Freedom isn't free - I got the morning off, but of course, I'm here at the game now.
Actually, it's a nice day for a game. Could be worse.
Bad news for the Galaxy - LD isn't starting. He is on the bench, probably with a fever, aches and chills.
Starting Galaxy XI - Cronie, Kleiny, Franklin, Abel, Ante, Becks, Alvaro, Franchino, Mike (Willie), Eddie and Gordo.
Starting Revs XI - Matty, Chrissie, Parky, Mauricio Castro, Heaps, Nyassi, Rally, Shalrie, Larentowicz, Dube, Cristman
Predictions? Get them in quick before kickoff. I know people expect a lot of offense from the Galaxy these days, but actually, games between NE and LA typically end up 1-0. I say the Revs win off a Larentowicz goal.
The crowd tonight is off the hook. There are people everywhere. A lot of old-school Galaxy shirts too. I suppose some of the fans that have been priced out decided to splurge for the big 4th match.
1 - NE with first attack, good passing - shot by Larentowicz - high.
2 - Gordo puts a ball out with his first touch.
3 - Beckham tackles starts an LA attack, but Gordo passes to a Revs defender.
4 - Gordo in the box, bangs into a defender, ref waves contact off as incidental, but to the disgust of crowd. Jazic, however, earns a freekick. Becks steps over.
5 - He sends it high, where Matty confidently catches it. Best keeper in the league right now, for my money.
7 - LA struggling to maintain possession. Revs patient in building their attack.
9 - Basic attempts at ball control right now.
SAVE! Cronin comes up big. Nyassi beats an offside trap and is in alone on goal. Cronin stone him, coming out and making himself big, batting away the ball. Still dangerous, but the next NE shot is deflected. Corner for the Revs.
10 - Cleared, but LA struggles to get the ball out of their half. An attack eventually builds, but the cross into the box is cleared.
12 - Revs on another attack. Deep throw-in. Albright tosses to Rally, kicked out for another deep throw.
13 - Crossed into the LA box, where it's deflected out for a goal kick.
15 - LA build up gets stifled early, Revs come back to put pressure on the LA goal, Shalrie with a shot - Cronin catches the low ball.
17 - Cross to Gordon in the box, but he has no angle on his header and pops it back out. Ball eventually rolls out for a goal kick.
18 - LD swigging fluids on the bench.
20 - Galaxy with a few half chances not really working out. Shalrie and Alvaro in a real battle in midfield.
23 - LA with a deep throw in NE land. The Revs close that chance down quickly.
25 - Except for the cheers in the stands and the flag colors, it seems like NE is the home team. They're attacking deeper and with more intensity. Ball gets served into the Galaxy box and a desperate clearance for the Galaxy averts a shot.
26 - Shot from Castro - he's outside the box and Cronin dives for it, loses his grip on the ball. Nyassi runs in, but is whistled for offside.
27 - Shalrie is complaining to the ref about something - Jorge Gonzalez doesn't look happy about the conversation.
29 - Pires in the box with the ball, goes down - no call. Crowd is unhappy.
Becks sends in a long, yet precise cross to Randolph in the box. Mike can't get a good header off, though, and sends the ball wide.
31 - Gordo with a horrible backpass. He ignores Becks and sends the ball waywardly to Dube, who starts a Galaxy attack - Cristman's cross is wide, but just barely out of danger.
32 - Galaxy give up the ball of their own throw, Gordo commits a foul and give up a FK.
Abel clears it.
33 - GOAL! NE come right back, set up a corner. Castro takes it, Joseph gets a shot off, Cronin blocks it, but the rebound gets away from him and Cristman puts the ball in from a foot away. 1-0. New England.
36 - Becks finally gets the ball, but his cross is blocked out for a throw in and the Revs quickly regain possession and push the ball upfield.
37 - Ante gives up a corner. Franchino blocks it out for another corner.
GOAL! Rally serves this one up far post and Cristman does the white-men-can-jump-leap as he crashed in for it. 2-0 New England. My goal prediction was off.
39 - If LD wasn't sick before, he surely is now. Becks crosses into the box. Mike goes up for a header and knocks it down in front of goal, but no other Galaxy player is there to touch the ball in.
40 - Becks' crosses keep falling the the shortest Galaxy field player.
42 - Ref stops play while Parkhurst ties his shoe.
Nicol is furious about a call that gives Becks FK. Matty punches it out, but Mike gets it back and earns a deep FT for the Galaxy.
44 - Parkhurst clears the ball and Franklin gets a horrible touch, sending the ball out over the sideline.
45 + Galaxy attack again gets cut off quickly. Revs moving the ball around confidently. NE on the the attack - Cristman could have a hat trick - no he passes nicely to Castro, who sends an easy shot OFF THE POST! Dang, the Galaxy escape there. NE maintain attack and Castro beats Cronin with another shot, going far post - Franklin gets a toe on the ball to clear it over the bar.
Wow - would have been a really exciting save if the Galaxy weren't already down by two goals.
