The L.A. Galaxy suffered one of their most embarrassing losses in recent memory, losing 3-1 at the hands of the New England Revolution at a rain soaked Home Depot Center Saturday night. The loss dropped the defending MLS champs to 1-2 on the MLS season.
Early goals by Rowe and Tierney put New England up 2-0 in the 13th minute and they never looked back. The Galaxy defense is clearly the weak spot without MLS Defender of the Year Omar Gonzalez. Even with the horrific start, the Galaxy had opportunities with two stellar set pieces from David Beckham and a missed breakaway from Edson Buddle.
The Galaxy were missing Landon Donovan due to a nagging injury, but in a shocking move Galaxy Manager Bruce Arena subbed out Beckham and Brazilian Marcelo Sarvas at the half for "tactical reasons." Beckham looked particularly dangerous especially on set pieces in the first half, so the tactic that Arena was implementing seems to be a mystery. Arena also sat Mike Magee to start the game in favor of Paulo Cardozo who struggled at times.
The second half was more of the same, with the majority of the fans at the Home Depot Center choosing to vacate the rain drenched arena. The Revs took complete control with a goal by Sene in the 65th.
The Galaxy showed a late spark, with Robbie Keane finding the back of the net in the 78th minute. Too little, way too late.
Things will only get harder for the Galaxy as they travel to the unfriendly atmosphere of Sporting KC on April 7th.
My three takeaways:
1. Arena's roster management was questionable at best. Leaving Magee out of the starting lineup and subbing one of the best players in the league in Beckham for "tactical reasons" at the half was dubious to say the least. To win in MLS, you need your best possible line up on the field. LA did not have that tonight at any point in the game. After the game Arena said that he took out Beckham because he felt they "needed a little more" and that if he could have subbed 11 he would have. That said, the two he did make at the half were terrible moves. Those moves threw in the towel.
2. The central defense is in shambles. Boyens is not a starter. Look for the Galaxy to make a deal. The Galaxy have a surplus of strikers.
3. Jay Heaps has the Revs headed in the right direction. Solid roster moves have set this team up for success. Hats off to New England for a job well done.