Photo by Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports
By CARL SETTERLUND
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Sunday night’s 2014 MLS Cup Final rematch between the LA Galaxy and New England Revolution lacked some of the expected star power, but both teams brought the fireworks early on in a 2-2 draw at Gillette Stadium.
All four goals were scored in the first half. Diego Fagundez broke out of a 14-game scoring slump to set the final result with a 37th-minute free kick that he lofted over the wall and inside the left post, just past the reach of diving Galaxy goalkeeper Jaime Penedo.
Teal Bunbury scored the opening goal for the Revolution (5-3-6) in the fifth minute, but coach Jay Heaps voiced his disappointment that the hosts allowed LA to rally back with goals nine minutes apart by rookie Nacho Maganto and Gyasi Zardes. The goal was Maganto’s first in MLS.
“I thought our game plan was really good and we came out and executed for the first 12 minutes of that game,” Heaps said. “If we had continued to do that for another 30 or 40 minutes you’d see a big smile on my face right now, but we didn’t and that’s why I’m so frustrated.
“When we train all week, and we start the game the right way, and go about the game the right way, and then we get our goal, and we turn off and we don’t continue to do what we’ve done well all week, it’s very frustrating.”
New England played absent Lee Nguyen and Chris Tierney due to red card suspensions, while captain Jermaine Jones came out of the game with a left groin injury in the 35th minute.
Jones had been announced before the match as part of the U.S. Men’s National Team’s 22-man roster for upcoming friendlies against the Netherlands and Germany, although his status for those games now looks in question.
The Galaxy (5-4-6) were missing Robbie Keane, also to a groin injury, while forwards Jose Villarreal and his replacement, Alan Gordon, were both injured on Sunday.
After stringing together a nine-match unbeaten streak earlier in the season, the Revolution have now gone five games without a win.
Bunbury put New England ahead during the opening stretch of a game that included heavy rain throughout. Bunbury finished at the right edge of the six-yard box after Scott Caldwell found him off the back of a give-and-go he played with Juan Agudelo.
The Galaxy scored consecutive goals from there as Maganto struck the ball out of the air on his first touch from the edge of the box to beat Bobby Shuttleworth in the 18th minute.
Maganto provided the second on Zardes’ low finish inside the box in the 27th minute. The rookie played the ball ahead to Villarreal, who nutmegged center back Jose Goncalves with a prodigious back heel pass to Zardes.
Fagundez saved the Revs from another 2-1 defeat against the Galaxy with a skillful dead ball strike two minutes after Jones was susbstituted off.
The Galaxy, who won games at the StubHub Center the previous two weekends, will return home to face the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday, while the Revs will play away to the Portland Timbers.
I’m not sure how the Revs fans see the Galaxy as escaping with a draw. What’s surprising is that they did not win. In what amounts to a game with both teams understrength the Galaxy certainly did enough to get the away win. Just as examples, the Revs second goal came directly from a very generous free kick which was basically just two guys trying to kick the ball at the same time.
The thing I find hardest to understand is why teams insist on having goalkeepers line up for a free way they used to before players figured out how to bend and dip the ball over the wall. Pineda’s positioning allowed that goal, just like the USMNT U23’s did against Costa Rica. Teams need to figure out that a defensive wall can no longer protect half of the goal. The goalkeeper can shade on the non-wall side but he can’t stand in the middle of the other half. C’mon guys a good youth player can bend a ball over a wall, it’s time to change tactics.
why did Fagundez declare for Uruguay and play in the SouthAmerican WCQ for the U-20 team if he didnt go with Uruguay to the World Cup 2015 in New Zealand?
I don’t understand how Scott Caldwell isn’t on the all star ballot yet! I wasn’t huge on him coming into the year but I think he has been one of the top 3 players this year for the Revs. Watching him live last night he worked his butt off and his vision to find Teal on the back post was amazing.
