Night two of four of the Desert Diamond Cup is in the books. Most teams have had 90 minutes of play under their belt and as we get to just two weeks left until the start of the MLS regular season, teams are further tuning their teams so they can get to 100%. It was full of draws tonight as all four games ended in draws.
Swope Park Rangers 0-0 Arizona United
Looked like a rather even contest between Swope Park Rangers and Arizona United. We weren’t over at the game but reports say it was a very physical contest in which neither team let up. A 0-0 score in this USL/NASL contest was probably the most fair result.
One notable thing to report, Swope’s Kris Tyrpak was out due to injury but it’s not expected to be serious.
Columbus Crew SC 1-1 Real Salt Lake
This was a game that was mostly dominated by Columbus. In the beginning of the game, Columbus had the ball the vast majority of the time and was in their attacking zone for that time. Regardless, the first goal of the game went to Real Salt Lake as Jordan Allen opened the scoring.
Then after Real’s goal, Columbus’ Kei Kamara scored his third goal of the tournament after this scramble into goal. After two games, Kamara is responsible for all three of Columbus’ goals.
.@keikamara does what he does best. His third goal in two preseason matches. #CrewSC pic.twitter.com/sdg93OPIbb
— Columbus Crew SC (@ColumbusCrewSC) February 21, 2016
It’s a bit tough to judge how a player is going to perform after just two preseason games but Kei Kamara has been on a roll. I’m not sure if he can replicate his magical 2015 season where he had 22 goals but he very well can get close to that. There’s no doubt Kamara can get at least 15 goals if he can remain healthy.
Houston Dynamo 0-0 Colorado Rapids
While we weren’t there for the game, it sounded as if it was an exciting affair. Well, as long as defensive battles are your thing. It seemed as if both teams were defensively stout but that didn’t lead to goals on the scoreboard as the game ended 0-0.
There was a moment in which Houston had a chance to score but Ricardo Clark missed the penalty. All in all, it was a game where Houston could shake off their rust and Colorado could get over that loss to Swope Park Rangers.
Sporting Kansas City 1-1 New England Revolution
This game looked very similar to the previous game between Columbus and RSL. New England seemed to dominate the beginning of the game but it was Sporting KC who got on the board. Jordi Quintilla pinpointed a fine ball to Graham Zusi. Zusi cut back and curled in the goal off the left post to give Sporting a 1-0 lead.
.@jordiquintilla ➡️ @gzusi gives #SportingKC a 1-0 lead after 45 minutes in Tucson. https://t.co/sSkhl4I2pPhttps://t.co/QOBFY8U3GJ
— Sporting Kansas City (@SportingKC) February 21, 2016
Then, just like the previous game, New England got back into the game as Teal Bunbury equalized. Just 10 minutes into the second half, Bunbury made it level and the game ended in a 1-1 draw. After a game with many goals, we had four draws in four games tonight to wrap up night two of the Desert Diamond Cup.
Desert Diamond Cup standings after Day 2
1) Swope Park Rangers 4 pts. (not eligible for title)
2) New England Revolution 2 pts.
3) Sporting Kansas City 2 pts.
4) Real Salt Lake 2 pts.
5) Columbus Crew SC 2 pts.
6) Houston Dynamo 1 pt.
7) Colorado Rapids 1 pt.
8) Arizona United 1 pt. (not eligible for title)
9) FC Tucson 0 pts. (Haven’t played yet)(not eligible for title)
Day three of the Desert Diamond Cup will continue Wednesday. The day starts with Arizona United taking on FC Tucson. New England faces Houston while Swope Park Rangers play Columbus around the same time. Then Colorado Rapids and Sporting Kansas City close out the night. The point totals after Wednesday determine who will play in the title game.