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Who Starts for the Revolution against the LA Galaxy?

With Chris Tierney and Lee Nguyen suspended for this Sunday's game, who starts for the Revolution against the Galaxy?

Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

With Chris Tierney and Lee Nguyen unavailable due to suspension, New England Revolution head coach Jay Heaps will have some lineup decisions to make ahead of this Sunday's clash against the LA Galaxy. With this in mind, The Bent Musket staff has some advice for the former player.


Though the last three games haven't exactly gone the way the Revs wanted, there's no reason to make full-scale changes. As a result, my starting XI is about finding stand-ins for the two suspended players. At left back, I'd like to see Jeremy Hall get the nod as he's more of a stay-and-home defender than Kevin Alston. The width of Tierney will certainly be missed but London Woodberry will still be providing service from the right flank. Nguyen's replacement is like-for-like as Kelyn Rowe is an attacker with a similar mindset. The youngster will be hungry to make the most of this opportunity.


There is no doubt that the Revs are a weaker team with Tierney and Nguyen out, but a panicked reaction is not necessary. Alston is a like-for-like replacement at left back who has struggled some this year, but I have full faith in him contributing a solid 90 minute performance against the Galaxy. As for Nguyen's replacement, Rowe is the logical and easy choice. He is not on the same level as Nguyen, but there is no denying that a central position is Rowe's best place on the field. The 23-year-old can rip shots from distance there, pick out a cross-field ball, and dribble at the heart of the defense.


If Daigo Kobayashi had seen more game time since returning from injury, there could be a decent argument for starting him in Nguyen's stead as the attacking mid role. Since he hasn't, Rowe gets another chance to pull the strings for the Revs offense, a role he's seen less of since the Revs added Jermaine Jones and started playing with an extra defensive mid in a 4-2-3-1. The left-back position is more of an issue as the team will miss Tierney and his amazing left foot. And as the only other naturally left-footed wide player the Revs have, now seems as good a time as any for Donnie Smith to get a run out, leaving Alston on the bench as a utility player.


Though I'd love to see more of Jeremy Hall, I think Kevin Alston deserves a nod--not because of his less-than-stellar outing against SKC, but because of his speed down the left flank. With Stefan Ishizaki and Gyasi Zardes likely covering the left side of the attack for LA, I want a proven defender with plenty of pace. Alston didn't have a chance to make a difference at MLS Cup; he may get his opportunity this weekend.

In the middle of the park, I'd prefer to see Daigo Kobayashi replace Lee Nguyen. Though Daigo has not seen the field in recent weeks, and may not be as crisp as Jay Heaps would like, he offers the efficiency and creativity to seamlessly replace the former MVP candidate. As we learned earlier this season, Daigo's skillset doesn't necessarily translate into that of a substitute. If I'm Heaps, I pencil in Daigo with intentions of bringing Kelyn Rowe off the bench around the 60 minute mark.