It was a rough night for a former local product and one worth celebrating with a dance for a young midfielder far from home.
In the second match of the Desert Diamond Cup doubleheader Saturday, the New England Revolution netted all of its goals in the second half of a 3-1 victory over the New York Red Bulls. Two of those goals came with former Tucson Soccer Academy and Sierra Vista Buena High School standout Luis Robles between the posts.
In the first half, Robles had little chance to show off his skills to the hometown crowd of 3,211 at Kino Stadium. He made two saves, one from point-blank range in the opening minutes.
But in the second half, things unraveled for New York, which took a 1-0 lead in 11th minute on a Juninho goal.
In the 53rd minute, New York defender Jamison Olave was called for handball in the box on a shot by Diego Fagundez.
On the penalty, Robles dove to his right, but New England's Lee Nguyen chipped the ball past him to even the match.
"It was just one of those things where I was expecting him to guess and I just went down the middle," said Nguyen, who was second on the team with five goals in his first season with the Revolution last year. "It was a chip."
The Revolution took the lead in the 58th when Honduran Jerry Bengtson scored on an assist from nonroster midfielder Donnie Smith.
"It was a driven ball back post and we've been working on free kicks and we're working on second balls," New England coach Jay Heaps said. "Jerry Bengtson is known for finding the ball inside the 6. That's where he's at his best."
In the 65th minute, Robles was shown a yellow card for stepping out of the box with the ball in his hands. He was among the last starters subbed out in the 68th minute.
"That's what preseason is about, getting the rust off," Robles said. "The PK took the wind out of us."
In the opening match, all three goals came in the final 25 minutes as Seattle Sounders FC defeated Real Salt Lake 2-1.
After a rough first half that had two Real Salt Lake players booked, Seattle got on the board on a goal by Mario Martinez in the 66th minute.
Five minutes later, Danish midfielder Phillip Lund made it 2-0. Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Lalo Fernandez stopped a shot, but Lund was there to slot home his shot from 4 yards.
Lund, who is a spring invitee, celebrated with a dance in near the northwest corner pole that one pressbox observer called "the Riverdance with the macarena mixed in."
It gave the 23-year-old Dane a boost after struggling with injury and getting the flu while training in Casa Grande.
"It's always nice to score a goal, especially after not playing a match in seven or eight months," Lund said. (Assistant coach) Ezra Hendrickson told me if I score, I had to promise I would dance. It just came to me."
Real Salt Lake's John Stertzer added a consolation goal in the 87th minute.
• What: Desert Diamond Cup
• Where: Kino Stadium
• Salt Lake vs. New England: 5 p.m. Wednesday
• New York vs. Seattle: 7 p.m.