Categorized | Match Reports

Revs battle to a 2-2 draw with Galaxy

Posted on 31 August 2008 by L.E. Eisenmenger

Saturday night, Aug. 30, the New England Revolution battled the LA Galaxy to a 2-2 draw in a match that highlighted the potential of the defending Eastern Conference champions and the controversial West Coast team that’s both scored and allowed the most goals (42 and 45, respectively) in MLS and hasn’t won in ten matches.

The Galaxy’s notoriously disorganized defense has solidified under the two-week supervision of new head coach Bruce Arena and supported the attacking front of David Beckham, Landon Donovan, Edson Buddle and Eddie Lewis, the returning American international who made his Galaxy debut. The Revolution started their new Costa Rican defender, Gabriel Badilla, but played without three of their four strikers and attacking midfielder Steve Ralston due to injuries sustained in their heavy tournament schedule.

Taylor Twellman headed in the first goal off a Khano Smith cross, and collided with the fist of keeper Steve Cronin, who broke his finger on Twellman’s face, requiring stitches. “Give Taylor Twellman a lot of credit,” Bruce Arena said of the incident. “He stuck his nose on a play that most forwards wouldn’t get near the ball. I think Steve [Cronin] might have been a split second late – give Taylor a lot of credit for finishing off.”

Donovan fired in the next two goals in the 33rd and 55th minutes with assists by Peter Vagenas and Lewis, respectively. Shalrie Joseph evened the score in the 71st minute for his first MLS goal of the season.

“I’m pleased with the result and the way we played,” commented Arena, ”because our team, over the last two months or so, has not played well and tonight we saw more evidence of a team and obviously the quality of some of our individuals.” But he anticipated difficult times as four of his top players soon depart for national duty. “We’re going to lose Beckham, Donovan, Lewis and Jasic, so that’s not easy.”

Wells Thompson started on the left instead of Mauricio Castro and showed his talent for finding space and launching shots, as well as shutting down attackers and earning yellow cards, although he and Lewis were booked together for misconduct. “Other than getting in a silly bicker, he showed some maturity,” Nicol said of Thompson’s play. “We told him at half time ‘you have to be careful,’ and he did his work without being spectacular, but without getting himself in a place where he might get booked again,” Castro subbed in for Thompson in the 78th minute, but the momentum gained from Shalrie’s goal was lost in the switch.

Sainey Nyassi’s runs brought the crowd of 39,256 to a roar every time, but the young Gambian’s crosses were off the mark for Twellman, the Revs lone striker.

Badilla held up well under pressure after only one light practice with his new team, although the second Donovan goal was allowed by miscommunication between him and Parkhurst. He also took a long low shot in the 54th minute after drawing off a defender and took a free kick. “We see what Badilla’s made of at the end,” said Nicol. “He wants to win the game, you see him at the end.”

David Beckham shrugged off his several confrontations with Khano Smith. “I just wasn’t expecting to get hit around the head, that’s why I reacted. But no, it happens in games, it’s part of soccer. You get on with it. It’s a man’s game, so you enjoy the challenge.”

Beckham dismissed notions that players might be unhappy about being stretched in the CONCACAF and SuperLiga tournaments. “I think any game of soccer, any tournament is good for the sport in the U.S. because it raises awareness for the people, for the fans, and it gives good experience for the players and the teams that are involved in it. I went for a season in ’99 where we were involved in every competition and we ended up winning every competition. As tired as people think you are, you love being involved in those games and you love being involved in competitions, so I don’t think you’ll get any player complaining about that.”

“If it means playing for my country then I don’t care where I fly and how many times I fly, as long as I’m involved,” he continued. “People always ask me the same question, ‘Is it tiring?’ No, it’s not, because travel is very good these days. I sleep all the way, get my rest in and eat well and drink well, and I’m ready for the games.”

Steve Nicol, whose team flies commercial layover flights for international tournaments sandwiched between MLS games, commended his team for enduring the physical rigors of heavy travel. “I think if there was a trophy for balls our team would win hands down.”


Match Facts

New England Revolution vs. Los Angeles Galaxy?August 30, 2008 – Foxborough, Mass. (Gillette Stadium)

Scoring Summary:?NE – Taylor Twellman (Khano Smith) 22?LA – Landon Donovan (Peter Vagenas) 33?LA – Landon Donovan (Eddie Lewis) 55?NE – Shalrie Joseph (Michael Parkhurst) 71

New England Revolution: Matt Reis (GK), Jay Heaps, Gabriel Badilla, Michael Parkhurst, Chris Albright, Khano Smith, Jeff Larentowicz, Pat Phelan (Sainey Nyassi 33), Wells Thompson (Mauricio Castro 78), Shalrie Joseph ©, Taylor Twellman

Substitutes Not Used: Doug Warren (GK), Amaechi Igwe, Chris Tierney, Brandon Tyler, Rob Valentino

STATS: Shots 10; Shots on Goal 5; Saves 4; Corner Kicks 2; Offside 0; Fouls Committed 16

Los Angeles Galaxy: Steve Cronin (GK) (Josh Wicks 46), Ante Jazic, Sean Franklin, Troy Roberts, Chris Klein, Eddie Lewis (Eduardo Dominguez 81), Greg Vanney (Mike Randolph 65), Peter Vagenas, David Beckham ©, Landon Donovan, Edson Buddle

Substitutes Not Used: Mike Munoz, Isreal Sesay, Josh Tudela, Julian Valentin

STATS: Shots 8; Shots on Goal 6; Saves 3; Corner Kicks 2; Offside 3; Fouls Committed 14

Misconduct Summary: ?NE – Wells Thompson (caution) 14?LA – Eddie Lewis (caution) 14?LA – Greg Vanney (caution) 63?NE – Jay Heaps (caution) 91+

Referee: Tim Weyland

Attendance: 39,256

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