CARSON, California – Jay Heaps wasn’t happy when he walked into the visiting locker room at halftime on Sunday at StubHub Center. His New England Revolution were down 3-0 to a rampant LA Galaxy squad that looked like it was just getting started.
“Let’s just say it was a pretty emotional conversation in the locker room,” Heaps said. “I felt like we were going to test ourselves. I felt like I looked at a group of guys that said that first half wasn’t good, we need to go out and win the second half.”
After bringing on Femi Hollinger-Janzen on for Lee Nguyen with their second substitution at the hour mark, the Revs took control and won the second half via goals from Kelyn Rowe and Juan Agudelo, narrowing missing out on a point in an eventual 4-2 loss.
In Hollinger-Janzen, New England finally got something they’d been missing all game: dangerous balls inside the penalty area. The rookie was a noticeable figure on the ball, using his speed to get the Revs into dangerous positions where others found a way bring some respect to a game that had a chance to go downhill early.
Teal Bunbury, who came on a halftime, brought a spark as well.
“LA’s still LA so you have to break them down,” Heaps said. “I think the guys that came in definitely gave us that lift. I thought Femi did a great job and he was really dangerous. I thought Teal really stretched the field.”
The Revs pressed hard for an equalizer, even after going down to 10 men when Jose Goncalves was forced off because of injury after Heaps had already used all three substitutions. Agudelo hit the crossbar with the score 3-2 before Steven Gerrard’s goal in stoppage time made it a 4-2 final.
“We seemed like we were back at it. We seemed like we were a whole different team and this is how we should play every single game with a little bit of anger,” Agudelo said. “We got a shot off the crossbar, unlucky, and it could have been a tied game and we would have been happy going home with a tie."