Teal Bunbury and Patrick Mullins put the New England Revolution ahead on separate occasions, but the Colorado Rapids replied each time to secure a 2-2 draw in Saturday’s Desert Diamond Cup finale.
Bunbury’s fifth minute goal put the Revolution in command early, while Patrick Mullins struck in the 57th minute. But Edson Buddle canceled Bunbury’s strike in the 25th minute, while Vicente Sanchez denied New England of the win when he equalized in the 82nd minute.
Dimitry Imbongo and Marvin Chavez were red carded in the 85th minute after both became embroiled in a tense confrontation near the center line.
Although rainy conditions opened the door for plenty of sloppy play, Bunbury’s made the most of the first opportunity afforded to him. Inside of five minutes, the former fourth overall pick blasted it from 20 yards to put the Rapids in an early hole.
But Colorado climbed out of it fifteen minutes later, when Buddle collected the rebound from a Dillon Serna shot and sent it past Bobby Shuttleworth in the 25th minute.
The Rapids pressed for second strike as the first half progressed, but the sloppy conditions didn’t lend itself to sharp combination play for either side.
But the Revolution figured out a way to capitalize from the set piece in the 57th minute. Daigo Kobayashi unleashed a low liner from just out side the area that found A.J. Soares, whose deflection was initially collected by Irwin. But the rebound squirted out and Mullins pounced on it.
Wholesale substitutions were made by both sides after the hour, as wet, heavy legs were rested and the reserves came on to give their head coaches one final opportunity to shine.
And that’s exactly what Sanchez did in the 82nd minute, when he followed up a Gabriel Torres shot that Luis Soffner failed to smother and sent it into the open New England net.
The match ended without a full compliment of players after Imbongo stomped on an opposing player, and Chavez retaliated.
New England finished its preseason with a 2-1-4 record, while Colorado closed out their winter schedule with a 4-2-2 mark.
The Revolution open the regular season on Mar. 8 at BBVA Compass Stadium against the Houston Dynamo. Kickoff is set for 8:30pm.