New England Soccer Today

Tierney Encouraged by Early Progress

Photo credit: Chris Aduama/

Chris Tierney probably knows a thing or two about the challenge of getting faces old and new on the same page during the preseason. After all, this winter marks the veteran’s 10th straight with the Revolution.

As the club’s longest-tenured player, the 31-year-old left back has seen a variety of approaches adopted since his first camp in 2008. And as far as he can tell, things seem to be running smoothly so far this winter.

“We’ve been working really hard on our shape, so that was our focus, and not conceding easy goals,” Tierney told the media following Tuesday’s 2-1 win over Sporting Kansas City. “I think they had one chance that they probably should’ve scored on us, but other than that I thought we were pretty well organized.”

Although it wasn’t a perfect performance by any stretch, Tuesday’s win allowed the Revolution to wrap up their first trip to Arizona with a 2-0-1 record while collecting five goals and conceding twice.

Granted, the win-loss-draw column may be inconsequential during the dead of winter, but the Revolution’s current mark has to be seen as an encouraging sign. With the defense in a state of flux following the departures of center back Jose Goncalves and central midfielder Gershon Koffie, the club is essentially starting from scratch in a critical part of the pitch.

The club signed center backs Antonio Mlinar Dalemea and Benjamin Angoua, and welcomed back the fully-healed Xavier Kouassi, who’s projected to take over Koffie’s spot. No doubt, getting accustomed to hearing new voices in the rear will take some time for holdovers like Tierney, Andrew Farrell, and Scott Caldwell.

“(In) preseason, you’re just trying to tweak and work on little things,” Tierney said. “We did a good job of that today, so mission accomplished.”

Meanwhile, rookies like Brian Wright, Napo Matsoso, and Joshua Smith – who scored from Tierney free kick early on in Tuesday’s match – have all worked their way into the fold during the first two weeks of camp.

With the first gauntlet behind them, the Revolution will return to Foxborough on Wednesday before turning up the dial again next week for the Desert Diamond Cup preseason tournament.

“You just go home and reset, take care of a few knocks that some of the guys have,” Tierney said. “It’ll be nice to see friends and family again, and then the real work starts all over out here [during] the second trip. Great facilities here [in Tucson] and some good competition, so it’ll be a good test for us and we’re looking forward to the challenge.”

Leave a Reply