Two weeks was suppose to be enough time for the Los Angeles Galaxy.
A two-week break in MLS action was suppose to allow the Galaxy valuable time to rest some weary legs while at the same time, establish chemistry for the recently-assembled squad and correct some mistakes that had plagued LA in its first four games.
However, after a rainy Saturday night tilt against the New England Revolution, the same mistakes, namely poor marking on defense among other issues, were still evident. Two early goals in the first half, both assisted by midfielder and captain Shalrie Joseph, set the tone for the Revolution’s dominant night at the Home Depot Center. The Revs outplayed the Galaxy for most of the night, and the end result was a 3-1 win over LA.
“We were certainly beat tonight from the opening kickoff,” Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena said.
New Enlgand got on the board 10 minutes into the match. Following a quick throw-in, Joseph crossed a ball into the penalty box toKelyn Rowe, who had his initial volley denied by Saunders, but the ball ended up back at his feet and Rowe made the most of the second chance, burying the rebound attempt past Saunders upper net for the first goal of the game. New England wasn’t done yet though. Three minutes after Rowe’s goal, Joseph sprung right back Kevin Alston with a through ball into the 18. Alston’s short cross found the foot of left back Chris Tierney, whose volley beat Saunders near post for a two-goal lead.
“Kelyn Rowe is 5-foot-7, and he’s getting behind our backline on a cross, and the second one, their left back is scoring a goal inside out box. That’s unacceptable,” Galaxy defender AJ DeLaGarza said.
Things apparently were bad enough in the first half that Arena decided that midfielders David Beckham and Marcelo Sarvas would be his first two substitutions during the halftime break.
“If I had 11 substitutions, I would’ve considered that,” Arena said.
The substitutions apparently didn’t have much effect, as New England got its third goal inthe 65th minute when Ryan Guy crossed a ball into the 18 and Saer Sene headed the ball past Saunders near post to pretty much end matters on the night as far as the Revolution was concerned. The Galaxy did pull one back, as Robbie Keane finished a point-blank attempt in the 78th minute, but it turned out to be mere window dressing on a pretty dreary night for LA.
“The issue in the game was that 11 players from New England soundly outplayed 11 players from the Galaxy,” Arena said.
Things won’t get any easier for Los Angeles, as their next game will be against Sporting Kansas City at Livestrong Sporting Park next Saturday afternoon.