7:30 pm ET (FSN-NE)
The New England Revolution return home having gone winless in three of their last four games, all on the road - their most unproductive stretch of the season. But they are unbeaten on the campaign at Gillette Stadium, their last home match a miracle comeback win against FC Dallas. They play host to a Los Angeles Galaxy that hasn't won away from The Home Depot Center in more than a year, and lost at home for the first time in even longer in their last match, a 1-0 loss to D.C. United, a fifth defeat in eight games.
REFEREE: Marcel Yonan. SAR (bench): Kermit Quisenberry; JAR (opposite): Bill Dittmar; 4th: Gus St. Silva
MLS Career: 50 games; FC/gm: 29.3; Y/gm: 3.2; R: 8; pens: 16
Games involving Revolution: P10 W3 L7 T0; FC/gm: 31.8; Y/gm: 2.6; R: 1; pens: 3
Games involving Galaxy: P5 W3 L1 T1; FC/gm: 31.4; Y/gm: 3.6; R: 0; pens: 1
INJURY REPORT: NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION - OUT: GK Kyle Singer (R shoulder sprain); MF Steve Ralston (post-concussion syndrome); FW Pat Noonan (R ankle sprain) ... LOS ANGELES GALAXY - OUT: DF Ben Benditson (sports hernia)
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
SUSPENDED: LA: Jovan Kirovski (through July 27)
WARNINGS: NE: Marshall Leonard (19 CP); Jay Heaps (20 CP) ... LA: Paulo Nagamura (18 CP)
ALL-TIME (22 meetings): Revolution 7 wins (1 shootout), 29 goals ... Galaxy 12 wins (2 shootout), 42 goals ... 3 draws
AT FOXBOROUGH: (10 meetings): Revolution 6 wins (0 shootout), 18 goals ... Galaxy 4 wins (0 shootout), 19 goals ... 0 draws
The clubs meet for the second of their two encounters this season, the only one set for Gillette Stadium, as the teams completed their season series in less than four weeks.
LAST MEETINGThe New England Revolution came back to claim a miracle 1-1 draw with the Los Angeles Galaxy at The Home Depot Center on July 4. Both the Galaxy and Revolution saw their first-choice lineups hit hard by national team call-ups and injury and the final pass was just off all night long as teams labored to create any quality chances.
That changed three minutes from time when Herculez Gomez collected a pass on the right and swung in a perfect cross to the far post where rookie Michael Enfield - making just his second professional appearance - dove to head home the seeming winner.
But the Revolution showed their resilience as four minutes deep into stoppage time, Joe Franchino swung in a free kick from the left that Taylor Twellman headed down. Sharlie Joseph slipped it past a defender with the slightest of touches and Andy Dorman was there to sweep it past Kevin Hartman. Still, the Revolution haven't won at the Galaxy since a July 4 win in the inaugural MLS season of 1996.
Here's Steve Sampson's team (4-4-2): Kevin Hartman - Ugo Ihemelu, Pablo Chinchilla, Tyrone Marshall, Todd Dunivant - Cobi Jones (Michael Enfield 81), Ned Grabavoy, Paulo Nagamura, Guillermo Ramirez (Mubarike Chisoni 62) - Ednaldo da Conceicao, Alan Gordon (Herculez Gomez 64).
Here's Steve Nicol's team (3-4-1-2): Matt Reis - Jay Heaps, Michael Parkhurst, Joe Franchino - James Riley, Andy Dorman, Shalrie Joseph, Marshall Leonard (Ryan Latham 75) - Jose Cancela - Khano Smith (Connally Edozien 70), Taylor Twellman
HISTORYA year ago, the teams met twice, each winning on their home ground. They opened the season against each other, the Galaxy claiming a 3-2 victory on Victoria Street (Ruiz 30; Herzog 59; Kirovski 69 - Heaps 48; Noonan 68). Then not even a month later they concluded their season series in Massachusetts with the Revolution grabbing a 2-1 win (Franchino 4; Cancela 71 pen - Moreno 90)
The Revolution have won just once in southern California against the Galaxy, a 1-0 victory on July 4, 1996 - the league's inaugural season. Since then, the Galaxy have won eight of their home meetings with the Revolution with three draws.
