CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy will open their home schedule on Sunday when the New England Revolution visit the Home Depot Center, and while the crowd will likely be energized to see the home team play there for the first time since November, the Galaxy’s expectations won’t differ.
“When we play at home, we expect to win,” Galaxy coach Bruce Arena said. “Is there any more emphasis on it than in the past? I don't think so.”
The Galaxy are already 1-0, having beaten the Sounders in Seattle on Tuesday. In that game, LA were missing three starters, including newcomer Juan Pablo Angel. Still, with or without Ángel – or other injured or missing players – the task for the Galaxy remains the same: to continue improving.
“I don't think we had a good game tactically with the ball,” Galaxy captain Landon Donovan said of Tuesday's game. “With that being said, you do all the right things to help your team win games. That showed on Tuesday and the goal now is to get better.”
Having picked up three points, the Galaxy can double that with a victory over the Revs and climb to six points in two games. That would fall right along with their goal of shooting out of the gates in their attempt to recapture the Supporters’ Shield.
“We're ahead of where we want to be already,” Donovan said. “We want to win at home. We think we should win at home and then try to go to Salt Lake and try and get a result there. If we do that, we will be in really good shape.”
In order for that to happen, LA must turn aside a new-look and rebuilt Revolution squad. The Revs opened their season a year ago at The Home Depot Center as well and left empty-handed, dropping a 1-0 score to the Galaxy.
Now, though, the club returns with a different look. After having missed the playoffs for the first time in nearly a decade, Steve Nicol’s squad made several changes, bringing in players such as Didier Domi from Olympiakos, Franco Coria from Chacarita Juniors and Ousmande Dabo from Lazio as well as MLS veteran Ryan Cochrane and rookie A.J. Soares.
As for what the Galaxy expect, Arena said he had an educated guess.
“We're not exactly sure what we're going to see, but there are some old, familiar faces with Matt Reis in the goal, Shalrie Joseph in the midfield," he said. "We remember [Marko] Perovic from last year. He had a goal against us on a set piece in New England. Stevie’s teams are always very well-organized and disciplined. They battle for 90 minutes and we anticipate the usual 4-4-2 out of them.