Peaceful Northwind Can't Stop the Revolution

The Revolution have gotten their 2011 International Cup campaign off to a fantasitc start. After going 2-0 in pool play the Americans have secured the number 5 seed in Division 1.  Their first game was against familiar foe Canada Northwind and was one of the mostly highly anticipated matchups of the opening round.  The game did not disappoint and was described by the announcer as, "A slog with neither team willing to concede a goal."

The first goal went to the US by veteran Justin Valley, but it was a short lived lead, as the Canadians quickly responded with a goal of their own.  Some clever midfield play led to the Revos next goal by Chris 'Candy' Candelaria and the Northwind once again matched to level the score at 2.0.12 at halftime.

The second half the endeavor and tackling by both sides elevated to another level and was only matched by the strong support coming from the women's teams of both countries, creating a great atmosphere for footy.  US Captain, Dan Sarbacker reflected, "I've never been a part of such an intense match.  The support the Freedom demonstrated really lifted me out there."

Sarbacker's cool head under pressure helped secure the win for the US when he was awarded a 50 meter penalty after his Canadian opponent lost his temper.  Sarbacker took full advantage of the free kick by finding RJ Wheelock inside 50.  Wheelock was unable to convert the goal, but his point put the US by 2 and proved to be critical as that was the difference in the game until the final siren when Bryan Dragus kicked another point to make the final score USA 2.3.15 to Canada 2.0.12.

As close as the contest with Canada was, the match against the Peace Team was quite the opposite.  Needing only 12 seconds to kick their first, goals came early and often for the Revolution against the half Israeli, half Palestinian side.  The Revos fast pace and structure were too much for the less experienced Peace Team, making only their second International Cup appearance.  It was a solid team effort all around and the US ran away comfortable in the end by the score 12.7.79 to 0.0.0.

Revolution Coach Matt Bishop reflected on the day, "Canada is a great side and they gave us all we could handle in the first match.  All the credit to the Northwind in a well played game.  In our match against the Peace Team we executed our game plan with everyone contributing.  The Peace Team should be very proud they have made great progress in just 3 short years."

The 2 wins and percentage equal the 5th seed for the Revolution heading into Division 1 play.  Up first will be the Japanese Samurai on Monday who had a narrow victory over Fiji to advance.  In an exciting development the Revolution will take on the South African Lions at ANZ Stadium as a curtain raiser to the Sydney Swans vs. St. Kilda Saints next Saturday.

Photos by: Cirsten Paine

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