Revs open up 2013 preseason schedule with scoreless draw
CASA GRANDE, Ariz. - The New England Revolution and Sporting Kansas City met in what was both teams' first preseason friendly on Friday morning, playing to a 0-0 draw at Grande Sports World.
One week after opening preseason camp, both teams used the game as an opportunity to get new players integrated into the team and begin working on game fitness and tactics by playing three 30-minute periods to comprise the traditional 90-minute game. Both teams made numerous substitutions, including the Revs who put out three distinct lineups for each period.
Revs midfielder Kelyn Rowe had the game's first chance in the ninth minute, forcing Sporting KC keeper Jimmy Nielsen into a low save to his left.
Sporting Kansas City's best scoring opportunity came in the 42nd minute through C.J. Sapong and Soony Saad. Sapong cut in from the right flank and slipped a pass behind the New England backline to meet Saad's well-timed run. Defender Darrius Barnes slid in to disrupt Saad's run, allowing Revolution goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth to come out and take up space before Saad could get a shot off.
New England Homegrown product Diego Fagundez had a chance in the 55th minute, breaking in on back-up Sporting KC goalkeeper Erik Kronberg. Luke Spencer sent him in behind the SKC defense, but Kronberg came up for the save after cutting off Fagundez's line.
Kansas City inserted U.S. Under-20 goalkeeper Jon Kempin in for the final 30 minutes, and he was forced to come up with a pair of saves two minutes apart on Gambia international Sainey Nyassi to preserve the shutout. In the 64th minute, Nyassi ripped a shot from the top of the area, but Kempin rose to tip it out of harm. Two minutes later in the 66th minute, Scott Caldwell sent Nyassi in for a one-on-one with Kempin, but the goalkeeper again came up big.
Neither team challenged the area in the game's closing minutes as both teams maintained long periods of possession, but were unable to break into the penalty area with a clear threat.
The Revs will play their next preseason friendly on Tuesday, Jan. 29, when they face Vancouver Whitecaps FC at Grande Sports World at 5 p.m. MT.
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