Desert Diamond Cup
DDC early matches on final day give win to Revs, draw to SKC & Sounders
Woodberry marks first day for New England; Dempsey, Martins combine for goal
The last matches of the 2015 Desert Diamond Cup were played at Kino Sports Complex on Saturday night. The two early matches saw a combined five goals scored.
FC Tucson 0 - New England Revolution 3
The final night of the Desert Diamond Cup opened with the New England Revolution defeating local club FC Tucson with goals from Teal Bunbury, Kellyn Rowe and former Seattle Sounders forward Sean Okoli. The goal was Rowe's fourth all-time in Desert Diamond Cup play.
It proved near impossible for FC Tucson to get through the Revolution's midfield, despite the fact they were missing both Jermaine Jones and Lee Nguyen. Despite the often one-sided nature of the contest, Revs coach Jay Heaps thought that it was valuable experience.
"At this point in preseason we are trying to fine tune everything. We want to make sure we're sharp. We had a lot of time on the ball, which is good. I think the three games leading up to it gave us some good things as well," he said after the match. "Ideally we would have played them a little sooner in the preseason. At the same time, I thought it was a good test for our guys."
The match marked London Woodberry's first time as a full blown Rev. The former Arizona United SC defender had been on trial with the team but was signed on Saturday. Members of United's supporter group, LFR 1881, made the arduous southbound journey on I-10 to cheer him on.
At the close of play, Heaps hurried over to watch Seattle and Kansas City play on Field No. 5. The Revs open their season against the Sounders on Sunday.
Coach Rick Schantz's FC Tucson ended the tournament with no wins and a single goal. Schantz still looks forward to the season given what he saw.
"The first thing is, every one of the guys wants to come back. They loved it here," said Schantz. "If they don't get signed at the USL level or another professional team, I'm pretty sure we'll have some fantastic players this summer."
FC Tucson opens their PDL schedule on May 8 against the Las Vegas Mobsters.
Seattle Sounders FC 1 - Sporting Kansas City 1
Fifth place Seattle should have played FC Tucson, but organizers opted not to do a replay of the first match (which, given the 6-0 scoreline, might have relieved FC Tucson players). Instead, fans at Kino Field No. 5 (or, the "North Grandstand," if you prefer) were treated to a pitched battle between U.S. Open Cup champions Seattle and 2013 MLS Cup champions Sporting Kansas City.
Colombian midfielder Jimmy Medranda set up Connor Hallisey to score Kansas City's first goal in the 8th minute. It wouldn't be until the second half when Seattle started dominating the match. Seattle striker Obafemi Martins found the back of the net in the 60th minute. Unsurprisingly, the assist was from his frequent strike partner, Clint Dempsey.
Given how they had outplayed Kansas City, they would likely have given themselves a lead, but Gonzalo Pineda was ejected in minute 76.
Seattle opens next season against New England next Sunday. Kansas City hosts the New York Red Bulls that same day.