The two clubs have exactly split their season series each of the last four years. Three of those years they've met just twice - and each team has won once. In 2003 they met three times, with each club claiming one victory with the third meeting drawn.
The Galaxy haven't won in Foxborough in six years, since 5-2 win on July 11, 1999. Over the last five years, the Revs have won all five East Coast encounters, four of them by one goal (and the fifth by two).
Coaches record: Steve Sampson v NE: P1 W0 L0 D1... Steve Nicol vs. LA: P8 W3 L3 D2
NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION
The New England Revolution lost for the second time in three matches, both on the road, in a 1-0 loss to Chivas USA at The Home Depot Center last Saturday. Though the Revolution have come away with just one point from their last three away matches, they are still in second place in the Eastern Conference with 35 points from 18 matches, one behind the Chicago Fire but with three matches in hand.
Chivas USA completed their most successful month in club history while again frustrating the New England Revolution, a first-half goal from Douglas Sequeira all they needed for victory.
Antonio Martinez - a threat all night long on the left flank for Chivas - beat his marker before whipping in a cross that Sequeira flashed in to head home at the near post for the game's only goal (38).
It gave Chivas a split of the season series - they lost just 1-0 to the Revolution on a late goal in April - while they won their second league match and third in all competitions in July.
Revolution boss Steve Nicol made three changes to the team that pulled off a remarkable 3-2 victory against FC Dallas the previous weekend at home. Clint Dempsey and Pat Noonan returned to the U.S. national team, as Andy Dorman and Khano Smith came into the team in their places. Avery John returned from duty with the Trinidad & Tobago team and made his first start since May 28, as Marshall Leonard returned to the substitutes' bench.
Here's Nicol's team (3-4-1-2): Matt Reis - Jay Heaps, Michael Parkhurst, Avery John - James Riley (Ryan Latham 83), Shalrie Joseph, Andy Dorman, Joe Franchino - Jose Cancela (Marshall Leonard 46) - Khano Smith (Connally Edozien 46), Taylor Twellman
"We knew they would give us a tough game," said Nicol. "The second half I thought we played well. We were forcing the issue and I think we were unfortunate not to get at least a point."
TEAM NEWSNicol changed tactics in the second half, returning to a 4-4-2 scheme after going with a 3-5-2 scheme for nearly the entire season before. Joe Franchino moved back to left back with Michael Parkhurst and Avery John as center backs. Andy Dorman and Shalrie Joseph filled the central midfield axis, with Marshall Leonard coming in at a left-sided midfielder, and Connally Edozien partnering with Taylor Twellman up top.
"It was frustrating for the whole team. We didn't play our kind of soccer, we didn't create enough chances and we gave them too much time and possession to play in the second half I think we were all over them and we played a lot better but we didn't come back in the second half like we expected," Joseph said.
Final-moment dramatics have been almost customary with New England this season. They have hit for 11 goals in the final 15 minutes, and four of those have come in second-half stoppage time (Twellman 95+, 4/27 v CHI; Noonan 91+, 6/25 v MET; Dorman 94+, 7/4 v LA; Twellman 92+, 7/9 v DAL).
The Revolution will also have full availability of all of their U.S. internationals for the first time in five matches. "We've been missing (Noonan, Ralston and Dempsey) all month so it didn't really matter tonight," said Twellman. "We're sick of talking about who we are missing. We just have to take care of business and in the second half we outplayed them but we just didn't come out ahead."
The Revolution maintained their unbeaten record at home - they've dropped just four possible points at Gillette Stadium, something the club say is important.
"To lose at home, that would just be terrible. We've done well at home and we wanted to continue that streak - let everyone else in the league know that when you come to our house, it's going to be tough to beat us," Dempsey said after last weekend's win against FC Dallas.
LOS ANGELES GALAXY
The Los Angeles Galaxy lost at home for the first time this season - and Steve Sampson saw his side lose at The Home Depot Center for the first time as head coach - a dramatic Freddy Adu goal giving D.C. United a 1-0 victory on Saturday afternoon. The Galaxy are still in third place in the Western Conference with 28 points from 19 matches, six behind joint leaders FC Dallas and San Jose Earthquakes.
