CARSON, Calif. – It wasn’t the first goal which was the backbreaker on Wednesday night, but the third.
For the sixth straight game the New England Revolution did concede the opening goal as Robbie Keane put the LA Galaxy on top in the 10th minute, but after escaping a rocky first half trailing only 2-1 and level on personnel at 10 players apiece, the Revs felt they were in with a shout entering the second stanza.
Plans of an epic comeback were quickly doused, however, when Gyasi Zardes scored his second just three minutes into the second half to restore the Galaxy’s two-goal advantage en route to an eventual 5-1 win.
“At halftime we really felt we were going to come out and make a difference because we really had chances there, even before half,” said head coach Jay Heaps. “That’s why that third goal to me is just an awful goal to give up. That was the goal that we have to respond from but couldn’t.”
New England’s attempted response – bringing on a trio of attack-minded players and switching from a 4-4-2 setup to a three-man backline – left the visitors exposed at the back and LA pounced. Stefan Ishizaki’s deflected goal put the result beyond doubt in the 75th minute before Keane rounded out a two-goal, two-assist performance when he pounced on a mishit back-pass just moments later.
“We tried to find that first goal out of the second half,” said Kelyn Rowe. “Unfortunately it didn’t happen and from there, you’re chasing the game again further and further and pushing numbers, and when you push numbers, you obviously are susceptible to the counter. They took advantage of that and they put five on us.”
Now the Revs have to turn their attention to a different kind of response this weekend in Frisco, Texas, where they’ll visit FC Dallas on Saturday night to round out a two-game road trip. With the first leg of the trip a bust, it’s down to that match as the Revs try to snap what’s now a six-game losing streak.
“We wanted to go on the road with these two road games here in LA today and then Dallas, we want to try and find points – as many as we can,” said Rowe. “We didn’t find any today, so we need to find some Saturday.”