The Revolution could not escape the poor weather conditions of New England as a slushy mixture of rain and snow fell hard Wednesday night in their last round robin match of the Desert Diamond Cup. Fortunately for head coach Jay Heaps, there were plenty of positives to draw from the squad’s 3-2 loss to Real Salt Lake including a glimpse of the many young players fighting for a starting role.
Defender Andrew Farrell, the number one overall pick in the 2013 MLS Draft, looked comfortable in the backfield. He pushed the ball up forward to the midfield nicely, stayed aggressive inside the box, and created a goal from a beautiful lob pass to forward Diego Fagundez in the 50th minute. Although still learning throughout preseason, it looks like fellow defender A.J. Soares is schooling Farrell as the Louisville draft pick will be starting with Soares and McCarthy come March.
18 year old Diego Fagundez looked strong in the second half, assisting Andy Dorman on the Revolution’s first goal while proving he is a viable option at striker during Sene’s absence. His speed and pestering style of play is hard to keep up with, and an upcoming stint with home country Uruguay at the under 21 World Cup could be highly beneficial to his game. Jerry Bengtson will need someone on his wing to rely on, don’t be surprised if Heaps gives Diego the nod.
The most notable part of New England’s game was their ability to convert scoring chances in the box. A.J. Soares sent a header for goal to put the team up 2-1 in the 57th minute while Jerry Bengtson looked like himself, flying high for some header chances of his own. Chemistry on the pitch and ability to finish games will be top priorities for the club once the MLS season begins. Coach Heaps can not be pleased his team gave up two goals in the final three minutes of Wednesday’s loss, but the team’s offensive pressure and scoring chances throughout the game already looks more impressive than last year.
New England will face the New York Red Bulls in the Desert Diamond Cup consolation game this Saturday at 6 pm ET. Stay tuned.