The Boston Victory has only conceded one goal in five preseason games, but on Saturday was unable to find the net for a second game in succession despite a creating catalogue of chances at Muscato Stadium in Easton, Mass.
The New Jersey Rangers held them to a 0-0 draw in a rematch of the Victory’s second game in club history, when a Kevin Mascary goal with ten minutes remaining earned a 1-0 away win at Lubetkin Field on March 10.
Having won three games and lost one in preparation for upcoming PDL season, the Victory added a tie to their record as coach Sergio Taborda brought in new faces, including former New England Revolution midfielder Andrew Sousa, and shuffled his line up.
“I believe that with the quality we have, we should be scoring more and we will be working at training this week on putting that right,” said Taborda. “We have some new players on the team who are still adapting and we have some work to do.
“I saw some positives and some negatives and there is a long way to go still, but we still have a month until the season kicks off.”
The Victory plays its first home game on Saturday, May 12 at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Quincy at 7pm, admission $10.
Boston’s firepower up front was not helped by the loss of striker Zico Veiga, who succumbed to a shoulder injury after only 20 minutes having fallen awkwardly in a clash with visiting keeper Carl Spence, who also required treatment. Zico and English wide man Paul Latif had produced the best early chances of the game, though home keeper Vinny Papageorgiou and defender John Dumbaya both had to be alert to snuff out a Rangers surge just before the half hour mark.
The Victory had the upper hand with a series of three corner kicks keeping pressure on the visitors, but New Jersey broke through Dritan Sela on the counter attack and only the speed of Pat Hamilton prevented a shot on goal.
The deadlock was almost broken on the stroke of halftime when Marc Djessouho and Lucas Pessanha combined but keeper Spence was alert to the danger and tipped the ball wide for another corner.
The Victory made wholesale changes at halftime and during the second half and substitute keeper Jason Katz had only been on the field a matter of seconds when he was called upon to parry away an effort from Anthony Collins.
The best two Boston scoring chances came with ten minutes remaining. Debutant Dave DeMello picked off a loose pass down the left wing and raced forward only to have his final shot tipped over the cross bar, and from the resulting corner, fellow new signing Sousa also saw his effort tipped away.
New Jersey’s Alex Broto received a red card for kicking out after he felt he had been fouled and then in the final minute, Rigo Jimenez should have done better with a clear shot at goal that sliced wide right of the target.
Article by Michael Preston