New England Revolution head coach Jay Heaps has decided to put a lot of faith in rookie Kelyn Rowe by running out a 4-5-1 formation to face the LA Galaxy in Carson, California. Without Benny Feilhaber to run the offense, Rowe will likely take a central role as the advanced playmaker in that formation and will be expected to take on players and play those incisive final passes, unless Heaps elects to play Ryan Guy or Lee Nguyen just off the striker in a bit of a 4-4-1-1 formation. Stephen McCarthy returns to the lineup following his red-card suspension last week and takes his spot in the center of defense.
More interesting for the Revolution, however, is the bench. Newcomer Florian Lechner has made the 18 and might get his debut tonight as a defensive substitute, but Revs fans will be apt to watch the every movement of Jose Moreno. "Pepe" Moreno was signed in early February as New England's new number 9, but a drawn-out saga in which the player was quoted as saying he was staying at Once Caldas in Colombia has made fans and pundits alike skeptical about his ability to make a positive impact - or even whether or not he would show up at all. Heaps has said that Moreno is more likely to feature against Dallas on Thursday, but there is every chance he could make a cameo in Carson.
For the Galaxy, the big news is the absence of Landon Donovan, though that has been expected since the middle of the week. Mike Magee has also rotated out of the starting lineup tongiht due to a muscle strain. Marcelo Sarvas and Paolo Cardozo, two centrally-oriented players, will be expected to man the flanks in place of the two regulars.
Revolution: Matt Reis; Chris Tierney, A.J. Soares, Stephen McCarthy, Kevin Alston; Lee Nguyen, Shalrie Joseph, Clyde Simms, Kelyn Rowe; Ryan Guy; Saer Sene
Bench: Shuttleworth, Lechner, Moreno, Fagundez, White, Cardenas, Purdie
Galaxy: Josh Saunders; Todd Dunivant, A.J. DeLaGarza, Andrew Boyens, Sean Franklin; Marcelo Sarvas, Juninho, David Beckham, Paolo Cardozo; Robbie Keane, Edson Buddle
Bench: Gaudette, Barrett, Heat, Jimenez, Magee, Meyer, Stephens