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Absolute Zero for Galaxy

L.A. suffers second consecutive shutout and winless streak reaches five after 2-0 loss to New England in rematch of last season's MLS Cup.

May 11, 2003|Paul Gutierrez | Times Staff Writer

Not even a bye week was enough to rest the road-weary Galaxy.

Nor was it enough to buy the team a goal.

Playing the fifth leg of its eight-game trip to open the season, the Galaxy was shut out at New England on Saturday, 2-0, before 11,278 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass.

The Galaxy, which had last played April 26 and was searching for its first win of the year, saw its record drop to 0-2-3 and its scoreless streak reach 260 minutes, which includes two consecutive shutout losses.

Not exactly what was expected from the defending Major League Soccer champions, even if they came into the season knowing full well that they didn't have a home match until June 7.

"Overall right now, we're not catching a break," said Galaxy Coach Sigi Schmid. "We are a team that is not playing with the amount of energy we need to win.

"At the end of the game when you really look at it, we probably had as many good chances as the Revolution."

But it was New England that capitalized.

Midfielder Brian Kamler gave the Revolution a 1-0 lead in the 59th minute when he took advantage of a wayward rebound.

Jay Heaps' shot from the top of the box was deflected by Galaxy defender Danny Califf, the ball bounding out to the left side. That's where Kamler was camped alone and after dribbling to set himself, his left-footed shot blew by Galaxy goalkeeper Kevin Hartman and into the right corner of the net, just inside the right post.

About seven minutes later, Taylor Twellman made it 2-0 when he took a pass in the box from Daniel Hernandez and zigzagged his way to a clear shot from eight yards away for his league-leading third goal of the season.

For the Revolution (2-2-1), it was the first home win of the season in three tries.

But it was definitely a different vibe from the last time the two teams met, on the same field in last year's MLS Cup on Oct. 20.

The Galaxy won its first league championship in its fourth Cup match, 1-0, on Carlos Ruiz's overtime goal in front of a partisan crowd of 61,316.

These days, though, the Galaxy is struggling to find its identity

The Galaxy's last goal, by Cobi Jones, came in the 20th minute of its 1-1 draw at New York/New Jersey on April 19.

Against New England, Schmid employed a 4-3-3 formation, moved Hong Myung Bo to the midfield from the back line and started defender Alexi Lalas in his customary sweeper role.

But once the Revolution began to force the tempo, the Galaxy defense seemed to have trouble keeping up.

Things might have been different had the Galaxy scored first.

Forward Alejandro Moreno, getting his first start of the season, had a clear look at the goal in the 53rd minute and his shot from point-blank range was on line.

But New England midfielder Leo Cullen was able to redirect it, setting the stage for the Revolution's harried attack.

"Utter chaos just seemed to erupt at certain points," Hartman said.

"We are supposed to be a group of top quality guys and individually we are, but as a team we're not doing the things that need to be done. Our work rate isn't high enough and our technical or tactical capacity is not where we need it to be."

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