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7:30 pm ET (FSW; KCAL; WB)
Two teams at opposite ends of the MLS overall table come together in a rematch of the 2002 MLS Cup final. The host New England Revolution have been racked by injuries in the early going, but were still buoyed when they took their first point of the year last weekend at the Meadowlands, despite a real makeshift lineup. The visiting Los Angeles Galaxy are unbeaten in four matches and lead the Western Conference and the league's overall table, ace marksman Carlos Ruiz having hit for five of their league-leading seven goals on the campaign.
REFEREE: Kevin Terry. SAR (bench): Kermit Quisenberry; JAR (opposite): Bill Dittmar; 4th: Mark Geiger
MLS Career: 88 games; FC/gm: 30.2; Y/gm: 2.8; R: 32; pens: 35
Games involving Revolution: P14 W3 L9 T2; FC/gm: 31.1; Y/gm: 2.4; R: 8; pens: 10
Games involving Galaxy: P24 W10 L12 T2; FC/gm: 28.9; Y/gm: 2.8; R: 10; pens: 11
INJURY REPORT: NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION - OUT: DF Carlos Llamosa (L knee sprain); FW Joe-Max Moore (R knee sprain); DOUBTFUL: DF Rusty Pierce (R quadriceps contusion); PROBABLE: MD Jose Cancela (R calf strain) ... LOS ANGELES GALAXY - QUESTIONABLE: DF Danny Califf (R MCL sprain); MF Sasha Victorine (R ankle sprain); MD Cobi Jones (tonsillectomy); PROBABLE: MF Peter Vagenas (groin strain)
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
YELLOW PERIL: LA: Peter Vagenas (10 CP in 2 gms)
The teams play in the second of their two meetings this season - both in the first four weeks of the season. They met on April 3 in the season opener, the Galaxy claiming a 3-2 victory at The Home Depot Center as the Revolution twice came back from a goal down.
Carlos Ruiz opened his 2004 account with an acrobatic chest deflection (30). Jay Heaps then brought New England level just after the break when he hit home from a narrow angle (49), but just 10 minutes later Andreas Herzog again gave the Galaxy the lead, ripping home a low drive from outside the area.
Pat Noonan hooked home a shot from almost on the byeline to again pull New England on level terms (68), but not a minute later, another new signing, Jovan Kirovski, hit a pile-driver from just inside the area that sailed past Rev 'keeper Adin Brown for the Galaxy victory.
Here's the team Sigi Schmid ran out for the season opener (4-3-1-2): Kevin Hartman - Chris Albright, Danny Califf, Ryan Suarez, Tyrone Marshall (Ricky Lewis 46) - Arturo Torres (Marcelo Saragosa 68), Peter Vagenas, Sasha Victorine - Andreas Herzog (Alejandro Moreno 88) - Jovan Kirovski, Carlos Ruiz.
Here's Steve Nicol's team on the night (4-1-3-2): Adin Brown - Jay Heaps, Daouda Kante (Clint Dempsey 83), Rusty Pierce, Joe Franchino - Shalrie Joseph - Steve Ralston, Jose Cancela, Pat Noonan - Joe-Max Moore, Taylor Twellman.
A year ago, the teams played three times, each winning once on home turf. New England won 2-0 on May 10 at Gillette Stadium (Kamler 59, Twellman 66), then after they played to a 2-2 draw at The Home Depot Center on July 4 (Ruiz 28 pen, Moreno 60 - Twellman 52, Heaps 54), the Galaxy won the final meeting in Carson on Aug. 23, 2-1 on a golden goal (Ruiz 22, 98 - Cancela 86 pen)
The visiting team hasn't won in the series in four seasons in the league, covering 10 matches. The last road victory was a 5-2 Los Angeles Galaxy triumph at Foxboro Stadium on July 11, 1999, though the Galaxy of course won in Foxborough in the 2002 MLS Cup Final.
Taylor Twellman is the Revolution's all-time scoring leader against the Galaxy with 3 goals, 1 assists. Steve Ralston has 5 goals, 6 assists v Los Angeles - 1 goal, 2 assists while with the Revolution. Jay Heaps has 3 goals v L.A. - 2 goals while in New England. Joe-Max Moore and Brian Kamler also have 2 goals against the Galaxy, but only one of Kamler's has come with the Revolution.
Cobi Jones is the Galaxy's all-time leader against the Revolution with 10 goals, 7 assists, while Carlos Ruiz is third on the club's all-time list (and next among current Galaxy players) with 5 goals, 3 assists. Tyrone Marshall has 3 goals, 3 assists - just 2 assists while with Los Angeles.
Coaches record: Sigi Schmid vs. NE: P12 W6 L4 D2 ... Steve Nicol v LA: P6 W2 L3 T1
ALL-TIME (20 meetings): Revolution 6 wins (1 shootout), 26 goals ... Galaxy 12 wins (2 shootout), 40 goals ... 2 draws
NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION
The teams traded goals in short order in the first half of a free-flowing, attractive match. Rookie Clint Dempsey gave the Revolution the lead after just 12 minutes, pounding home from the spot after Jay Heaps headed down from a corner.
