CARSON, Calif. – Last weekend’s victory over the Portland Timbers was a much-needed confidence boost for the New England Revolution after opening the season with a pair of shutout losses. There’s no question the Revs looked like a confident bunch on Saturday night at The Home Depot Center as they rolled to a comprehensive 3-1 win over the defending MLS Cup champion LA Galaxy.
Kelyn Rowe scored his first MLS goal in the 10th minute to stun the Galaxy – which has now lost two of its first three home games this season after going unbeaten (12-0-5) at the HDC in 2011 – and Chris Tierney added a vital second just three minutes later as the Revs showed no signs of retreating into a defensive shell.
WATCH: Revolution Postgame
“That second goal’s important,” said Tierney. “We got the early one – great run from Kelyn – and then getting the second and then eventually getting the third, that’s the killer instinct we have to have going forward. We can’t be happy dropping back in a shell after we score one. I think we’re all happy that we went for it and tried to get more and more.”
Saer Sène added a third goal in the 65th minute to put the Revolution out of reach and the visitors had chances to tack on a fourth before Robbie Keane’s consolation goal rounded out the scoring in the 78th minute. Keane’s goal was one of just four shots the Galaxy directed on target, while the Revs put nine efforts on frame.
Most encouraging for head coach Jay Heaps was his side’s improvement in possession, which he’s made a point of emphasis early in the season. Heaps knew keeping the ball on Saturday night would be critical not only to the Revolution’s offensive approach, but also the team’s defensive objectives.
“We came out and we executed the game plan, which was we wanted to keep possession,” Heaps said. “We know that LA is so good on the attack. You know the old cliché, the best defense is a good offense, so we wanted to keep the ball as long as we could at times and then take our chances. That’s what we did.”
“I thought we did well, especially going forward,” said Rowe, a former UCLA standout who was playing in front of friends and family. “When we were on defensively, we won the ball back, but going forward we found little spots. The forwards, myself, Lee Nguyen, Clyde (Simms) and Shalrie (Joseph) definitely found little spots in between the midfield and backline. The defense held until the last second so I think we played a great game overall.”
Saturday night’s victory was the perfect start to the Revolution’s two-game road trip, which will next take the club to Texas for a Thursday night meeting with FC Dallas. A difficult test awaits on short rest at FC Dallas Stadium, but the Revs won’t be satisfied with anything less than another positive result against FCD.
“We’re happy with the win, but now it’s the next game,” said Ryan Guy, who started at forward against the Galaxy and assisted on Sène’s insurance goal. “With only four days (between games), recovery is the key point here. If we can get back to close to 100 percent, I think we’ll have a fantastic chance to pick up another point or three.”