clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Preseason 2015: Revolution Down Real Salt Lake 2-1 in 80-minute Scrimmage

Goals from Charlie Davies and Sean Okoli helped the Revs collect their first victory of 2015.

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Revolution recorded their first win of 2015 as they defeated Real Salt Lake 2-1 on Saturday in an 80-minute preseason scrimmage at the Grande Sports Complex in Casa Grande, AZ.

Charlie Davies showed that he has maintained last year’s postseason form by capitalizing on a mistake by Fito Ovalle and scoring in the seventh minute. The Revolution doubled their lead in the 48th minute when Sean Okoli finished a Tim Mulgrew cross. Sebastian Jaime ensured that the Revs wouldn’t collect a shutout when he put one past second half goalkeeper Brad Knighton in the 63rd minute.

As expected, substitutions were liberal, with both teams making wholesale changes at halftime.

Here are a few thoughts about the game:

Jeremy Hall starts at right back, but that might not mean much. With Andrew Farrell shifting to the middle to pair with Jose Goncalves, it was Hall who occupied the right back position. Considering that coach Jay Heaps trotted out a strong starting lineup, it would seem that Hall has the inside track to being a first-choice player. After the game, however, Revolution staff writer and online host Jeff Lemieux revealed that Kevin Alston and Darrius Barnes were ailing from minor knocks. As a result, the competition at right back will certainly continue.

There are options up top. With Juan Agudelo not joining the Revolution for preseason until next week, it was two other forwards who collected tallies. Davies played 40 minutes as a lone striker, a position that he took ownership of during the Revolution’s push for the MLS Cup. Meanwhile, Okoli featured as a center midfielder, though he’s largely played as a forward in the past. Agudelo, Davies, and Okoli can play any of the Revolution’s attacking positions. It should be noted, however, that the team is now crowded with attackers.

Donnie Smith features as a defender. Smith is back for his third go-around as a member of the Revolution. A midfielder by trade, the UNC-Charlotte product saw time on the back line last year. It appears that this experiment will continue as Smith replaced Hall at right back in the 30th minute before switching to left back for the entirety of the second half. The left-footed Smith has a natural crossing ability and the speed to get up the flank. With more time, he could develop into the second coming of Chris Tierney.

Both teams approached the scrimmage differently. Consider it a feature of the quirky preseason, but Heaps chose to put out a strong first XI while RSL coach Jeff Cassar fielded mostly reserves. The reverse situation presented itself in the second half. The scenario was completely accidental, but it does add value to the performances of the Revolution’s second string.

Potential Starting Lineup (As of 1/31/2015):

Revolution - Football tactics and formations