FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – New England Revolution II, led by eMLS player John “JKO” Oliveira, earned promotion to Division A for Week 3 of the USL eCup: FIFA 20 Edition after claiming the Division B championship in Week 2. Playing as Russia, Oliveira won a pair of matches in dramatic fashion during his run to the finals, upsetting Philadelphia Union II as Spain and El Paso Locomotive FC as Argentina, both by 2-1 score lines, before a dominant victory over Sacramento Republic, 4-1, in the Final.
The win earns Revolution II 500 points for the tournament as well as promotion to Division A for next week’s players-only competition. New England will open play on Tuesday night as the nine-seed with a rematch against Week 1 opponent and fellow USL League One foe Greenville Triumph at 8 p.m. ET. All upcoming live matches and archived videos can be found on the Revolution Twitch Channel. This week, the Revs II side will be captained by first-year midfielder and Lowell, Mass. product Mayele Malango, who is the third and final player on the team’s USL eCup roster to take over the sticks after Oliveira and goalkeeper Joe Rice in Week 1.
JKO opened the week on a strong note, knocking off North Carolina FC and Turkey, 2-0, on Tuesday in a match that wasn’t as close as the score indicated. Oliveira outshot NCFC representative Caleb Smith 17-1 for the match, striking the woodwork on three occasions. The week’s initial victory helped New England guarantee safety in Division B as JKO continued his campaign for promotion.
The following night, the Revs’ resident pro earned an upset over Division B top-seed Philadelphia Union II. Union II representative Tim Bousson and his Spanish side scored early, but Oliveira held his nerve, firing back quickly through Denis Cheryshev. The match seemed destined for extra time until Oliveira directed the winning goal on the last kick of the game.
After his late heroics on Wednesday, Oliveira and Revolution II couldn’t avoid an extra frame on Thursday night against El Paso Locomotive FC and Argentina. Locomotive forward Alexy Bosetti scored off a corner in the 10th minute, but Oliveira settled in and scored an equalizer in the 61st minute through Fedor Smolov. Both teams blocked some late shots to force a golden goal extra time, which Oliveira dominated. Nearing the finish of the extra time period, Oliveira pulled off an incredible move with Smolov to score the winner and advance to the Week 2 championship match.
In Friday night’s Division B Final, Oliveira conceded early as Sacramento player representative Justin Sterk put Mexico ahead after just three minutes. The danger ended there, as the goal proved to be Sacramento’s only shot of the night. JKO quickly equalized before pulling ahead at halftime. Two more late goals padded the 4-1 victory for Revolution II and Russia.
All clubs competing in the USL eCup: FIFA 20 Edition are competing on behalf of a charitable cause during their matches, which will be streamed live on Twitch. The Revolution II team will play to benefit the Revolution Charitable Foundation and the Kraft family’s Together while Apart initiatives supporting COVID-19 relief efforts. A link to donate to Together while Apart will be available for fans to lend their support throughout the live streams, with 100 percent of all donations going directly to the purchase of personal protective equipment and medicinal supplies for the brave doctors, nurses, healthcare workers, first responders, and other essential workers who are fighting COVID-19 on the front lines.
Oliveira, 26, is in his third season as the Revolution’s eMLS competitor, having initially signed as the club’s first-ever esports pro ahead of the inaugural 2018 eMLS campaign. The Oak Bluffs, Mass. product and University of Massachusetts Boston student re-signed with the club in December 2019, and brings more than 15 years of competitive FIFA experience. In April, Oliveira also competed alongside Revs midfielder Diego Fagundez in eMLS Tournament Special on FS1 and FOX Deportes.