The LA Galaxy are unbeaten in seven games (as covered in our latest podcast), and on Wednesday night they’ll look to continue that run as they square off against the New England Revolution. New England is a club in freefall. After winning five games in a row, they’ve now lost their last five and been dragged down to fourth place in the Eastern Conference. LA’s on a streak and fighting for a playoff spot; the Revs are in a hole and clinging to one — and those are exactly the set of circumstances that magnify an odd midweek game into something much bigger.
“We want to be on top. That’s our target, and we are doing everything to get there.” —Marcelo Sarvas
Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena hasn’t started the same consecutive lineup in 11 games — but Wednesday’s match has a good shot at putting that record to rest. LA had a solid showing against Real Salt Lake, they netted a crucial three points, and most importantly, at the end of the night, Bruce approved. Given all that – and given that Omar Gonzalez is still out with an ankle injury – the starting eleven against New England is likely to look very familiar. Donovan, at least, will be pleased:
“I think our best games as a team, and my best games, have come with me playing [at top of a diamond midfield]. I think that the guys around me like having me there. I like running from a deep position, I like facing the field when I get the ball, and it’s good to have two really good attacking players ahead of me that I can get the ball to.” —Landon Donovan
Guessing the Revolution’s lineup is a trickier task. The team can’t even settle on a goalkeeper, they’ve rotated through seven possible back lines, and nothing they’ve tried recently has worked anyway. Lee Nguyen leads the team in goals scored, so you can bet he’ll have a target on his back — a target painted right over his number, 24. But when New England’s clicking, their assists come from everywhere — and their 4–1–4–1 formation will test LA’s ability to react to an ever-changing attack. This is the Galaxy’s last home game until August 2nd. A win before they hit the road would be huge — and at home, against a team in a slump, nothing less than a win will do.