D.C. United's impeccable match management closed down the Los Angeles Galaxy for 90 minutes on a blistering-hot day before a moment of Adu magic gave them the full three points and handed Steve Sampson his first-ever home loss since taking over the club.
Two minutes into stoppage time, Adu chased down a header won by D.C. defender Brandon Prideaux before dribbling by and shaking off the challenge from the Galaxy's Ugo Ihemelu. Drifting left, Adu then created the space in front of defender Tyrone Marshall to rocket a shot that slightly deflected off Marshall's leg and past goalkeeper Kevin Hartman into the upper corner.
Galaxy boss Steve Sampson made five changes to the team that defeated Chivas USA 2-0 the weekend before. Chris Albright made his first start since May 25, coming back from knee surgery, while Tyrone Marshall returned from international duty, replacing Troy Roberts and Pablo Chinchilla on the back line. Cobi Jones came back from a slight injury for Michael Enfield in a wide midfield role, while Alan Gordon and Herculez Gomez started in place of Naldo da Conceicao and the suspended Jovan Kirovski.
Here's Sampson's team (4-4-2): Kevin Hartman - Chris Albright, Ugo Ihemelu, Tyrone Marshall, Todd Dunivant - Cobi Jones, Paulo Nagamura, Peter Vagenas, Guillermo Ramirez (Joseph Ngwenya 63) - Alan Gordon (Michael Enfield 46), Herculez Gomez
"I thought up until the 90th minute it was a good performance, not a great performance. We created a number of opportunities. Defensively for most of the match we had United fairly well controlled," said Sampson. "I think we got a little greedy towards the end and started looking for the win, and got caught very flat in the midfield and allowed them to counter.
TEAM NEWSIt was a vital loss for the Galaxy, especially considering what's ahead. They will not play at home until Sept. 4, their next six league games away from The Home Depot Center. They defeated Chivas USA earlier this year in what was considered a road match, but not including that match, the last away victory for the Galaxy was a 1-0 victory at Soldier Field against the Chicago Fire on June 27, 2004.
Over that 15-game stretch, the Galaxy have lost 10 games and scored just seven goals on their travels. Steve Sampson has not won a game outside of southern California while in charge of the Galaxy, and since the start of 2003 (when the Home Depot Center opened), the Galaxy have won just three games (drawing 12) in 38 games outside of Carson.
"Heading into a tough stretch, we're going to find out what we're all about," said Galaxy defender Todd Dunivant. "We've had opportunities and let them slip away, where as I don't think we've come out and done that to other teams. I don't know what it is, but zero goals at home is unacceptable."
The big change that will certainly help the Galaxy this week is that for the first time in a month, they will have their entire first-choice squad available, with the exception of the suspended Jovan Kirovski. Landon Donovan will be available for the first time in five matches, though they will still be without on a number of occasions in the second half of the season to World Cup qualifying.
"We need to find someone to score goals," said Chris Albright. "I think at this point, the defense has been doing a good job. We need to find a way to get results without (Donovan)."
In addition to the return of Albright to the first XI, Joseph Ngwenya came on as a substitute, his first appearance since May 25 after undergoing sports hernia surgery.
"We would've gotten a lot of positives out of this from the standpoint that Chris Albright would've gotten 90 [minutes]. That was a positive. Joseph Ngwenya had an opportunity to come back and play 30 minutes," Sampson said. "Up until that point we could've drawn a lot of positive things out of it. We're disappointed we gave up a goal at the end and pretty much erases all the positives from my standpoint."
Kirovski was suspended for two matches and fined $1000 for a reckless foul in the Galaxy's 2-0 win against Chivas USA on July 16. In the 19th minute of the game, Kirovski was shown a caution for a high elbow to Chivas USA defender Armando Begines in a play near midfield. Kirovski will miss the Galaxy matches against D.C. United and New England.
The Galaxy have won just once in their last eight games. They have two draws in that time. It was also their first loss in 17 home games (since a 3-0 loss to the MetroStars on June 23, 2004). "The game was managed. We have to do a better job of finishing out opportunities," said Sampson. "It's something we work on constantly. It's just a matter of having that level of composure in front of the goal."