In Galaxy 3-1 loss it’s storm before the calm
CARSON, CA (BDCi) – – Even the weather has turned on the Galaxy. The 2011 MLS Cup and Supporters’ Shield Champions came back from a 13-day hiatus only to find their home field more like New England’s Gilette Stadium, pelted with rain, cold and wind.
Lacking ideal weather conditions and more importantly their injured captain Landon Donovan, the Galaxy were again defeated at home 3-1, this time to the New England Revolution.
Donovan who is suffering from a quadriceps injury did not suit up, and teammate Mike Magee didn’t start due to an adductor strain. Brazilian Marcelo Sarvas (pictured below) started for the captain, and Uruguayan Paulo Cardozo played for Magee in the first half.
The personnel changes made a noticeable (bad) change to the flow on the offensive side of the ball for L.A. The team ended up with 11 shots but only 4 of those on goal.
But as was the problem in the home opener against Real Salt Lake, the defensive holes were as noticeable as well, rain in Los Angeles in spring time.
The Revs got on the board, not once, but twice in the first 13 minutes off of what famous Lakers’ announcer Chick Hearn would call “matador defense”.
In the 10th minute, Kelyn Rowe, a UCLA alumnus, took a good pass from star midfielder Shalrie Joseph, to knock in his own rebound, for his first ever MLS goal. What made it work is how easy it was to find free space between Todd Dunivant and A.J. DeLaGarza in the Galaxy backfield.
Shortly after the Rowe goal, left back Chris Tierney took a pass in the box from fellow defender Kevin Alston against a Galaxy defense that overcompensated, playing too deep and drilled a shot over Josh Saunders.
The score remained 2-0 until halftime, and Galaxy Coach Bruce Arena took a gamble, substituting Magee for Sarvas and “12th man” Michael Stephens in at midfield for David Beckham to begin the second half.
The gamble didn’t pay off. In the 65th minute, the dagger was struck when forward Saer Sene of the Revolution scored his second goal in two games off a Ryan Guy assist to give New England an insurmountable 3 goal lead.
Robbie Keane scored his third goal of the season in the 78th minute from a terrific through ball from fellow striker Edson Buddle, but it was too little, too late.
The Galaxy (1-2) are now vintners, otherwise known as “cellar dwellers”, last place in the Western Conference, tied with Chivas USA. It is quite a change from the mountain top that was 2011. But there is hope in the form of a long season and a return of players currently on the injured list, but sure to return and help the team reach their potential.
By: Don Weinstein
Images: Roberta Ernandes
31 March 2012