CARSON, CA - MARCH 20: David Beckham #23 of the Los Angeles Galaxy plays the ball past Shalrie Joseph #21 of the New England Revolution in the first half during the MLS match at The Home Depot Center on March 20, 2011 in Carson, California. The Revolution and the Galaxy played to a 1-1 draw. (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)
Shalrie Joseph and the New England Revolution are going back to California to take on David Beckham and the Los Angeles Galaxy on Saturday night at 11:00 p.m. EDT. (TV/Radio: NBC Sports Network/98.5 FM The Sports Hub).
The New England Revolution are kicking off a two-week road trip by taking on the defending MLS Champion LA Galaxy at the Home Depot Center in Carson, CA. The late kickoff (11 p.m. EDT) will be broadcast live on the NBC Sports Network, marking the first time the Revolution will feature on MLS's newest television partner. The Revs will be hoping to continue their winning ways after a 1-0 win last weekend in their home opener against Portland, while the Galaxy will be rested and refreshed after getting a bye last week.
For New England, it's going to be all about organization. Los Angeles is a team that plays a control-oriented scheme, and although they're more noted for good defensive play, any team that features weapons like Robbie Keane, David Beckham, and Edson Buddle is a team that can score almost at will. The Galaxy will reportedly be missing Landon Donovan, though, so there is a dent in the armor that the Revs might be able to exploit. New England has to play tight, organized defense and hope to catch something on the counter.
Los Angeles has too many assets for the Revs to key on any one in particular. Beckham is their distributor, but even if New England nullifies him, a player like Juninho or even Keane can step right in and create as well as score in his place. If the Galaxy have a weakness, it's in the center of defense; the loss of Omar Gonzalez to injury has left last season's stingiest defense searching for consistency. Andrew Boyens and Tommy Meyer have not yet provided it - if Saer Sene and the other Revs forwards can exploit that, New England has a shot at scoring and perhaps even a result.
The Revs are finally at close to full strength in defense, with Kevin Alston listed as probable and John Lozano doubtful. Otherwise, Benny Feilhaber will once again miss out with his peroneal strain, joining injury report stalwarts Zak Boggs and Sainey Nyassi on the "out" list.
The Revolution is 13-16-6 all-time against the Galaxy, but that includes a dismal 4-10-4 mark for New England on the road. Furthermore, the Revs haven't won in the Mountain or Pacific time zone since September of 2009, including an 0-9-2 mark in Western Time matches. LA won the season series 1-0-1 in 2011, but this season's unbalanced schedule means that it won't be a series, per se. It will actually be the first time since 1996 that the Revs and the Galaxy won't meet at least twice in the regular season.
Again, the match will be televised at 11 p.m. on the NBC Sports Network, while the radio call will be handled at the same time by 98.5 FM The Sports Hub.