Halftime: Well, the Galaxy didn't have one shot on goal in the half. Becks hardly saw the ball. The amazing crowd here at the game has had little to cheer about. The pressbox is figuring LD has to be comatose to not be an improvement over Alan Gordon.
Revs showed why they are number one in the league. They play very balanced, unselfish ball, getting everyone involved and they keep coming at ya, until they get ya.
2nd half - Sure enough, LD is out there.
48 - But LD can't impact the game if he can't get the ball. NE still controlling play. Galaxy fan groups trying to work the main crowd back into the match, but it's hard when LA hardly has the ball.
49 - Mike sees Becks, crosses into the box for him, but Becks mishits the volley attempt - wide.
50 - Cristman down in the box - doesn't get the call. NE still have the ball, but then Shalrie overhits a pass to Rally and ball is out.
51 - Galaxy attack, Becks to Mike, who takes a touch and a shot, but Parky just gets in for a deflection.
52 - Galaxy do get a FK - Becks hits it into the box, Pires sends the ball high. Better from the Galaxy, though they haven't scored, obviously.
53 - Another Becks FK. LD gets onto this one, but not very well, header is wide. LD looks flushed.
54 - NE in the box again, but the flick pass misses and Cronin is able to grab the ball.
LD gets fouled on the counter. FK in a pretty tasty spot for Becks.
55 - It's close, but wide.
56 - Becks starts a counter, but Buddle can't control the ball at the top of the box and loses it.
57 - Revs come right back, but Cronin catches the cross. Cronin is getting the sort of practice Brad Guzan did during Chivas USA's horrible first year.
58 - Galaxy attack - they're in the NE box, but no one can pull the trigger, it seems. Edson finally does, after a pass from LD, but Matty dives for it and makes stop, parrying the ball away.
60 - NE in the box! They're looking to add to the total, but somehow, the only shot that gets off, even though it's right in front of goal, gets deflected out for a corner. CK is taken and deflected out for a goal kick.
61 - Revs sub Dube out for Taylor Twellman.
62 - Cronin's goal kick falls to Becks, whose cross gets deflected out for a throw - Galaxy eventually build up to a cross by Klein to the box, but Reis cuts it off with a catch.
63 - LD's first touch is off - he just lost the ball.
65 - Nyassi is down.
66 - Revs on the counter, into the box, nearly have a chance, but Franklin clears and starts the counter.
GOAL! Galaxy get one back at least. LD with a cross in the box - deflected off Shalrie, fell to Becks, whose shot deflects off a fallen Heaps and into the net. 2-1 still NE.
67 - Galaxy with another chance, Becks crosses to Mike at the top of the box - his shot is just over the bar.
71 - Revs on the attack, get a CK. Rally sends it in - it's cleared out, but NE regain possession.
72 - The Galaxy attack can't seem to get the ball to Becks.
73 - Then Franklin gets it to him and Becks dummies for Klein, but NE eventually regain possession.
74 - The crowd is chanting "LA" trying to will the team back into this game.
75 - Heaps fouls Becks, but the FK is way out. It's cleared but LA gets possession back and Becks serves a cross into the box - Buddle gets a head on it, but it's wide.
76 - Rally with the ball deep in LA land, crosses to his favorite target, Twellman, but NE cough up the ball to a Galaxy counter.
77 - CROSSBAR! LD to Becks to Edson, but Buddle puts his shot off the crossbar! So close to the equalizer.
78 - The crowd is drumming, chanting, clapping, ooohing and ahing every hit, pass and tackle.
79 - Both teams are giving their all. NE is not sitting back, and the Galaxy won't go away.
80 - Ok, now maybe NE are going defensive. Igwe subs in for Cristman.
81 - Pires fouls Larentowicz and gets yellow for it.
82 - Rally stands over the FK and serves it into the box - Cronin catches.
83 - Galaxy trying to build an attack, but Buddle can't hang on to the service of Becks. GK for the Revs.
84 - The whole stadium is clapping the LA chant, but it dies out as the Revs control the ball. Klein fouls Castro.
85 - Rumors of his trade have been exaggerated - Carlos Ruiz comes on for Franchino.
86 - NE still control the ball, though, and are on the attack. Castro is wasting time in the corner, falling down. Gets a CK. He takes it, and the Galaxy's clear still yields a throw in.
87 - Finally the Galaxy get the ball back. But Ruiz never touches the ball as Matty catches the service into the NE box.
88 - Another NE CK. Taken very slowly.
89 - Ball is stuck in the Galaxy midfield. Now Buddle has it, but can't go anywhere.
90 - Klein's cross gets cut off.
90 + Becks' cross gets deflected.
Klein gets called for a foul as Castro falls yet again.
Pires gets called for a handball. NE get the FK and hit it square, waiting for the final whistle.
There it is. 2-1. The Galaxy winless streak continues, while NE extends their lead in the East.
Albright gets Beckham's jersey.
Sorry about the second half posts - I was posting in the wrong running blog the entire second half - yesterdays. Anyway - it's a metaphor for how off the Galaxy were this game.