CARSON -- The Galaxy's second shot at a decent start was far worse than the first one, some 3½ weeks ago. After a two-week break in which, the storyline goes, they worked out the kinks that capsized them against Toronto FC and Real Salt Lake, L.A. came out with a real stinker of a show.
New England scored two goals in the first 13 minutes and added a third midway through the second half, easily dismissing the Galaxy, 3-1, on a rainy night at Home Depot Center.
The defensive problems that have plagued L.A. (1-2-0) since the start of preseason have not improved -- both early goals were product of horrendous marking -- and the lack of spark in the Galaxy's game, at least until the second half, set standards the team does not want to repeat.
“I think you always have to be careful about not labeling things that clearly off of one game,” head coach Bruce Arena said. “I think our second half [had] a lot more spirit and determination than there was in the first half. The first half was poor. Some bad communication in the early going, and it cost us a couple of goals. We were never sharp on any play in the first half. Sloppy in every aspect of the game on both sides of the ball.”
The Galaxy was overrun in midfield and at the back, and goals three minutes apart by rookie Kelyn Rowe, a former UCLA All-American, and Chris Tierney more or less settled things by the 13th minute.
New England got behind L.A.'s defense three times in the first nine minutes, then struck in the 10th, when Rowe drifted behind A.J. DeLaGarza and Todd Dunivant to volley a cross from Shalrie Joseph, then volley the rebound after goalkeeper Josh Saunders parried the first strike.
Tierney made it 2-0 in the 13th, beating Paolo Cardozo to a ball from Kevin Alston, who played a give-and-go with Joseph to penetrate from the right channel.
“We did the exact same thing we've been doing the first three games, conceding sloppy goals,” complained striker Robbie Keane, who wore the captain's armband in Landon Donovan's absence because of a quadriceps strain. “Every goal we've conceded so far has been very, very similar. It's stuff you do when you're a kid defending. We didn't do it properly tonight. We have only ourselves to blame. We can't point the finger at anyone else but ourselves. [We need] everyone to pick their heads up and be a man and get on with it.”
Said DeLaGarza: “Kelyn Rowe is 5-foot-7, and he's getting behind our backline on a cross. And the second one, their left back is scoring a goal inside out box. That's unacceptable.”
The center back said it's “a marking issue. As center backs, we have to pick up a man, no matter what. … We have to pick up a guy. That's all I can say.”
Everyone was poor. Dunivant, the Galaxy's most consistent defender, got eaten up by Rowe and was turned badly by Ryan Guy before the cross for Saër Sene's header to make it 3-0 in the 65th minute. DeLaGarza and Andrew Boyens struggled with the ball and in marking the Revs' attackers. The support from midfield was nearly nonexistent.
It was so bad, that Arena pulled off David Beckham and Marcelo Sarvas at halftime and said he would have substituted more if he'd been able to.
“I couldn't change 11 players -- that's what I told the team at halftime,” Arena said. “If I had 11 substitutions, I would have considered that.”
Asked how Beckham, who never wants to leave the field, responded to the change, Arena said: “Hopefully, he's ready to be part of the next game. … I'm sure he's not pleased about it. But that's not the issue in the game. The issue in the game was that 11 players from New England soundly outplayed 11 players for the Galaxy.”
Beckham exited quickly, before reporters could enter the Galaxy's locker room, and he declined to comment in the hallway outside New England's locker room.
The loss was the Galaxy's third in four HDC games this season, and they'll fall into last place in the Western Conference on Sunday if Chivas USA ties or beats Sporting Kansas City.
Home Depot Center (Carson)
Galaxy 1, New England Revolution 3
NE -- Kelyn Rowe 10
NE -- Chris Tierney (Kevin Alston, Shalrie Joseph) 13
NE -- Saër Sene (Ryan Guy) 65
LA -- Robbie Keane (Edson Buddle) 78
Galaxy: Josh Saunders; Sean Franklin, Andrew Boyens, A.J. DeLaGarza, Todd Dunivant; Paolo Cardozo (Chad Barrett, 71), David Beckham (Michael Stephens, 46), Juninho, Marcelo Sarvas (Mike Magee, 46); Edson Buddle, Robbie Keane. Unused subs: Bill Gaudette, Hector Jimenez, Dan Keat, Tommy Meyer.
New England Revolution: Matt Reis; Kevin Alston (Florian Lechner, 46), Stephen McCarthy (Alex Purdie, 85), A.J. Soares, Chris Tierney; Kelyn Rowe, Shalrie Joseph, Clyde Simms, Lee Nguyen; Ryan Guy, Saër Sene (Fernando Cardenas, 70). Unused subs: Diego Fagundez, Jose Moreno, Bobby Shuttleworth, Jeremiah White.
Yellow cards: None.
Referee: Ricardo Salazar. Att.: 21,324.