By Michelle Huitink // @mchuitink
Saturday, July 14: 2-3 Win
David Bingham; David Romney, Michael Ciani, Jorgen Skjelvik; Chris Pontius, Perry Kitchen, Jonathan dos Santos; Ashley Cole; Giovani dos Santos; Ola Kamara, Romain Alessandrini
Justin Vom Steeg, Tomas Hilliard-Arce, Daniel Steres, Sheanon Williams, Baggio Husidic, Emmanuel Boateng, Ariel Lassiter.
My fellow LA Galaxy friend, Leslie Chavez, invited me to her 31st birthday party where I met several other fans and Twitter people. Some I’d met before, but they were mostly new. She chose Common Space Brewery for the setting so we could watch the match. It definitely turned into a viewing party where we could all share opinions and talk soccer, including the World Cup, other MLS teams, players, and other leagues.
New England Revolution vs the LA Galaxy at Gillette Stadium on July 14, 2018, was bad soccer except for the last few minutes. But, first things first:
The Galaxy wore black armbands in honor of Sports Psychologist, Dr. Ken Ravizza, who passed away the week before.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic didn’t make the trip. There wasn’t a point when the team would have to fly back to LA and train, get a day of rest, and then fly back to the East Coast to Philadelphia where they will play the Union on July 21st. Plus, it wouldn’t be good to wear out Ibrahimovic by having him play on that artificial turf and risk injury.
So, I thought it looked like a good starting XI with Ola Kamara and Romain Alessandrini up top. The blaring concern turned out to be the back three when it should’ve been four in the back for better defense since that’s the Galaxy’s major problem. The G’s Keeper, David Bingham, had to work extra hard with saves and his frustration was showing as a result.
NE Keeper Matt Turner stopped to save a ball, but when Antonio Delamea Mlinar slid to defend, he almost scored an own goal.
The Galaxy conceded a goal in the 28th minute after the Revs were already down a man when, due to violent conduct, Cristian Penilla, got sent off on a red card. Still, New England was able to attack.
Chris Pontius scored in the 38th minute on an assist from Ashley Cole, leveling the match, but that lasted less than 10 minutes when L.A. Caicedo scored a header in the 45th minute to make it 2-1 Revs.
Throughout the match, it seemed anytime the ball got near Kamara, it bounced off his back heel and he didn’t seem to be having a good game. We kept losing possession.
In the second half, Ashley Cole double yellowed and once he was ejected, we really thought the match was over. We were all negative, resolving that we would lose. My hope had been snuffed out like the flame of a candle, only smoke where there was once a spark.
Suddenly, Dave Romney scored a header in stoppage time, assisted by Alessandrini. It was a consolation goal and us fans would’ve been satisfied with a draw. I told everyone at the table to wait, that we still had two minutes of stoppage time to lose.
A minute later, Pontius scored again also from an assist from Alessandrini!
We erupted with celebration and the bartender even said it was a crazy match. Our level of excitement made her think it was a playoff match. The whistle blew and the Galaxy had stolen three points, the final score was 3-2.
Pontius’ positive impact the last several matches is a fantastic streak in itself: he has now seven games with a goal or an assist. In my opinion, he was the man of the match.
Hopefully, the Galaxy can continue their unbeaten streak. Next match is another away game this time against the Philadelphia Union. Kickoff is at 4pm PST.
Featured image: Chris Pontius and Romain Alessandrini celebrate the winning goal (Alessandrini’s Official Instagram)
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