While it's still difficult to take anything significant away from preseason performances, you have to admit that Kelyn Rowe's game winner in the 91st minute was pretty good.
Rowe played a nifty 1-2 with winger Diego Fagundez in stoppage time and the return chip was settled and slotted home for the only goal of the match as the New England Revolution defeated the Chicago Fire in the final group stage match of the Desert Diamond Cup in Tuscon, AZ.
For the second time in the DDC, Brad Knighton recorded a shutout and could be on his way to being the opening day starter in Houston. Youngsters like Steve Neumann and newcomers like Teal Bunbury appear to be making great strides with the team as the Revolution look to build on their 2013 resurgence. If current results in the DDC hold, it appears that the Revs will play the Colorado Rapids in their final game in Tuscon on Saturday at 530 PM EST.
Also of note, is the trade of Daigo Kobayashi, infamously known as "Player X" during the initial part of his trial with the Revs, with the Vancouver Whitecaps receiving a 2016 4th round SuperDraft pick in exchange for his rights. Kobayashi has signed a new contract with the Revs and MLS but per league and team rules the terms were not disclosed. Kobayashi, 31, appeared in 30 games for Vancouver in 2013, his only previous MLS season. He scored two goals and added four assists for the Whitecaps, while playing a central creative midfield role.
"Daigo is a technically-gifted player who fits into our system well," Revolution general manager Michael Burns said. "He assimilated well with our club when he was in Tucson with us, and we are looking forward to his return to the club soon."
The addition of Kobyashi give the Revs another technical and versatile midfielder to an already pretty deep roster. It's very possible that he could push Scott Caldwell for the starting defensive midfield job and add depth behind Rowe and Lee Nguyen in the middle. His expertise on set pieces should help turn around the normally dismal efforts on free kicks for the Revs from last year as well.