ORLANDO, Fla. – Sainey Nyassi gave New England an early lead at the 10th minute as the Revolution closed the book on their trip to Orlando with a 1-0 win over an upstart FC Dallas squad Wednesday afternoon.
Without the services of MLS All-Stars Shalrie Joseph and Kevin Alston, the club acquitted itself as best as it could in its first preseason match against MLS competition. However, it clearly struggled to maintain possession without Joseph serving as the primary distributor.
Despite being overrun by an ambitious Dallas attack, New England found a key measure of success in the 10th minute when Zack Schilawski cut into the middle, then played it wide to Nyassi. The Gambian took on his defender before sending a searing shot through to make it a 1-0 game.
Dallas attempted to answer minutes later when Eric Avila sent a corner kick that met the forehead of Bobby Warshaw before the ball sailed over the bar in the 14th minute.
Hoping to secure the equalizer before the interval, Dallas worked the possession game well, and kept the New England backs active for the remainder of the first frame.
Unlike his club’s previous pair of matches, Revolution manager Steve Nicol kept his starting XI intact for the start of the second half with the hope of allowing his lads to find some much-needed cohesion.
But by the 70th minute, it was clear that Nicol felt his club needed more bite. With another goal on his mind, the gaffer inserted Ryan Kinne and Kheli Dube for Nyassi and Schilawski, respectively.
While the move certainly added life to the attack, the defending remained shaky at best. The only thing keeping the sheet clean was a small collection of impressive saves from Matt Reis.
Perhaps the biggest save came during injury time when Reis smothered a dangerous shot from Warshaw to preserve the victory.
The Revolution will fly back to Boston tomorrow, and resume training on February 28th. On March 3rd, they will embark on another southern sojourn – this time to Kennesaw, Georgia – with a pair of matches against the Columbus Crew (March 6 & 9) and one against the Houston Dynamo (March 13) currently scheduled.