A five-match losing streak haunted the New England Revolution as they took the field in Carson, California on Wednesday night to face the Los Angeles Galaxy. If they held any illusions of breaking that streak, those hopes were shattered early and often as the home side ran rampant to a 5-1 victory. With six goals and two red cards, it was definitely a match for the neutrals, and probably for the home fans, too, but Revolution supporters will be left shaking their heads.
New England stayed true to form and did exactly what they needed to avoid: concede early. In the 10th minute, Robbie Keane picked up the ball just outside the box to Bobby Shuttleworth's left. He skipped across the top of the box and, when no Revolution defender closed him down, fired a curling shot to the far post top corner past a despairing Shuttleworth to give the Galaxy the lead.
It took just eight minutes for the Galaxy to score again. Stefan Ishizaki took the ball down the right touchline, challenged by Jose Goncalves. The assistant referee waved his flag but center referee Ricardo Salazar played advantage. Goncalves was distracted by the assistant and allowed Ishizaki to reach the byline and cut back to Keane, who laid off to Gyasi Zardes. The Homegrown product fired it low past Shuttleworth at the near post from about six yards.
Things went from bad to worse in the 29th minute for the Revolution. A.J. Soares, playing in midfield, hit Juninho with a studs-up challenge just below the knee and saw straight red for his troubles.
However, things began to even out after that. In the 38th minute, Dan Gargan took Teal Bunbury down in the box. He was issued a straight red card for his trouble, and Lee Nguyen coolly dispatched the penalty to cut the deficit to one.
The second half could have worked out in the Revs favor, but it did not. Gyasi Zardes doubled his tally in the 48th minute on a well-worked play from the Galaxy. Then, Ishizaki put in a free kick that deflected off the wall and beat Shuttleworth. Finally, the scoring capped off when substitute Steve Neumann played a sloppy back pass that Keane ran onto. The Irishman rounded Shuttleworth and finished on an empty net.
The less said beyond that the better.
The Revs are back in action on Saturday night in Dallas.