The New England Revolution wrapped up the first leg of preseason by beating Dynamo Kyiv 3-1 in Marbella, Spain, on Wednesday.
Juan Agudelo and Diego Fagundez recorded their first goals of preseason, Carles Gil scored for the first time as a member of the Revolution and goalkeeper Matt Turner made a second-half penalty kick save.
Kyiv used a mix of its A and B teams ahead of a Europa League clash next Thursday against Olympiakos. Still, earning any kind of victory against a prominent European club – particularly on foreign soil – should give the Revs confidence as they head to Bradenton, Fla., Feb. 12 for the second phase of preseason.
Revolution coach Brad Friedel used the team’s time near Malaga to get away from distractions in Foxborough, Mass., and to improve fitness and sharpen tactics.
The Revs tied Shanghai Shenhua 0-0 in their first match, then tied Viktoria Plzeň 2-2 before losing to Krasnodar 2-0 on Monday.
New England did show signs of making avoidable errors – a hallmark of last season’s summer collapse – when it let go of a two-goal lead against Viktoria Plzeň. The Revolution also gave up two goals due to lax defending on the left flank in their four preseason games.
But Revolution coach Brad Friedel made a number of wholesale changes in each of these matches.
Overall, the Revolution seem to have a true playmaker in Gil, who recorded a goal and an assist in three preseason appearances after joining the team in Spain following his purchase from Deportivo La Coruña.
Friedel tried all three of his goalkeepers – Cody Cropper, Brad Knighton and Turner – though Turner now seems the clear favorite to start after an impressive second half against Kyiv, which included a save on an Oleksandr Andriyevskyi penalty kick.
The Revolution also had an unnamed trialist in Spain, who could be American center back Giles Phillips of Queens Park Rangers.
New England plays Louisville City Feb. 14 and KR Reykjavik Feb. 23, plus an additional two games against opponents to be determined in Bradenton before kicking off the 2019 regular season March 2 at FC Dallas.