Real Salt Lake opened the 2015 preseason schedule on Saturday with an abbreviated scrimmage against the New England Revolution.
Sebastian Jaime scored a second-half goal in the 80-minute match, but it wasn’t enough to overcome an early 2-0 deficit and New England won 2-1. RSL used its new 4-3-3 formation though and Head Coach Jeff Cassar was happy with the results.
“Overall, I’m very pleased,” Cassar said. “What I was really pleased with more than anything was that they got the concepts defensively that we wanted to. The decision-making and sharpness will get cleaned up as we get through preseason.”
New England got on the board first in the seventh minute, with Charlie Davies knocking a contested shot in for a 1-0 Revolution lead. After fighting the ball loose from Fito Ovalle in the midfield, Davies carried it into the box before cutting his shot inside the far post.
That score held through the 40-minute first half, as Cassar deployed a group of rookies and non-roster invitees along with veteran Abdoulie Mansally.
“The first group we had a very young team out there – one player with MLS experience. But I was really pleased with their shape,” Cassar said. “Their goal came from a poor giveaway in a really bad area and they made us pay for it. I thought our shape was good and we had some bright ideas in the attack.”
In the second half, New England added one on another midfield turnover. This time Yuzo Tashiro played it to Timi Mulgrew at the top of the box, where he found Sean Okoli at the far post for a first-time goal to put RSL behind 2-0.
RSL pressed for the comeback and in the 63rd minute they pulled one back through some advantageous play in the attacking third. Olmes Garcia redirected an attempted clearance and tried to flick a shot on goal. It was blocked off the line, but Sebastian Jaime was there to clean up the rebound and put it away to make it 2-1.
RSL pushed for the equalizer, but couldn’t find the final shot to finish the comeback and the match ended 2-1.
“It’s not the finished product by any means, but these guys did a lot of good things and a lot of the things we asked them to do over the course of this short camp. There are a lot of positives to build on for sure,” Cassar said.
Real Salt Lake returned home on Saturday and will get back to the training field on Tuesday, this time in Irvine, Calif., for the second leg of training camp.
New England Revolution at Real Salt Lake
January 31, 2015 - Grande Sports Complex (Casa Grande Arizona)
New England Revolution 2, Real Salt Lake 1
New England Revolution:
First Half: Bobby Shuttleworth; Chris Tierney, Jose Goncalves, Jeremy Hall (Donnie Smith 20'); Andy Dorman, Scott Caldwell, Kelyn Rowe, Daigo Kobayashi (Steve Neumann 30'), Teal Bunbury; Charlie Davies.
Second Half: Brad Knighton; Donnie Smith, Jacob VanCompernolle, London Woodberry, Jeremy Hall; Marco Fenelus, Tyler Rudy, Timi Mulgrew, Steve Neumann, Sean Okoli; Yuzo Tashiro.
Real Salt Lake:
First Half: Dalyan Hawes; Boyd Okwuonu, Jordan Murrell, Phanuel Kavita, Abdoulie Mansally; Fito Ovalle, Pecka, Lucas Baldin; Eti Tavares, Coco Navarrro, Jordan Allen (Ricardo Velasco 21').
Second Half: Jeff Attinella; Tony Beltran, Chris Schuler, Aaron Maund, Demar Phillips; Kyle Beckerman, John Stertzer, Luke Mulholland; Sebastian Jaime, Devon Sandoval, Olmes Garcia.
NE - Charlie Davies (Unassisted) 7'
NE - Sean Okoli (Timi Mulgrew, Yuzo Tashiro) 48'
RSL - Sebastion Jaime (Unassisted) 63'
Weather: Cloudy and 54 degrees