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February 25, 2017
Revolution blank Red Bulls in Desert Diamond Cup

TUCSON, Ariz. -- Kelyn Rowe and Lee Nguyen scored as the New England Revolution took a 2-0 win over the New York Red Bulls in the Desert Diamond Cup, the Revolution’s final game of the preseason, Saturday.

In the 52nd minute, Diego Fagundez sent a curling pass into the stride of Rowe, whose first-timer beat Rafael Diaz. The Revolution (4-2-1) continued to pressure, close-range chances by Kei Kamara (61st minute) and Nguyen (73rd and 82nd) just missing. Nguyen then scored off a Je-Vaughn Watson assist in the 89th minute.

The Revolution had 2-0-0 records against the Red Bulls and Sporting Kansas City in the preseason.

Cody Cropper went 90 minutes in net, preserving the shutout with a spectacular double save in the 64th minute. On a breakaway, Cropper came off his line for a stop, then saved the rebound.

“It was an important save at an important time,” Revolution coach Jay Heaps said. “I think when you’re on the road, or playing in a game when you’re up 1-0 or it’s 0-0 and that one save keeps either the lead or keeps the game level, it’s critical and that’s what we’re looking for from our keepers.

“As long as we continue to create chances, they’re going to get their goals. I thought it was a really good one today in terms of how we had chances. I think we could’ve been better in the first half in getting that chemistry a little bit tighter, a little bit better, but second half it started to come around and we created a lot more chances.

“It was good to get guys minutes and push their minutes and just try to continue to get better and progress from day one in preseason to today.

“We needed to make some adjustments. We didn’t start the game real well in terms of a positive way about us. So it was good to have a good conversation at halftime and a good response from the team.”

The Revs’ central defensive pairing of Antonio Mlinar Delamea and Benjamin Angoua started the match, Angoua replaced by London Woodberry in the 57th minute, Delamea replaced by Watson in the 88th minute.

“We are still getting to know each other,” Delamea said. “We’re playing for the second time today together. We need to do some training together. He was injured for almost half of the preseason. I think every game, he’s getting better. I think we look strong in the back, but of course we still made some mistakes and we need to work on these things to minimize this in the competition.

“I think we played two different halves. The first half wasn’t good from us. I think the biggest problem was that we were losing second balls. We let them pressure us the whole time and we had problems, as you can see. But the second half, I think we stepped higher, we tried to press them, and we pushed them into two mistakes that led to the goals. We should score more, but at the end, it’s important that no one got hurt. We’re all healthy and prepared for the season.

“It’s important, but at the end, it will only count how we’ll be doing it on Saturday. That’s all that’s in our mind. We need to prepare for the first season game. It’s not the same if you’re playing preseason and the competition. We need to learn to compete, we need to work a little bit on our tactics, and we’re looking to the first game.”

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