FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Miguel Lopez scored the only goal of the game in the 69th minute and goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts made three saves to secure his third consecutive shutout as the LA Galaxy escaped Gillette Stadium with a 1-0 win over the New England Revolution on Saturday night.
The Revs had a pair of shots cleared off the line and second-half substitute Zack Schilawski hit the crossbar during a mad scramble in stoppage time, but the equalizer never arrived and the visitors claimed the full three points.
It was the Galaxy’s (8-2-5, 29 pts.) fourth straight win – and the third straight by a score of 1-0 – as the league leaders padded their advantage at the top of the Western Conference standings. The loss was the Revolution’s (3-5-4, 13 pts.) second straight after suffering a 2-1 setback in San Jose last weekend.
After using 10 different lineups in the first 10 games of the season, Revolution head coach Steve Nicol trotted out the same starting eleven for the third straight match in league play. Didier Domi was available on the bench for the first time since April 30 after recovering from a left quad strain, while Ousmane Dabo (R adductor strain) and Marko Perovic (L knee sprain) remained sidelined.
Shalrie Joseph scored in the third minute when the Revs and Galaxy played to a 1-1 draw at The Home Depot Center on March 20 and New England had a glorious chance to replicate that fast start on Saturday night. Benny Feilhaber’s left-wing cross was perfectly placed for Zak Boggs as he streaked into the box, but the second-year midfielder didn’t make solid contact and skied his effort over the crossbar in the second minute.
The Galaxy built an attack of its own as the half progressed and was twice denied by Revolution goalkeeper Matt Reis in the 24th minute. Reis first pushed away Chad Barrett’s stinging left-footed drive from inside the box before getting a fingertip on Omar Gonzalez’s header from the resulting corner kick. Reis did just enough to direct Gonzalez’s effort onto the crossbar, while the ball bounced straight down onto the goal line before being cleared to safety.
Reis couldn’t reach Landon Donovan’s flashing header in the 42nd minute, but luckily for the home side the shot flew inches wide of the right post and the sides went into halftime scoreless.
Both teams continued to search for the opening goal in the early stages of the second half. Revolution forward Rajko Lekic saw his header saved by Ricketts, while both Juninho and Donovan sent long-range drives just off target for the visitors.
LA finally made the breakthrough in the 69th minute, with David Beckham providing his league-leading seventh assist of the season. Beckham’s deep cross from the right wing found Lopez at the near post, and the Argentinean sent a flashing header across the face of goal and inside the left post.
Lopez almost had a second in the 76th minute, but his low shot from the top of the box was saved by Reis as he went sprawling to his right.
The Revs made one last desperate push for an equalizer in stoppage time and appeared likely to find it on multiple occasions only to be miraculously denied. Schilawski’s initial effort was cleared off the line by A.J. DeLeGarza, but the Revolution remained on the attack and Sainey Nyassi found the ball on the right wing. Nyassi’s cross was met by Schilawski, who directed a right-footed volley off the underside of the crossbar. Joseph followed up with a header only to see that effort cleared off the line by Donovan as LA clung to a 1-0 victory.
The Revs will be on the road for their next two matches, beginning with a trip to Texas to visit FC Dallas on Saturday, June 4. Kickoff from Pizza Hut Park is set for 8:30 p.m. ET.
New England Revolution vs. LA Galaxy
May 28, 2011 – Gillette Stadium (Foxborough, Mass.)
LA Galaxy 1, New England Revolution 0
LA – Miguel Lopez (David Beckham) 69
New England Revolution: Matt Reis, Darrius Barnes, A.J. Soares, Ryan Cochrane (Franco Coria 46), Kevin Alston, Chris Tierney, Benny Feilhaber, Shalrie Joseph ©, Stephen McCarthy (Zack Schilawski 74), Zak Boggs (Sainey Nyassi 67), Rajko Lekic
Substitutes Not Used: Bobby Shuttleworth, Didier Domi, Alan Koger, Pat Phelan
STATS*: Shots: 11; Shots on Goal: 4; Saves: 5; Corner Kicks: 0; Offside: 2; Fouls Committed: 16
LA Galaxy: Donovan Ricketts, Todd Dunivant, Omar Gonzalez, A.J. DeLaGarza, Sean Franklin, Mike Magee (Chris Birchall 72), David Beckham (Michael Stephens 79), Juninho, Landon Donovan ©, Chad Barrett (Paolo Cardozo 62), Miguel Lopez
Substitutes Not Used: Josh Saunders, Gregg Berhalter, Frankie Hejduk, Bryan Jordan
STATS*: Shots: 15; Shots on Goal: 6; Saves: 3; Corner Kicks: 10; Offside: 1; Fouls Committed: 11
* Note that all statistics are unofficial
LA – David Beckham (caution) 67
Referee: Jorge Gonzalez
Assistant Referees: James Conlee, Jeff Hosking
Fourth Official: John McCloskey
Weather: Clear, 75 degrees
New England: 3-5-4, 13 pts.
LA Galaxy: 8-2-5, 29 pts.
- With the loss, the Revs moved to 13-16-5 all-time against LA, including a 9-6-2 mark at home
- The loss snapped the Revolution’s modest two-game undefeated streak against LA … the team took a 2-0 win at home on July 10, 2010, and followed with a 1-1 draw in LA on March 20 to open the 2011 season
- For the third straight game, the Revolution started the same 11 starters … this is the first stretch this season that the team has seen the same lineup played three times
- The Revs are now 3-2-2 at home, with both losses coming against Western Conference teams: vs. Real Salt Lake on April 9 and tonight against LA
- Ryan Cochrane left the game at halftime after being hit on the side of the head in the first half
- Benny Feilhaber left the field just before the end of the game with a right ankle injury and was being evaluated following the game by the team’s medical staff
- Saturday’s game marked the team’s ninth match – in 12 games – against a Western Conference opponent … New England has only played three fellow Eastern Conference foes
- The game marked the fifth time in MLS regular-season action that the team had been shut out
- The 21,793 attendance mark was the team’s highest-attended home game of the 2011 season and the team’s highest home attendance since 26,623 saw the Revs face LA on August 8, 2009
- Kevin Alston extended his team-leading consecutive games streak to 11 games
- The game was the fourth match this season in which the team did not earn a caution, and the second match in a row after going cardless at San Jose last week
- Tonight’s game marked the first game rookie forward Alan Koger was named to the squad of 18 and made the team’s bench
- The Revs’ next home game is not until Wednesday, June 15, when the team hosts Toronto FC at 8 p.m.