The New England Revolution and LA Galaxy could night find a way past each other in a rematch of last year's MLS Cup, as the two teams drew 2-2. Rain poured as the night wore on and an electric first half could not be replicated in the second.
In the midst of all that, several intricacies unraveled and we take a look at three of them below.
1.) Diego Lives: September 7, 2014. That was the last time Diego Fagundez found the back of the net for the Revs. Add in the fact that he’s been frustrated in front of goal this year and has found himself in and out of the lineup, and the picture becomes even more bleak for the 20-year-old attacker.
However, Diego rose to the occasion on Sunday evening and proved all of his doubters wrong when he stepped up to a free kick about 25 yards from goal. With Jaime Penedo on the right side, Fagundez beautifully curled over the Galaxy wall and gave the Panamanian goalkeeper no chance.
And in the instant, the Uruguayan bounced back onto the scene and made every Revs fan realize that Diego has all the talent in the world. I’m not a betting man, but I’d wager that he’s about to embark on a hot streak in the coming weeks. All it took was one moment.
2.) Simple Errors: After going up early through a Teal Bunbury back post finish, the Revs’ defense fell apart through simple - and more importantly avoidable - errors.
The first one came by way of Bobby Shuttleworth, as Ignacio Maganto’s 18th minute volley saw the former stuck in quicksand between his posts. To be fair to Shuttleworth, the conditions at Gillette on Sunday night were far from desirable with driving rain and a crosswind both in full effect. But Bobby has to do better on Maganto’s shot. It was savable and exposed his biggest weakness: a delayed reaction time.
The other error came on the Galaxy’s second goal. Maganto chipped up a harmless ball towards Jose Villarreal. The striker brought the ball down, made the Revs’ center backs look silly with a sly back heel, and Gyasi Zardes had an easy finish in front of goal. When Jay Heaps sits down and looks at the film of the goal, odds are he’ll be fuming at how easy it was for the Galaxy - and justifiably so. It was far too easy for LA to capitalize on.
3.) I Smell Yellow: As the entire U.S. soccer community knows, Jermaine Jones left the match in the first half with a groin injury. The impact of the injury cannot be stated enough, but it's who entered for him that was of interest. Andy Dorman came into the fold and unsurprisingly got another yellow card in his relief minutes.
This chapter in the Andy Dorman Yellow Card Chronicles came in the 61st minute and once again came by way of a tactical foul near midfield. This time Oscar Sorto was the one suffering Dorman's trigger-happy fouling tendency. That's Dorman's 6th card of the year and it's clear that when slightly beaten, his first inclination is to pull down the attacker. Is it effective? Sure. Is it necessary? Not always.
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