New England Soccer Today

Quick Hits: Revs Draw to Rapids

Photo credit: New England Revolution

Photo credit: New England Revolution

After suffering consecutive shutout losses, the Revolution returned to the board in Saturday’s 1-1 draw to the Rapids in the second round of Desert Diamond Cup action. Here are some thoughts on the locals’ performance:

-Diego Fagundez certainly strengthened his case for a spot on the First Kick XI. Following Wednesday’s impressive preseason debut, the 20-year-old not only scored the equalizer, but nearly dished out a game-winning assist to Steve Neumann – who was thwarted by a bold Clint Irwin save – in the waning moments of Saturday’s contest. As good as he looked going forward, it was the way in which he was able to score that may foretell greater success this season. By combining with Juan Agudelo in front of frame on the equalizer, it was a clear sign that the partnership originally forged back in 2013 is as strong as ever. And if that remains the case going in the regular season? Well, the Eastern Conference has been warned.

-As good as Fagundez and Agudelo partnership looked up top, the same cannot be said about the fledgling center back duo of Jose Goncalves and Andre Farrell. The former right back dribbled into trouble, and was caught out of position often during the first half. Yes, getting comfortable in the center won’t happen overnight, but Farrell’s performance seemed to regress following Wednesday’s clash against Real Salt Lake, a game in which he wasn’t at his best, either. While Goncalves obviously needs no introduction to the center back’s spot, his propensity to play a high line exposed him on Gabriel Torres’ goal. That approach may work – well, at least more often than not – when partnered with an experienced center back, but next to a newcomer? There may be more growing pains ahead unless the duo can get on the same page together quickly.

-Is Jeremy Hall’s candidacy for starting right back losing steam? After starting the first three preseason games on the right, Jay Heaps didn’t elect to go with Kevin Alston, but rather, Darrius Barnes. The versatile defender went the first 45 before Hall came on – but with a second-choice backline. And when jewelry issues – yes, jewelry issues, after he apparently lost an earring midway through the second half – forced him to briefly come off the pitch, well, it was simply that kind of night for the former Toronto midfielder.

-The fact that U-18 midfielder Zach Herivaux was stationed at center back for the final 10 minutes spoke volumes to the lack of depth the Revolution have at center back. Goncalves is the only true center back on the roster, and if the Revolution are going to sign London Woodbury, they’ll presumably have to arrange a transfer agreement with Woodbury’s current club, Arizona United. With only two weeks to go until First Kick, and with eight open roster spots, the front office has its work cut out for them in order to ensure that defensive depth isn’t an issue that lingers into the regular season.

-Speaking of defensive depth, where was Chris Tierney? After going the final 45 during Wednesday’s scrimmage against Salt Lake, the veteran left back was conspicuously absent from Saturday’s match. Given what Tierney brings to the table on the attack and set pieces, the Revolution cannot afford to have him out of action for long given the injuries to Jermaine Jones and Lee Nguyen.

-Forward watch: Charlie Davies started and went the first 45 before he was spelled by Agudelo, who went the duration. Given that each was given equal time, the winner of this round has to be Agudelo, who opened up the offense with much great frequency.

-For the first time this season, Timi Mulgrew had a relatively quiet outing. Then again, neither of his fellow trialists authored world-beating performances. Even so, given the way he’s played this winter on the whole, he’s still a leading candidate for a contract.

-Kelyn Rowe’s free kicks miss Jermaine Jones. Badly.


  1. Peter

    February 22, 2015 at 6:04 pm

    TV and comentry by the mls people last night was good why doesn’t heaps slot doorman into lees spot ?doorman had an excellent game against columbus crew the other season

    • peter

      February 22, 2015 at 8:19 pm

      RE Fagundez goal the assist was not Nuemann he was not even on the pitch maybe it was dorman for the assist???

  2. Brian O'Connell

    February 23, 2015 at 9:03 am

    Hi Peter, you’re right – Agudelo had the assist on the Fagundez goal. But Fagundez did send Neumann through on a potential game-winner later, but Neumann was denied by Irwin.

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