The New England Revolution beat the LA Galaxy 5-0 in front of a sun soaked crowd of 19,120 at Gillette Stadium. Saer Sene’s first half goal was the difference between the two sides. Saer Sene, Lee Nguyen, Diego Fagundez, Chad Barrett and Kelyn Rowe with the New England goals.
This was a coming out party for New England. National TV, the biggest crowd of season and the glamour boys of MLS in town. It was a chance for the Revolution to show how well they have progressed this season under Jay Heaps
We did not see LA at Gillette last season and they have evolved their play since their last visit. Two years ago, the Galaxy approach seemed to be to give the ball to David Beckham and let him spray the ball around the pitch. This season, without Becks, the Galaxy play a little different. The defense plays a high line, which squeezes the play and then they attack from different angles through Donovan and Juninho.
It was a different look than New England has faced all season and they struggled with it. The experiment of Toja and Caldwell in the center of the midfield did not work as the Galaxy overrun them from almost the first minute.
New England’s success this season has been built on compact play between the midfield and defense, that did not create any room for opponents, and then hitting their opponents with a fast counter attack
And that is how New England scored in the 33th minute. The Galaxy had a shout for a penalty turned down by the referee and NE went down the pitch and scored. Saer Sene with a terrific one0two with Diego Fagundez on the edge of the box and then he curled a terrific shot past Cudicini for the goal. It was Sene’s first goal of the season, in his first start.
Surprisingly Heaps made no changes at half time and the Galaxy started the game on the front foot, finding lots of room in the front of the New England defense. So it was not a surprise when Heaps brought on Rowe for Toja. Once again Toja failed to impress. His couple of nice passes were countered by his lack of defensive understanding.
With Rowe on the pitch, New England looked better defensively and in attack. It was not a coincidence that New England scored three goals with Rowe on the pitch.
New England went two up when LA switched off on a New England free kick. The Galaxy thought it was a throw in to them, but New England took a quick free kick and Lee Nguyen took advantage to walk into the Galaxy penalty box and make it 2-0.
With two minutes left, Diego made it 3-0 when he played a nice one-two with Rowe and slotted the ball past Cudicini. Terrific goal by Diego in a Man of the Match performance.
Chad Barrett scored against his former side in added time before Kelyn Rowe wrapped up the best New England performance in years with the Revs fifth of the night.
The win moved New England into a tie with Philadelphia for the last playoff spot in the East. But with games coming up against D.C. United, Vancouver and Chivas, NE has a chance to put together a nice winning streak here.