances, so that was good.”

On the chemistry among the team’s attacking players:

Nguyen: “This was Juan [Agudelo]’s first game back with us [in] all of preseason, so it was good to see that he came back in and the attack was still fluid. Basically, all of our attacking pieces were there, so this was a good little preseason test for us and we know there’s some things we’re going to need to go back and work on.”

On if he was surprised with how quickly Juan Agudelo reconnected with his teammates:

Nguyen: “No, absolutely not. We’re all on the same wavelength. It was refreshing having him back playing with us. I think these next two weeks as we all get fit, get a little bit sharper, those final pieces will start coming together.”

On how the team must improve going forward in preseason:

Nguyen: “We obviously don’t want to let up three goals like we did during that time. Obviously, [in] that second half, the weather wasn’t ideal, but we’ve got to deal with that and at time same time, we did well to create chances. Now, we’ve just got to put them in the back of the net and it would’ve been a different game.”