In a rematch of the 2014 MLS Cup Final, Bruce Arena’s Los Angeles Galaxy and Jay Heaps’s New England Revolution played to a 2-2 draw at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. Here are six things we learned from Sunday night’s encounter in torrid conditions, followed by player ratings, between the New England Revolution and Los Angeles Galaxy.
1. A fast start for New England
Early on in the first half, New England were looking forward to a fast start. With no Robbie Keane on the field, this was a perfect time for the hosts to take advantage of the deficiency at the forward position for the visitors. Seconds into the contest, Charlie Davies nearly took advantage of a miscommunication in the Galaxy’s backline but his shot sailed above the bar.
Following a ball possession battle, Teal Bunbury scored in the fifth minute, exploiting a hole on the right side to make it 1-0 New England. Oscar Sorto failed to mark Bunbury and allowed the former Sporting Kansas City product to run through literally untouched. Dan Gargan conceded a corner on the left side in the ninth minute and Jermaine Jones’s header missed wide left.
Diego Fagundez almost took advantage of the high line himself but missed was called offside. Baggio Husidic had LA’s first attempt on goal in the 11th minute but missed wide left. A Revolution corner in the 12th minute was initially cleared then called back for an offsides call on Andrew Farrell.
2. The response from LA
Ignacio Maganto tried to find Gyasi Zardes with a cross the left side but Zardes made a meal of his finishing in the 15th minute. Gonzalez nearly completed a set piece but failed to head the corner correct in the 16th minute of play. In the 18th minute, Maganto leveled the scores with a blistering volley that eluded Bobby Shuttleworth to make it 1-1. The goal was Maganto’s first of the year and of his career.
Jones and London Woodberry teamed up to tackle Jose Villareal in the 19th minute and he was favoring his shoulder after going down hard. Juan Agudelo won a dangerous set piece from 40 yards out in the 23rd minute. LA were able to clear the danger, though. Kevin Alston was cautioned in the 24th minute for a challenge on Stefan Ishizaki.
Zardes scored in the 27th minute, breaking a long scoring drought, with Villareal delivering a nice layoff, evoking memories of the 2014 MLS Cup Final. The goal was his third of the season. Soon afterwards, Villareal decided to call it quits and as he left the field in tears, Arena brought in Alan Gordon to finish the match.
3. New England: the set piece experts
The objective for Los Angeles was to queue up on New England at this point. WIth no Lee Nguyen or Chris Tierney, the Galaxy wanted to gain some separation. A free kick from 25 yards out in the 31st minute from Ishizaki was blocked. Jones was also coming up gimpy as well after pulling a muscle in a contest that was physical with a capital P. He would also be subbed out for Andy Dorman in the 34th minute of play.
Gonzalez conceded a free from just outside the box after challenging Bunbury high in the 37th minute. Fagundez converted the set piece seconds later to make level the scores at 2-2. Husidic had a chance to take back the lead for the Galaxy but he wasted the Ishizaki delivery in the 43rd minute.
Agudelo himself almost gave the Revolution the lead in the first minute of first half injury time. In the third minute of first half injury time, Penedo collected a set piece but the counter was slowed down.
New England Revolution on left, Los Angeles Galaxy on right
5 Shots 8
2 Shots on Target 2
3 Shots off Target 4
0 Blocked Shots 2
2 Corners 1
8 Crosses 6
2 Offsides 1
6 Fouls 10
1 Yellow Cards 0
0 Red Cards 0
161 Total Passes 195
64 % Passing Accuracy 69 %
45.6 % Possession 54.4 %
33 Duels Won 25
7 Tackles Won 8
0 Saves 0
12 Clearances 12
4. Mother Nature presses the issue in second half
Early on in the second half, both sides were looking to get ahead in a game full of high-scoring action…and empty seats. The pouring rain prevented a lot of fans from coming out, leaving just the hardcore football aficionados to witness the proceedings. A long Ishizaki set piece from 40 yards out in the 48th minute nearly found Alan Gordon.
A ball possession battle ensued, with the hosts consolidating possession. Gordon’s next header attempt in the 54th minute lacked the power and was collected by Shuttleworth. And the storm continued to pour down, with Penedo forced to make an emergency clearance in the 56th minute.
5. The walking wounded walk out for LA
Dorman was cautioned in the 60th minute for a foul on Sorto as he made a run. The ensuing set piece in the 61st minute was headed wide right by Omar Gonzalez, who conceded a corner seconds later. On a counter for New England in the 63rd minute, Penedo and Sorto stopped a big chance for the Revs.
Dan Gargan was shaken up after stopping the counterattack and would have to take a breather. In the 65th minute, the hosts won another corner for captain Jose Goncalves. Husidic, Mr. Versatility, would reprise his role as a left back. Mika Vayrynen came in for Gargan. Maganto could have had a brace in the 68th minute but Shuttleworth was there to pounce on the loose ball.
Meanwhile, Davies came out of the match for Kelyn Rowe, and Gordon came out for Edson Buddle in the 69th minute after he ran out of gas. In the 73rd minute, a corner for New England was cleared. Following a couple of corners, LA’s midfield cleared the danger, setting things up for a possible grandstand finish.
6. Late pushes yield zero goals in second half
Bunbury almost secured a brace in the 76th minute but the offside trap worked for the Galaxy. Daigo Kobayashi came in for Fagundez in the 77th minute. The Galaxy, though, were pushing for the go-ahead goal, and that meant that New England needed to catch them on the counter, as a number of teams have.
In the 83rd minute, Kelyn Rowe’s next corner was headed across the face of goal by Juan Agudelo. Late in the second half, the Revs were makinbg a push of their own, and in the 87th minute, another set piece was threatening for New England and the visitors had to hold sway. Holding possession late in games has been a tough ask for Los Angeles, and the need to hold possession was stressed by Arena. Juan Agudelo almost iced the game for the Revs but he was offsides in the third minute of second half stoppage time.
New England Revolution on left, Los Angeles Galaxy on right
|3||Shots on Target||3|
|5||Shots off Target||5|
|66 %||Passing Accuracy||68 %|
|51.8 %||Possession||48.2 %|
Los Angeles Galaxy Player Ratings
Jaime Penedo 6, Dan Gargan 5, Leonardo 6, Omar Gonzalez 5, Oscar Sorto 5, Baggio Husidic 7, Ignacio Maganto 9, Juninho 6, Stefan Ishizaki 6, Gyasi Zardes 8, Jose Villareal 7, Alan Gordon 5, MIka Vayrynen 45, Edson Buddle 4
New England Revolution Player Ratings
Bobby Shuttleworth 6, Andrew Farrell 7, Jose Goncalves 6, Kevin Alston 6.5, London Woodberry 7, Diego Fagundez 8, Jermaine Jones 3, Juan Agudelo 6, Scott Caldwell 6, Teal Bunbury 8, Charlie Davies 6, Andy Dorman 5.5, Kelyn Rowe 4, Daigo Kobayashi NR