But just two minutes the MetroStars answered through Amado Guevara, who curled home a shot from just inside the area after corraling a mis-hit chance.
Revolution coach Steve Nicol was forced into wholesale changes to his team, including playing two nominal midfielders in central defense. Shalrie Joseph and Brian Kamler slotted into the heart of the back four as Daouda Kante and Rusty Pierce joined Carlos Llamosa on the injured list.
In all Nicol made three complete changes, as Josi Cancela was unavailable. Joe-Max Moore moved back into central midfield, with new positions also for Joe Franchino and Pat Noonan. Marshall Leonard came in at left back with Franchino pushed forward on the left side.
Here's Nicol's team (4-1-3-2): Adin Brown - Jay Heaps, Shalrie Joseph, Brian Kamler, Marshall Leonard - Clint Dempsey - Steve Ralston, Joe-Max Moore (Richie Baker 86), Joe Franchino - Pat Noonan, Taylor Twellman.
"We had as many chances as they did," Revolution coach Steve Nicol said. "We didn't play above ourselves. That was a good, strong team we put on the field, and every one of them is a good player. Every player we have thinks they should be playing every game. We gave the ball away more than we would like to. But we were tight and solid, they never caught us up [field], and we limited them to a lot of long-range shots."
The Revolution's injury woes went from bad to worse after the match, when Joe-Max Moore was ruled out for 6-8 weeks after suffering a sprained MCL in his right knee. "Joe gives his heart and soul every minute he's on the field and sometimes these things happen," Nicol said. "The positive is that he came into the season extremely fit and we're confident he'll make a quick and full recovery."
But Cancela and Kante are expected to again be available and return to the lineup. Nicol praised his team defense, especially with four players essentially playing out of position.
"The defense was strong and it was a team thing, from the forwards all the way to the back. We worked on that all week and everyone did what they were supposed to do," Nicol said.
The New England Revolution took their first point of the season, overcoming a slew of injuries to snatch a 1-1 draw on the road against the MetroStars on Sunday afternoon. After a pair of losses to begin the season - allowing three goals in each - the draw at Giants Stadium moved the Rev to fourth place in the Eastern Conference, ahead of the Columbus Crew.
LOS ANGELES GALAXY
Carlos Ruiz scored for the fourth consecutive week, running his league-leading total to five goals with both goals against Columbus, which lost for the third consecutive time to open the season.
Ruiz put his side ahead in the 58th minute from the penalty spot after Eric Denton scythed down Joseph Ngwenya in the area, Ruiz coolly sending Crew 'keeper the wrong way for the first goal. He then finished off the match with aplomb eight minutes from time, neatly meeting a cross from Paul Broome from the left corner and sending it home with a first-time volley.
Ruiz has scored all of the Galaxy goals this season after finishing atop the league's goalscoring charts for each of the past two seasons with 24 and 15 goals respectively. His two-goal performance also led his selection as the Honda Player of the Week, chosen by the Professional Soccer Reporters Association.
Galaxy coach Sigi Schmid made four changes to his team, including running out a nearly completely new midfield. Joseph Ngwenya came in on the right and Ned Grabavoy and Marcelo Saragosa filled central roles, as Peter Vagenas and Sasha Victorine were injured and Arturo Torres was dropped. Paul Broome came in at left back for Ricky Lewis.
"They played really well. We have increased Joe's [Ngwenya's] minutes each week and he's been coming along," Schmid said. "Marcelo [Saragosa], we wanted to settle in. We knew he could play, that's why we brought him up here, and he did a great job defensively on [Kyle] Martino, and really shut him down. With Ned [Grabavoy], we went into the game just seeing how he would do, and he is the kind of kid that battles and is good on the ball."
Here's Schmid's team on the night (4-4-1-1): Kevin Hartman - Chris Albright, Danny Califf (Ryan Suarez 67), Tyrone Marshall, Paul Broome - Joseph Ngwenya (Arturo Torres 73), Ned Grabavoy, Marcelo Saragosa, Andreas Herzog (Alejandro Moreno 88) - Jovan Kirovski - Carlos Ruiz.
"Even though we had a good game in week one against New England, I thought tonight was our most complete performance," Schmid said. "Tonight you saw us play with a midfielder tucked in a little bit more, and that allowed (Herzog) to be a little bit higher, and as a result we created a number of chances in the first and second half, and got rewarded with two goals."
The victory left the Galaxy at 2-0-2 on the season - and the last time they started the year with that record was 2002, when they ended matter with the MLS Cup. "Hopefully it's a good omen," Schmid said. "Hopefully you guys will get off my back a little bit and stop reading the message boards."
Danny Califf suffered an sprained ligament in his right knee that forced him from the field after 67 minutes, and that kept him out of the U.S. national team's friendly against Mexico on Wednesday.
The Los Angeles Galaxy took over the top spot in the MLS overall table while maintaining their lead in the Western Conference, staying unbeaten thanks to a 2-0 victory against the Columbus Crew on Saturday at The Home Depot Center. The Galaxy have eight points from four matches, leading the Western Conference by one point.