Galaxy look to exact revenge on Revs
Two weeks ago at The Home Depot Center, the New England Revolution literally stole a win away from the Los Angeles Galaxy, scoring deep into second-half stoppage time on what turned out to be almost the very last kick of the game.
The 1-1 scoreline gave the two teams a share of the points on Independence Day, but right now, the two sides share a lot more than that in common.
Both teams played that game at less than full strength, but with players returning from international duty and injured players getting back to full health, both sides should be at nearly full strength for the first time in more than a month.
In addition, both sides are looking to climb back up their respective conference tables. The Galaxy and the Revolution have both sat atop their divisions at some point this season, but the Galaxy's slide has been far more dramatic than New England's.
The third and final coincidence -- and possibly the most important key to Wednesday night's game -- is the fact that both teams are coming off losses last weekend in Carson and will be looking to get back on the right track.
"We need to jump right back in the saddle and make sure we attack New England," said 'keeper Kevin Hartman after the Galaxy's disappointing loss to D.C. United on Saturday. "They're a team expecting to get their three national team players back, and they'll be happy."
The Revolution's Clint Dempsey, Pat Noonan and Steve Ralston returned to action for the club last week after spending most of the month with the U.S. national team for the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
The main difference between where the two teams are right now is the way they've been playing lately. Despite missing a bevy of players from their roster, the Revolution have managed to stay within one point of East-leading Chicago, and also hold three games in hand on the Fire.
On the other hand, the Galaxy have managed just one win in their last seven games and sit smack dab in the middle of the playoff race. They trail both San Jose and Dallas by six points, and lead Colorado by seven points for the final playoff spot in the West.
The schedule isn't going to be very kind to the Galaxy either, as they try to climb out of their current funk. They play their next five games on the road, a place that hasn't been kind to them over the course of the last two seasons. For Tyrone Marshall and the other Galaxy vets, they're trying to instill an attitude in the younger players that it doesn't matter where they are playing.
"We need to be men and go out and battle. Everyone has to roll up their sleeves and play to get points," said the Jamaican international. "It shouldn't matter if we're at home or on the road, the guys who are going to be out there are the guys who come to play for 90 minutes."
It's said a wounded animal is the most dangerous. Two weeks ago, down a goal in the final minute, the Revolution came back to post a stunning 3-2 win against FC Dallas and keep their unbeaten home record alive. On Saturday, the Galaxy lost at home for the first time in more than a year.
"Having lost to Chivas Friday night, I can't imagine they're (New England) a happy side right now," Hartman said. "They're going to come out guns blazing. We have to make sure we match their effort."
Greg Daurio is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.