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Preview: New England Revolution at Los Angeles Galaxy

Preview: New England Revolution at Los Angeles Galaxy

 

 

By Sean Donahue

 

           

Both the Los Angeles Galaxy and the New England Revolution have built up solid teams and are considered contenders for winning their divisions. Los Angeles has made up for the loss of playmaker Mauricio Cienfuegos with the addition of Austrian Andreas Herzog, while also adding U.S. International forward Jovan Kirovski to pair up front with Carlos Ruiz. New England has kept their starting 11 that lead them to their first winning record, while adding some depth in the forms of Irish midfielder Richie Baker and versatile rookie Clint Dempsey.

           

Los Angeles failed to win a single game on the road last season and finished a disappointing 9-12-9 last year, after winning MLS Cup in 2002. The Galaxy did not lose any key players going into 2002, so many blamed the poor record on the Galaxy’s 8 road games to start the season. Carlos Ruiz has proven himself to be a dangerous goal scorer for the Galaxy, but has had too much of the scoring burden put on him without an adequate partner up front. The Galaxy will be hoping Jovan Kirovski can take some of the burden off Ruiz and make their offense less predictable this season. If the Galaxy can get off to a good start this season and find ways to win on the road, they should be able to challenge San Jose for first place in the West. The Galaxy may have some problems with injury as they face the Revolution with stars Cobi Jones, Carlos Ruiz and Hong Myung-Bo all potentially missing the Galaxy’s first game.

           

New England finished 2003 with a 12-9-9 record, the first winning record in team history. The Revs made it to the MLS Cup in 2002 and expectations were high for the Revs in 2003, but injuries to Taylor Twellman, Joe-Max Moore, Joe Franchino and other key players led them to exit the play-offs in the semifinals at the hands of Chicago Fire. With 2002 and 2003 Revolution leading scorer Taylor Twellman healthy, along with the Revolution’s all-time leading scorer Joe-Max Moore set to pair up with him in the front, the Revs offense looks to be very dangerous. The Revs midfield will be led by playmaker Jose Cancela, who is quickly earning a reputation as the best playmaker in the league. Steve Ralston will once again provide great crosses from the right wing, while Shalrie Joseph will look to build off of an amazing rookie season at the central defensive midfield spot. Richie Baker and Pat Noonan will challenge Brian Kamler for his spot on the left side of the midfield. Speed and composure in the Revs back-line is their one major concern. None of the Revs defenders are exceptionally fast and all have earned reputations as being hotheaded. Rusty Pierce and Carlos Llamosa are both injury prone and no new defenders were brought in to add depth. With key losses to last year’s Eastern Conference Champions, the Chicago Fire, the Revs are favored to win the East this year. The Revs will have some injury trouble against LA with Carlos Llamosa, Richie Baker, Brian Kamler and Shalrie Joseph all possibly missing the Revs’ season opener.

           

Both teams should have great seasons and make it far into the playoffs, but key injuries in the Galaxy’s line-up could give the Revs an advantage. The game can be seen live on FSW at 7PM PT, 10PM ET.

 

Prediction: 3-1, Revs put away their chances and win in a close game.

Scores
Sat., Apr. 14th
6:00PM ET
Salt Lake 0
Columbus 0

Sat., Apr. 14th
7:30PM ET
New England 0
Toronto 0

Sat., Apr. 14th
7:30PM ET
DC United 0
Kansas City Wizards 0

Sat., Apr. 14th
8:30PM ET
Houston 0
Chivas USA 0

Sat., Apr. 15th
3:00PM ET
New York 0
Dallas 0

Sun., Apr. 15th
8:00PM ET
Colorado 0
Chicago 0

Standings
East
Team Name Pts
Chicago 3
Columbus 1
New York 1
DC United 0
Kansas City 0
New England 0
Toronto 0

West
Team Name Pts
Dallas 4
Chivas USA 3
Colorado 3
Houston 1
Los Angeles 1
Salt Lake 1

Top Ten Scorers
Top 10 Scorers
Player Name Gls
Ruiz 2
Cooper 2
Cunningham 2
Kljestan 1
Brown 1
Emilio 1
H. Gomez 1
Findley 1
Razov 1
Pause 1