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Good performances all around for New England Revolution

Apr 1, 2012, 10:40 AM EDT

Pulo Cardozo,  Lee Nguyen, Shalrie Joseph

The headlines from an eventful Saturday night in Major League Soccer will trumpet this colossal thunderstorm currently hammering a usually placid Galaxy Valley.

That’s just the way things are. Los Angeles has the championship trophy, David Beckham, Landon Donovan and the land’s most decorated coach, Bruce Arena. The Home Depot Center side also has very big ambition.

So when they all stink up the joint, the headlines will reflect as much.

(Heads up: more will certainly be made of Beckham’s halftime substitution. Stay tuned on that one.)

But let’s not miss an opportunity to say this about last night’s 3-1 loss to the New England Revolution:

Jay Heaps’ side from outside Boston had good performances all over the place. They were focused and tactically disciplined. Individually:

Shalrie Joseph showed up only once in the box score (with an assist) but Mr. Revolution stood out as New England’s most imposing figure, owning the midfield in a men-against-boys kind of way.

Heaps’ preferred central defensive pairing, A.J. Soares and Stephen McCarthy, were nearly flawless, a slip or slide here and there notwithstanding.

Rookie midfielder Kelyn Rowe made things difficult for Galaxy defender Todd Dunnivant, the league’s most reliable left back.

Ryan Guy (a man 95 percent of MLS fans have never heard about) had a productive night of linking the midfield with striker Saer SeneLee Nguyen, shifty and quick, continues to be a dangerous figure along New England’s left side.

Goalkeeper Matt Reis made himself big with an early, certainly important stop on Robbie Keane. Later, just before halftime, Reis saved superbly on a nasty free kick from Beckham, one with more swerve and bend than a politician’s campaign promises.

This should be said, too: While it’s fair to note that the Galaxy missed Landon Donovan, don’t forget that Benny Feilhaber remains out for the Revs. Feilhaber may be something less than Donovan in overall ability, but the Revolution midfielder and his smooth passing is a very important element in the Revs’ rebuilding plan.

Here’s more from Heaps’ following last night’s mighty performance:

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  1. Mike Marshall - Apr 1, 2012 at 10:50 AM

    Revs were not only missing Feilhaber (…arguably their best midfielder), but Pepe Moreno (…arguably their best forward), and John Lozano (…arguably their best defender) didn’t play either, last night.

  2. Ben Saufley - Apr 1, 2012 at 1:00 PM

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, for this article. I’m well aware that I’m a big homer, and that the Revs still have a long way to go before people think of them as any sort of huge threat, but it seems like even when they win, the coverage is only about the other team losing, or about making excuses for that loss.

    And while Donovan was missing, and of course Omar Gonzalez, the Galaxy had Keane and Beckham out there, as well as a number of other threats all over the field. It’s hard to take excuses like that seriously with a team like LA that’s supposed to be the best from roster spots 1 to 28.

    All I’m saying is, there’s more to this game than a Galaxy loss. The Revolution won that game, and I appreciate you taking the time to point that out.

  3. footballer4ever - Apr 1, 2012 at 3:12 PM

    I am glad as a MLS fan that the NER are becoming a better football club one game at a time. After losing 4 MLS Cup games, NER is not appreciated / respected by the media, owners or fans in New England area and it’s treated as a ” foster” child than a legitimate son of the sporting landscape.

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