Revolution’s defensive lineup falls flat in home loss to Galaxy

Sunday night at Gillette Stadium, the New England Revolution lost 2-1 to LA Galaxy. With the loss, the Revs’ season record drops to 8-9-10 and their 34 pts put them in 9th place, two points below the current playoff line.

New England’s starting lineup lacked attacking prowess as in addition to their backline, Cristian Makoun played in defensive midfield and Tommy McNamara played on the wing. While Gustavo Bou was available for the first time in over a month, he was on the bench to start.

New England’s defensive forward lineup couldn’t keep the Galaxy off the scoreboard for long with Chicharito setting up Daniel Aguirre in the 4th minute. Andrew Farrell was taken out of position which slid Henry Kessler to cover and then Chicharito hit Aguirre who slid past Kessler and past DeJuan Jones with ease.

In the 15th minute, the Galaxy extended their lead to 2-0 with Riqui Puig threading the needle on a darting Chicharito which provided the lethal finish. During Los Angeles’ goal celebration, a fan rushed onto the field and grabbed Chicahrito before being knocked to the ground and escorted off the field.

At half-time, the Revs replaced Bou who made his first appearance since July 16. With Bou on the pitch, the Revolution looked more competent in the final third and it all paid off in the 82nd minute. Noel Buck broke through two defenders and found the run from Bou and then McNamara who netted in a Carles Gil goal to make it 2-1.

“I think they have to look at the 70 minutes they played well and the 20 minutes they didn’t play well,” said sporting director and head coach Bruce Arena in the message to the team. “And you can’t question their efforts, great efforts. They were close to getting a match point, but the start of the match, there are no excuses.

The revolution had a lot of chances

New England had plenty of scoring opportunities and looked like the better team for the most part. The data proves this point with an XG of 1.8 vs. 0.9 in favor of the Revolution. The first two defensive lapses were the nail in the coffin for the Revs and their inability to convert their scoring opportunities prevented them from overcoming their defensive issues.

With seven matches to go in the 2022 MLS season, the Revs are on the outside. They host the Chicago Fire on Wednesday, then New York City FC next Sunday. Ideally, if the team is looking to control their own destiny and put themselves in a solid position ahead of a two-game road trip, they will win the next two games.

If New England doesn’t win the next two games, one has to wonder if they’ll ever right the ship this season.

“It’s very important,” said Tommy McNamara when asked about the next two home games. “Every game is like a final now, and I think there are seven games left. Four at home, three away. So yes, the rest of this week is crucial for us.