Revs Draw With Galaxy Under Stormy Skies
In a match that was hyped as the 2014 MLS Cup Final rematch, gamelong heavy rain was the backdrop for the New England Revolution’s draw with the LA Galaxy at Gillette Stadium. The rain and cold was to blame for both the low attendance at the game and the sloppy play from both sides as the match finished at 2-2.
New England was forced to play without two of their brightest stars; Lee Nguyen and Chris Tierney were both serving a suspension following their red cards. Diego Fagundez and Kevin Alston filled in at central midfield and left back, respectively.
New England jumped out to a quick lead in the fifth minute (and, had striker Charlie Davies been on target, they would have had the lead in the first). Juan Agudelo made a pinpoint pass to Scott Caldwell on the left side of the box, and Caldwell put a sharp, low cross through the defender’s legs. The pass found Teal Bunbury on the opposite post, and he slotted it home to open the scoring in Foxborough.
It didn’t take long for LA to answer. In the 18th minute, midfielder Ignacio Maganto found the ball at the top of the box on a failed clearance and hit a slow-motion volley past a stunned Bobby Shuttleworth to set the score at 1-1.
LA wouldn’t stand for a tied score for long. In the 27th minute, Jose Villareal played a smooth backheel past the New England defense to forward Gyasi Zardes who calmly finished the goal, putting the ball right past Shuttleworth into the bottom right corner.
Ten minutes later, the goals kept coming. Diego Fagundez got his chance at a set piece following a foul on Teal Bunbury at the top of the box. Fagundez struck a beautiful curling shot that LA goalkeeper Jaime Penedo had no chance of stopping.
The 2-2 halftime score was destined to stay that way. The second half was characterized by rain-induced sloppiness. The match was a true draw; both teams finished with three shots on goal apiece, and possession was almost deadlocked at 48% for LA and 52% for New England.
Jermaine Jones left the match with an apparent off-ball, non-contact injury. That could be of concern for the Revs going forward. New England continues to force draws, but manager Jay Heaps will be looking for the team to grab a win or two in a few cushier matches that are on the horizon.
The Revs are back in action next Saturday against the Portland Timbers.