More dropped points after scoring 1st… At least they salvaged a draw. This is getting frustrating…
Galaxy had some luck. Ball sort of rolled to a Galaxy player after a deflection and he made one heckuva strike for their first goal, their second was basically unstoppable…Villareal made an incredible take and backheel and put Zardes in, nobody could have stopped that. Aside from that the Galaxy had no real chances, whereas the Revs were putting dangerous chances in all day.
Nobody’s going to stop that Revolution team over the long run. As I said above, I have never seen an MLS team remotely that talented. If they get ahold of an EPL team in one of those summer friendlies, they’re the sort of team that could absolutely humiliate the EPL squad if they don’t know what’s coming…it could easily be 3-0 before the EPL squad realizes what they’re in against.
By FAR the most-impressive assemblage of talent I’ve seen in MLS yet.
That’s EXACTLY why the stretch of the last 5 games has been so frustrating. They scored 1st in every game and managed a loss and 4 ties. Championship caliber teams need to be more clinical seeing a game out. I can’t help but wonder about tactics and coaching…
DanO, that is surprising considering they are as quozzel say’s ” By FAR the most-impressive assemblage of talent I’ve seen in MLS yet.” I think he may be overrating them a little.
The talent is there. Right now they are a little less than the sum of their parts. They should be a machine, but for whatever reason are not right now. Hence my frustration…
If there is a reason that the Galaxy have won 5 MLS Cups and a host of other award.s and have especially good results in the last 8 years, its the decision making of Bruce Arena.
He purposely left Robbie Keane off the roster to spare him the possibility of being re-injured on the horrible, horrible concrete lawn the NE Revs call their home turf.
There has been a lot of criticism of the Krafts and the NE Revs management. First, there is their management of the contract situation with its players and especially Lee Nguyen. Having a player of his caliber being disgruntled over his puny contract, is NOT a great motivator.
But the most egregious shortcoming the Krafts have foisted on the MLS and its NE fan base is thier constant refusal to shell out any money to improve the team. The Krafts are undoubtedly the cheapest team in the MLS and get a special “pass” from the MLS because they family was one of the founders of the league. Not only do they not have, after 20 years in the league, a soccer specific stadium, but they are making the best MLS players, it’s own and those visiting, subject to injury by playing on what is laughingly referred to a soccer field. The NE Revs management are so cheap, the MLS had to intervene to give them a DP, as they were too cheap or inept to look for there own. The few things the management have got right is picking good/great coaches in Steve Nicols and Jay Heaps and some good players., ie Clint Dempsey
But tonite while the Galaxy escaped with a draw, too injuries and did not have thier star player injured, The Revs have had injured their DP, Jermain Jones, and seriously setback the USMNT with two important friendlies coming up in a few days.
It appears the Krafts want the city of Boston to build the team a new downtown stadium, but what they wont have is a “brag room” to host all their MLS CUPS they have won. If they want that built, they can introduce natural turf, get some DP’s, and make sure all their soccer balls are fully inflated.
Uhm…Jermaine Jones was injured standing in a wall. Looked like he pulled something, Rage on, though.
I was frankly in awe of the talent the “cheap” Krafts have somehow pulled together. When Jones was injured they had four current or former USMNT guys standing in that wall – go watch the tape. Davies, Agudelo, Bunbury, and Jones were standing shoulder-to-shoulder.
Then I watched Andrew Farrell bound around…it was like, wow. He’s more athletic than Vincent Kompany is. Watched London Woodbury have his way down the right flank, watched how slick Diego Fagundez is.The Galaxy, frankly, were durn lucky to walk out of that stadium with a tie. Bruce Arena can coach him some soccer, yeah…but if the Krafts can hold that Revs team together, the real question is how many cups that team is going to win, not if they’re going to do it. I don’t see anyone stopping that Revolution team, not this year. I have never, ever seen an MLS team remotely that talented before.
Nice rant. I think your ritalin refill is ready for pickup.