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Early goals lead the way as Revolution defeat Donovan-less Galaxy, 3-1


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CARSON, Calif. –The New England Revolution jumped out to an early two goal lead and never looked back, defeating the Landon Donovan-less Los Angeles Galaxy, 3-1 at the Home Depot Center on Saturday night. 

Kelyn Rowe, Chris Tierney and Saer Sene tallied for the Revolution while Robbie Keane scored the Galaxy's lone goal of the night. The Galaxy were without Donovan, who missed the match due to a quadriceps strain. 

Although even without Donovan, the Galaxy entered the match with the vaunted attack, it was the Revolution, who were able to exploit every Galaxy error to defeat the defending MLS Cup champions.

“Our attack came from our good defense. We pressured them a lot and we tore about their defense a bit,” said Rowe. “Lee Nguyen on the left and myself on the right, we were making runs in between the midfield and the backline and that hurt them a little bit. Our forwards held the ball for us great and making runs off and people found us the ball in the right positions.”

Rowe struck first in the 10th minute when the rookie was unlocked by a through-ball by Shalrie Joseph. His first effort on goal was saved by Galaxy goalkeeper Josh Saunders, but the rookie coolly put the rebound into the back of the Galaxy net.

Just three minutes later, the Revolution doubled their lead in the 13th minute as Joseph and Kevin Alston combined to  put the defender behind the Galaxy defense. Alston then unleashed a cross that Tierney punched in for the night's second goal. 

“I think for us it was a good start. We came out and executed the game plan, which was we wanted to keep possession,” said Revolution head coach Jay Heaps. “We knew that the Galaxy is so good on the attack and you know the old cliché the best defense is a good offense. We wanted to keep the ball as long as we could at times and then take our chances and that’s what we did.”

In the 39th minute, the Galaxy nearly cut the Revs lead to one when David Beckham fired a free kick that caused the Englishman to slip on the wet ground, but his effort nearly curled into the top corner, but was pushed away by goalkeeper Matt Reis.

The Galaxy continued their pressure in the first minute of stoppage time as Edson Buddle appeared to get a one-on-one with the goalkeeper, but a late challenge by defender Stephen McCarthy forced Buddle to fire his shot wide. 

Despite controlling the run of play late in the first half, the Galaxy opted to make two changes at the halftime, taking off Beckham and Marcelo Sarvas in favor of Michael Stephens and Magee. Moves that head coach Bruce Arena assured were purely coaches' decisions.

"Felt we needed to make a change in the midfield. Purely a coach’s decision," said Arena. "I couldn’t change 11 players, that’s what I told the team at halftime. If I had 11 substitutions I would have considered that."

Although the Galaxy head coach admitted that Beckham was not pleased by the early substitution, Arena quickly stressed that the Englishman's removal was not the Galaxy's real issue. 

"Hopefully he’s ready to be part of the next game," asserted Arena. "I’m sure he’s not pleased about it but that’s not the issue in the game. The issue for the game was 11 players for New England soundly outplayed the 11 players for the Galaxy."

New England added their third of the night in the 65th minute when Ryan Guy blazed down the right side of the field, turning defender Todd Dunivant before firing a cross to Saer Sene, who headed it past Saunders. 

Los Angeles pushed forward late in hopes of getting on the board and finally broke through in the 78th minute as Edson Buddle fired a cross that caught Keane on the run. Keane then calmly beat Reis for his fourth goal of the season. 

New England will now look ahead to their date with FC Dallas next Thursday at FC Dallas Stadium while the Galaxy look to rebound on Saturday in a road match with Sporting Kansas City. A match that the Galaxy understand is a pivotal one of them, as they hope to recover their championship form from last season. 

"We’ve had some difficult ones so far, when you come back into the locker room, it’s just different than last year," said defender AJ DeLaGarza. "Everyone’s down so obviously, it’s a rough start to our season, but we have 30-plus games so we can’t hold our heads down, we have to get back and we have a big game next week against Kansas City."


  1. Bad conditions, no Donovan… None of that mattered. Galaxy got humiliated in front of their home crowd (including a Revs goal celebration directly in front of me) for the third time this season, and it’s still early April.

    Galaxy had become such a finely tuned killing machine by the end of last season, I think they’ve forgotten all the hard work it took to get there. That, plus a world class center back. Heavy hangs the head that wears the crown.

