Returning home after a long Western swing, the New England Revolution take on an LA Galaxy side making a quick turnaround of their own when the clubs meet at Gillette Stadium on Saturday evening. The Revolution dropped a 2-1 decision to San Jose last weekend in league play, and were then dumped out of the U.S. Open Cup at midweek by Kansas City. The Galaxy are making the cross-country trip after a midweek victory against Houston.
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REFEREE: Jorge Gonzalez. SAR (bench): James Conlee; JAR (opposite): Jeff Hosking; 4th: John McCloskey MLS Career: 58 games; FC/gm: 24.5; Y/gm: 3.4; R: 18; pens: 16
INJURY REPORT: NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION – OUT: MF Marko Perovic (L knee sprain); DOUBTFUL: MF Ousmane Dabo (R adductor strain); QUESTIONABLE: MF Kenny Mansally (R foot contusion); MF Stephen McCarthy (L shoulder subluxation) …
LA GALAXY – OUT: DF Sean Alvarado (R knee surgery), DF Leonardo (R knee surgery); QUESTIONABLE: FW Adam Cristman (L knee surgery recovery)
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: none
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: NE: Shalrie Joseph; Stephen McCarthy … LA: Juninho
ALL-TIME (34 meetings): Revolution 13 wins (1 shootout), 47 goals … Galaxy 15 wins (2 shootout), 53 goals … Ties 6
AT NEW ENGLAND (16 meetings): Revolution 9 wins (1 shootout), 29 goals … Galaxy 5 wins (2 shootout), 24 goals … Ties 2
• The teams are meeting for the second time this season, after a Juninho goal canceled out an early Shalrie Joseph strike to leave the teams deadlocked at 1-1 on March 20 at The Home Depot Center.
• The Revolution’s victory in the second meeting a year ago snapped a three-game Galaxy winning streak in the series.
• The Galaxy’s victory to start that streak, on July 4, 2009, was their first against New England in regular-season play since a 3-2 victory on April 3, 2004 at The Home Depot Center (New England was 6-0-3 in between).
• The Galaxy’s win at New England in the second 2009 meeting was their first in Foxborough in a league match since a 5-2 win July 11, 1999, a span of nine matches. Of course, they did win MLS Cup 2002 at Gillette Stadium.
• Coaches record: Bruce Arena vs. NE: P23 W12 L8 D3 … Steve Nicol vs. LA: P20 W9 L6 D5
LAST MEETING (MLS):
3/20: LA 1, NE 1 (Juninho 39 – Joseph 3)
• The Revolution took the lead after just three minutes. Marko Perovic sent a cleared corner back into the box from the right and Sharlie Joseph knocked it home with a precise header.
• Juninho hit for the equalizer just before the halftime break, again scoring on a long-range strike that sailed just under the crossbar.
• LA GALAXY (4-4-2): Josh Saunders - Sean Franklin, A.J. DeLaGarza, Leonardo, Todd Dunivant - David Beckham, Chris Birchall, Juninho, Landon Donovan - Mike Magee (Paolo Cardozo 63), Chad Barrett (Juan Pablo Angel 63).
• NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (4-2-3-1): Matt Reis – Darrius Barnes, Franco Coria, A.J. Soares, Chris Tierney - Stephen McCarthy, Pat Phelan - Zak Boggs, Shalrie Joseph, Marko Perovic (Kenny Mansally 22) - Zack Schilawski (Sainey Nyassi 75).
NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION
The New England Revolution saw their shutout and unbeaten streak come to an end, losing 2-1 to the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday evening at Buck Shaw Stadium. The Revolution have 13 points from 11 matches, in a tie for fourth place in the Eastern Conference to start the week.
• In the 71st minute – just four minutes after coming on for Ryan Johnson – a completely unmarked Ellis McLoughlin met a Chris Wondolowski cross with a stooping header that beat Matt Reis inside the far post to give San Jose the lead.
• The Quakes doubled their lead in the 83rd minute when Bobby Convey curled in a free kick over an outstretched Reis and just inside the upper left corner of the goal.
• Just three minutes later, the Revs pulled a goal back when Chris Tierney lashed a low free kick past the wall and beyond the reach of San Jose goalkeeper Jon Busch.
• Revolution head coach Steve Nicol made no changes to the team that recorded a 1-0 victory against Vancouver Whitecaps FC at Gillette Stadium.
• NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (4-2-3-1): Matt Reis - Kevin Alston, Ryan Cochrane (Zack Schilawski 83), A.J. Soares, Darrius Barnes - Shalrie Joseph, Stephen McCarthy - Zak Boggs (Sainey Nyassi 66), Benny Feilhaber, Chris Tierney - Rajko Lekic.
• After back-to-back shutouts, the Revolution conceded their first goal since April 30 in the 2-1 loss at San Jose. The Revs had not allowed a goal over 284 minutes, fifth-longest streak in MLS this season.
• “We certainly didn’t deserve to lose the game. The bottom line is that we made two mistakes and they cost us two goals,” Revolution boss Steve Nicol said. “We’re disappointed. We had a decent amount of the ball tonight, but would have liked to have created more chances.”
• The Revolution concluded their trips to California this season with two losses and a draw in the defeat by San Jose. New England hasn’t taken a full three points in California since 2009, now 0-6-2 in games on the West Coast since a 1-0 win at Seattle on Aug. 20, 2009.
• The Revolution ran out the same team in back-to-back games for the first time this season in San Jose.
• Over the past seven games, the Revolution have scored five goals, shut out on four occasions in that stretch. They’ve scored just two goals in their last four games, and both from dead ball situations, a penalty kick and a direct free kick.
