New England Soccer Today

Takeaways: Revs Lose 3-1 to Rapids

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/

Two weeks to the day they’ll open the regular season at Colorado, the Revolution dropped a 3-1 loss to the Rapids in Saturday’s Desert Diamond Cup preseason match at Kino Veterans Stadium in Tucson, Ariz.

Here are some Revolution-related observations from Saturday’s contest:

-The regular connections in the final third during the first 60 minutes was undeniably the most positive development of Saturday’s game. Not only were the usual combos between Diego Fagundez, Juan Agudelo and Lee Nguyen on full display, but Kei Kamara looked quite comfortable in the Revolution’s short-and-quick passing attack. On a different day (and with different weather, perhaps) the locals could’ve gathered 1-2 more goals for their efforts.

-While the attack appeared to be in midseason form, the defense looked very much like it’s 2016 self. On Colorado’s first goal, London Woodberry got beat to the ball by Caleb Calvert inside the 18, where the Rapids midfielder quickly directed Tony Cascio’s cross into the back of the net right before halftime. On the second goal, Andrew Farrell allowed Dominique Badji to get in front of him and bury Calvert’s pass. While Brad Knighton’s dying clearance in the wind put the defense on scramble mode, Antonio Delamea was in the best position to snuff out Calvert’s opportunity, but didn’t make the play. It’s fair to say there’s still plenty of room for improvement when it comes to rear guard.

-Although Delamea had a decent game on the whole, one development on defense that shouldn’t be overlooked is the continued strong form of fourth-round pick Joshua Smith. The 6-4 center back’s size is obviously the first thing you notice about him, but his ability to read the game has also been evident throughout the preseason. It’ll be interesting to see if Smith, who spelled Delamea on Saturday, eventually sees minutes with the Slovenian center back to see how they perform together.

-For those who thought it curious to see Knighton in the starting XI with the rest of the regulars, remember this: the veteran keeper has often seen a good chunk of minutes with the first team in preseasons past, only to remain the backup once the regular season starts. In other words, the starting keeper’s spot is probably Cody Cropper’s barring a catastrophe.

-Speaking of Cropper and catastrophes, Revolution supporters had to come away happy with what they saw from the young keeper on a handful of hairy moments due to the wind and rain. The most notable was the slip and fall on a botched goalkick that fell right to Kevin Doyle, who nearly chipped it over and through before Cropper made a last-ditch diving save. A couple of wind-driven corners also kept Cropper on his toes, but all in all, he proved himself up for the challenge.

-It’s unclear whether he got any minutes during the “after-hours” scrimmage between the Revolution and Rapids, but the fact Xavier Kouassi did not see any action on Saturday is another sign that his return to full fitness is probably many weeks away.

Best guess First Kick XI: Cropper; Tierney, Woodberry, Delamea, Farrell; Fagundez, Caldwell, Agudelo, Rowe; Nguyen, Kamara.

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