BY ADAM SERRANO
CARSON, CALIF — Playing through an uncharacteristic Southern California rainstorm, the New England Revolution drew the LA Galaxy, 1-1 on a rain-soaked field at the Home Depot Center.
Sharlie Joseph gave the Revolution the lead just three minutes into the match to put the Galaxy on the back foot before Galaxy midfielder Juninho scored his second goal of the season to level the score. Los Angeles dominated for wide stretches of the match, but time and time again was unable to beat Revs goalkeeper Matt Reis for a second time.
The New England defense and the soaked pitch were not the only things that hindered the Galaxy, which saw three goals whistled off for various reasons. Despite the conditions and the officiating, the Galaxy felt that it was certainly two points lost.
"The conditions were good enough for us to win the game going away,' said Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena. 'The conditions were difficult, but we made them more difficult by conceding that goal in the early going, I think we showed a lot of character in the way we responded and pushed forward to win try and win the game."
It only took three minutes for New England to take the lead when a failed clearance by Chris Birchall ended up on the foot of Marko Perovic, who whipped in a cross into the area. Joseph was able to execute a fine move around Galaxy defender Leonardo and head in the ball for the first goal. After conceding early, the Galaxy began to dominate possession with New England attempting to bunker for the result.
Los Angeles was unlucky not to equalize in the 16th minute when Mike Magee was ruled to have fouled Matt Reis on a ball that the goalkeeper was unable to handle. The Galaxy finally equalized in the 39th minute when the Brazilian fired in a shot from about 20 yards out that caught Reis out of position. The goal was Juninho's second of the season.
As the Galaxy pressed forward, L.A. attackers were consistantly unable to finish with the conditions as well as a stiff New England defense proving decisive. The news wasn't entirely positive for New England, who lost serbian midfielder Marko Perovic to a right hamstring strain early in the first half. Through all the conditions, it was an accomplishment for the Revolution to steal a point on the road.
While the Revolution savored the result, for the Galaxy, it was a chance lost. With a series of chances on goal and out shooting the Revoultion by 7 to 1 for shots on goal, it was difficult to have dropped points. In particular, it was the called foul by Magee on Reis that proved difficult to digest with Landon Donovan going as far as to claim that it was "not a foul" after the match.
"We certainly scored enough goals to win the game," said Donovan. "But unfortunately, it's not just the other team that you're playing against sometimes so it's unfortunate, but we also could have done better with our chances."
The Galaxy was able to have Juan Pablo Angel return to action after missing the first match due to an illness. The forward appeared active during his 27 minutes of action and nearly scored a goal before being ruled offside during stoppage time. In addition to Angel making his debut, Galaxy first round draft pick Paolo Cardozo also went 27 minutes in his first action of 2011.
Los Angeles is now 1-0-1 on the season and will travel to Rio Tinto to face Real Salt Lake. Los Angeles will do so without Donovan, who will depart for the U.S. national team camp on Monday. The Revolution returns home to Foxboro to take on D.C. for its home opener on the 26th.