New England Soccer Today

Revolution Claim Desert Diamond Cup

Photo credit: New England Revolution

Photo credit: New England Revolution

Teal Bunbury’s 21st minute goal was all the New England Revolution needed to finish their preseason with a victory, defeating the Columbus Crew 1-0 in the Desert Diamond Cup Final. The win saw the Revolution finish the Desert Diamond Cup unbeaten at 2-0-2, and 3-2-2 overall in the preseason.

As has generally been the case under head coach Jay Heaps, New England started their final preseason match with a strong starting line-up likely to closely resemble what the team will put out in its season opener at the Houston Dynamo on Sunday, March 6. The line-up featured a pair of surprises with trialist Je-Vaughn Watson getting the start at right back and Kelyn Rowe starting over Scott Caldwell in central midfield.

Bunbury opened the scoring for the Revolution in the 21st minute on a counterattack. Lee Nguyen sent a pass to Bunbury at the top box who hit a shot on frame that was saved by goalkeeper Steve Clark. The rebound fell to Bunbury, who slotted it past Clark to make it 1-0. The goal was Bunbury’s third in as many games to close the preseason and helped earn him the tournament’s MVP trophy.

Four minutes later the Crew nearly equalized, breaking into the Revolution box on a counterattack led by Ethan Finlay, but Bobby Shuttleworth pushed Hector Jimenez’s shot wide to keep New England in the lead.

Diego Fagundez had New England’s next good chance in the 40th minute on a break led by Nguyen. Fagundez set up his right foot for a shot from just outside the box, but his shot deflected wide for a corner kick.

Both teams struggled to create chances in the second half, but the Crew threatened off a 74th minute corner kick with Tony Tchani forcing Bobby Shuttleworth into a save with a header.

Neither team was able to create a clear cut chance after that as both sides made several substitutions in the closing minutes.

The Revolution next head to Houston to open the MLS regular season against the Dynamo at 3pm ET.

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