The New England Revolution continued their preseason swing in Arizona with a 3-3 draw against USL side San Antonion FC in the Mobile Mini Sun Cup.
The match began with SAFC scoring first from the penalty spot, as Andrew Farrell was judged to have fouled an attacker in the box while going up for a header.
However, the Revs would end the half on an impressive run, scoring three unanswered goals beginning with Cristian Penilla in the 22nd minute.
Teal Bunbury makes it 1-1. Once again, Cristian Penilla is at the heart of the #NERevs attack and causes a turnover after a really poor spell by the @SanAntonioFC goalkeeper. #MLS pic.twitter.com/BOZkua5f5c— Jonathan Sigal (@JonathanSigal) February 17, 2018
A bit of high pressure on the keeper forces a bad pass, Penilla pounces on it and centers for Teal Bunbury who (very, very) calmly picks out the corner of the net to make it 1-1. About twenty minutes later, it was Bunbury again who gave the Revs the lead.
What this clip doesn’t show you is the excellent through ball from Scott Caldwell to Brandon Bye that was the secondary assist to this goal. Bye centers to Bunbury who one-times it into the far side netting for a 2-1 advantage. The Revs added their third tally just before halftime, thanks to Diego Fagundez’s cross into the box following a short corner (#NoShortCorners) that found Antonio Delamea who headed home.
After the mass subs in the second half, the Revs weren’t able to generate the same attacking chances that they did in the first half, despite having some decent possession in the final third. The New England defense lost track of SAFC striker Ever Guzman on two occasions, one on a through ball down the middle and one on a counter attack as San Antonio pulled level in the second half.
Despite allowing two more goals, the Revs did press for another goal, with Gabriel Somi perhaps getting the best chance in the closing minutes, forcing a save from the SAFC keeper with a shot from the inside the box. The Revs never found that fourth goal and the match ended with their second draw in Arizona.
While the first team offense found success in the first half, the Revs are still without Juan Agudelo and Kristian Nemeth due to injury and Lee Nguyen is still not with the team doing workouts in Foxboro. The defense is an issue, with Jalil Anibaba losing his man on the through ball for the second goal and Wilfried Zahibo unable to track back on the third goal. Zahibo did not serve a suspension for his red card against FC Dallas, and head coach Brad Friedel mentioned pushing him in the second half to help build his fitness.
Bye continued his excellent preseason camp with an assist and Penilla looks to be lock for a starting position, possibly at left wing depending on Friedel’s preferred formation. Revs Academy midfielder Kevin Vang subbed on for the final 20 minutes and looked incredibly comfortable playing along side Scott Caldwell and Kelyn Rowe in the middle of the field.
New England wraps up the group phase of the Mini Mobile Cup on Wednesday, February 21st against Sporting Kansas City before the consolation/championship round on Saturday February 24th against an opponent to be determined. The Revolution’s first regular season MLS match will be at the Philadelphia Union on March 3rd.