  2. Before the game the general consensus was that despite Donovan’s absence LA should have beaten the Revs but now that NE dominated the Galaxy the story has changes to the “Donovan-less Galaxy.” It’s kinda weak how the Revs victory is being qualified. And this isn’t directed at Mr. Serrano. I’m sure if LA had won the Revs injuries would not have been mentioned in the headline.

  3. I guess Donovan’s immediate success during his two short spells in the EPL shows that that leagues isn’t good either.

  4. True, and I say this as a Galaxy supporter. Juninho and Dunivant both had their worst performances in Galaxy shirts, Sarvas looked out of place on the wing, and Boyens was awful. Also, I’d pick A.J. Soares as man of the match.

    That said, it didn’t help that LA fell into a hole early, while it was still possible to dribble. The whole second half was played at a walking pace because it was impossible to control the ball on the run on that surface, and that favored the team that could afford to sit back and defend.

  5. I thought the NBCSC broadcast of the DCU-FCD match was outstanding. Much better than Fox or ESPN. And I really liked the field level mics. I like hearing the singing/crowd noise. At least in that broadcast you could still hear the commentary.

  6. Or not all of them are as good as advertised. This narrative of western dominance ignores the cyclical nature of strength and weakness in MLS (prior to 2009 the east overall was dominant for several seasons). We’ll see how things play out, but it does seem like the conferences are fairly close early on.

  7. I think when Benny is fit Rowe will drop to the bench. This is assuming that Moreno or Runström would be available to play which would cause Ryan Guy to also drop to the bench.

  8. Yeah, Cakes is important and a necessary ingredient for optimal Galaxy success, but he rarely seems capable of changing the team’s defensive mindset on an off day.

  9. It’s too small of a sample to blame it on Benny (just yet.) In KC the Revs were down a man 15 minutes into the game and forced to chase the game. In last night match having Ryan Guy playing as a forward was an huge upgrade over Blake Brettschneider. Also this was the first game of the regular season where Rowe has lived up to his potential.

  10. Benny is a quality player, one of the best players on this team. He will probably walk back into the starting lineup but who knows. It’s hard to choose someone for him to replace since obviously you can’t take out Joseph and Nguyen Guy and Simms have played very well in his absence. Maybe he will have to earn his spot back, but I think he’s just too good for that

  11. Obviously, I hope Benny’s healthy, and I know he’s a heck of a player. But I wonder if I’m reading to much into it when I point out:

    With Benny: 0-2, 0 goals scored
    Without Benny: 2-0, 4 goals scored

  12. Evidently Omar Gonzalez is better than most admit, and this team misses him badly

    improvements on the team across the board EXCEPT for Omar being out…and all of the sudden LA cannot defend

    and some think Omar wouldn’t help? or isn’t the missing piece? right

  13. You can’t even bother to figure out if the halftime crew is the same as the in-game commentary??? Shows how much you pay attention…makes your opinion worthless really, don’t you think?

  14. The halftime guys were dreadful. Soccer terminology seems like an unfamiliar taste in their mouths. Not sure if these guys handled the in game commentary or not. They at least need a different halftime crew.

  15. Does anyone else find the NBC broadcasts unwatchable? The audio quality for the three that I’ve seen has been horrible. The field level microphones virtually drown out the play-by-play. That would be a plus if Alexei Lalas were involved, but otherwise what’s the point?

  16. if you have a leaky defense like new york the least you could do is actually score like NY. It is evident that LA is finished. they have nothing. one tall slow defender who is worse than tim ream (starting center back for bolton wanderers) isnt going to help them.

  17. SBI doesn’t care about the quakes! Nguyen looked very good IMO, he spreads the ball around well and isn’t afraid to take people on. very impressive for how little time he has been in the MLS

  18. For a team that many thought would struggle- I think New england has a pretty decent roster- and are playing pretty good.

  19. I always used to say parity is good in the sense teams can rise/fall without the same ones always winning/small markets can succeed BUT that parity is bad when everybody is so even nobody’s good….but that doesn’t seem to be the case this year. Yes it’s early, but it seems there are so many good teams(relatively) that that is what is resulting in so much parity. Awesome.

  20. New England passed around LA all night long. This team is not last year’s team. That phrase holds true for both squads.

  21. Arena first said Galaxy played too many games. Now he claims they played too few. Soon he’ll find the right porridge, that’s just right.


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