Three Points: LA Galaxy concede five in historic defeat to the New England Revolution

Galaxy Insider Adam Serrano’s Three Points for the Galaxy’s 5-0 loss to New England

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USA Today Sports

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — LA Galaxy Insider Adam Serrano gives his Three Points to LA’s crushing 5-0 defeat to the New England Revolution, which ties the worst margin of defeat in club history.

SECOND HALF MELTDOWN

Despite going down midway through the first half, the LA Galaxy were the better team for wide stretches of Sunday’s match against the New England Revolution, but a second half collapse left them with an embarrassing 5-0 defeat.

The breakdown began in the 70th minute when referee Fotis Bazakos and assistant referee Adam Garner clashed on whether to call a throw-in for the Galaxy or free kick for New England on a collision between Landon Donovan and Revs defender Andrew Farrell. Bazakos overruled his assistant and allowed New England’s Diego Fagundez to take a quick free kick, which caught LA off guard allowing Lee Nguyen to tally their second goal. From there, the rout was on as LA pressed furiously, leaving their defense exposed as New England continued their scoring run with three more tallies late on.

LA’s defense did themselves no favors, however, as they were repeatedly caught out of position as New England extended their lead by capitalizing on the Galaxy’s poor defending. The defeat ties LA’s worst defeat in club history, which was suffered in 2002 when the Galaxy fell 5-0 to the MetroStars.

LA WILL HAVE TO REBOUND QUICKLY

The LA Galaxy may have dealt with a confident and strong defense on Sunday, but the club had numerous opportunities to avoid such a disheartening defeat.

LA came out of the match flying as Gyasi Zardes fired a shot into the side netting just two minutes in, before LA forced three saves from New England’s Bobby Shuttleworth in the opening 30 minutes. After that early barrage, the Galaxy struggled to connect passes into the final third as too often dangerous crosses were batted away by New England defenders. After falling behind by two in the 71st minute, LA pushed forward again, firing off eight shots—three of which forced saves from Shuttleworth—but the result was already in hand for the Revolution, who proceeded to add three goals to their tally in the closing minutes.

How LA becomes sharper in the final third remains to be seen, but expect the Galaxy to endure a number of heated training sessions this week as the club prepares for Saturday’s match against Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium.

THE INDOMITABLE GONCALVES

LA may have had possession for wide stretches of the match, but their inability to connect passes in the final third was due to the presence of omnipresent New England center back Jose Goncalves.

Partnered alongside the equally sturdy Stephen McCarthy, Goncalves repeatedly proved too much for LA forwards Gyasi Zardes, Landon Donovan, and later, Jose Villarreal to handle.  Whether it was intercepting crosses or knocking attackers off the ball, the Portuguese defender was dominant over 90 minutes as the Galaxy resorted to firing shots from distance—10 of LA’s 13 shots came from outside the 18-yard-box— in an effort to circumvent Goncalves.

The stat sheet was particularly kind to the Revolution defender, who made seven clearances and eight interceptions on the night as he gave his club their eighth shutout of the season. With the shutout, the Revolution remains the league’s best team defensively with just nine goals conceded.

Adam Serrano is the LA Galaxy Insider. Read his blog at LAGalaxy.com/Insider and contact him at LAGalaxyInsider@Gmail.com