• “We were missing that final pass, that last little piece of creativity up top,” said Revolution midfielder Chris Tierney. “It’s the same thing that’s been hurting us for a while.”
• A year ago, the Revolution scored three goals from direct free kicks – all from Marko Perovic. But Perovic was out for the San Jose with a knee injury, his fourth consecutive game out of the lineup.
• “Me and Benny [Feilhaber] were over it, talking about it,” Tierney said. “I think it's his range, but their wall was set up a little bit inside and the back post was open a little bit for a left-footed shot. I tucked it in, but, unfortunately, it doesn't matter in the end.”
• On Wednesday, Sporting Kansas City rolled to a convincing 5-0 win against the New England Revolution in a U.S. Open Cup play-in match at the Blue Valley District Activities Complex.
• Chance Myers (9, 19) and C.J. Sapong (24, 88) each scored a pair of goals as Sporting were three goals to the good inside of 25 minutes. Aurelien Collin also scored for Sporting KC, who will now enter the U.S. Open Cup tournament proper in the third-round draw, joining seven MLS clubs and eight teams from lower divisions.
• Here’s the Revolution team: Bobby Shuttleworth (Tim Murray 72), Didier Domi, Otto Loewy, Franco Coria, Ryan Kinne, Sainey Nyassi (Zak Boggs 60), Andrew Sousa, Pat Phelan, Michael Augustine (Diego Fagundez 70), Zack Schilawski, Alan Koger
• “The entire trip, nothing has been suited to our success and how we want to play. It’s tough to show up and play in these conditions, but at the end of the day, both teams have to do it,” said midfielder Pat Phelan. “And they came out and got the goals early, and they had a big crowd behind them for their first home game, so that was a tough condition to play in.”
The LA Galaxy won a third consecutive game, winning by a 1-0 scoreline for a second match running, this time against the Houston Dynamo on Wednesday at The Home Depot Center. The Galaxy have 26 points from 14 games on the season, leading the Western Conference.
• The game's lone goal came in first-half stoppage time. Houston midfielder Lovel Palmer stopped a shot by Chris Birchall with his arm, and referee Chris Penso awarded a penalty kick. Landon Donovan stepped up and easily converted the spot kick past Tally Hall for his league-leading eighth goal of the season.
• It was the first shot on goal for the Galaxy in the match, who ended with two on the night. Donovan Ricketts was called upon to make just one save in the LA goal.
• Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena made two changes to the team that defeated Chivas USA 1-0 at The Home Depot Center. Chris Birchall and Michael Stephens came into the midfield for David Beckham and Mike Magee.
• LA GALAXY (4-3-1-2): Donovan Ricketts - Sean Franklin, Omar Gonzalez, A.J. DeLaGarza, Todd Dunivant - Chris Birchall (Jovan Kirovski 92+), Juninho, Michael Stephens - Landon Donovan - Juan Pablo Angel (Mike Magee 61), Chad Barrett (Miguel Lopez 74).
• Landon Donovan took over the league lead with his eight goal, one more than he scored in 2010. His single-season career-best is 20, in 2008; he’s hit for double digits in five of his 10 seasons in MLS.
• “I saw we had 17 shots, but you've got to get more on target,” Donovan said. “I think we did a good job of getting to the final third, but I think our final pass or final shot let us down a little bit. If we were a little cleaner and made a better pass or better choice, I think we would have scored two or three goals.”
• Three of Donovan’s goals have come from the penalty spot, tying him with D.C. United forward Charlie Davies for the most successful penalty kicks in MLS this season. In his league career, Donovan has converted 25 of 28 penalty kicks.
• “It’s not a hundred percent chance to score, but pretty close. There’s a lot more that goes into a penalty than people realize, it’s something I work on, and something I’ve gotten comfortable at over the years,” Donovan said. “And it was good to score the goal to win the game.”
• The Galaxy have recorded successive shutouts and and haven't conceded a goal since Omar Gonzalez's own goal against Sporting Kansas City. The club’s shutout streak is at 231 minutes
• “I thought our backline played very well. [Donovan] Ricketts wasn’t really tested, but obviously with the play with [Todd] Dunivant at the end of the game, he had to come off his line and block a shot. He did well,” Arena said. “For the most part, we were really good in the defensive end of the field.”
• Since conceding four goals in an April 3 loss to Real Salt Lake, the Galaxy have allowed just 11 goals in seven games and posted eight shutouts.
• “We didn’t have a lot of time to prepare this week. When you play a team like Houston, [which creates] a lot of chances off set pieces and crosses, you’d like to have time to prepare and understand what they do,” Donovan said. “But we knew if we stayed behind the ball and limited their set pieces, that it was very unlikely they were going to score.”
• Defender Todd Dunivant made the 200th appearance of his MLS career in the game. He is the 64th player to appear in 200 regular season MLS games after beginning his MLS career with San Jose in 2003.
• “We’re certainly learning to appreciate him a lot. He’s done an excellent job here and is having I think the best year of his career so far,” Arena said. “He’s doing a fabulous job, no question about that. I don’t know what more you can say.”
• The Galaxy are facing another quick turnaround and three time-zone crossing. After playing to a 1-1 draw with New York on May 7 in Carson, they traveled to Philadelphia and drew there, 1-1, four days later.
• “On top of it we go across the country, which we experienced a couple of weeks ago. I think this is not a good way to schedule, but it is what it is,” Arena said. “It’s going to be a real battle and on top of it we will be on an artificial field. It’s going to be really challenging. I don’t know the answer to it at this point. We’ll try to figure it out in the next couple of days.”