New England Soccer Today

Keane Ends Revs’ MLS Cup Dream

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/

CARSON, CA. – The championship that escaped Revolution coach Jay Heaps during his playing days remains an elusive creature after his team fell 2-1 to the LA Galaxy on Sunday at the StubHub Center.

Robbie Keane scored in the 111th minute to break a open a tie game as the Galaxy held on to secure the club’s MLS-best fifth league title.

Keane took a feed over the top from around midfield, raced in alone onto goal and beat Bobby Shuttleworth at the back post for the go-ahead goal.

New England pushed for an equalizer in the final 10 minutes of the second extra time period but were unable to produce another game-tying goal.

“Real proud of our guys,” Heaps told Comcast Sports Net New England after the match. “I just looked at the stats – there were equal chances, we out-possessed them on their field. Our guys came out and played with a lot of heart. We’re hard done by a couple of calls – it is what it is. It’s a championship game.”

The loss doomed the Revolution to their fifth-straight MLS Cup defeat, the third of which came at the hands of the Galaxy. All three championship clashes were decided in extra time.

After a sloppy and mistake-filled first half that saw neither side grab an advantage, the Galaxy wasted no time capitalizing out of the break.

In the 53rd minute, LA Homegrown Gyasi Zardes broke through to give the hosts the advantage. Zardes took a deflected cross from Stefan Ishizaki, settled the ball in the area and slotted home a shot to the far post.

“It was just a bit of a scramble on the edge of the six,” Revolution goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth told Comcast Sports Net New England after the match. “Zardes did well to kind of get a shot off when it comes to some bodies (around) him. There’s not much I think I can do there.”

Sensing the need to get the equalizer sooner rather than later, Heaps inserted Daigo Kobayashi into the midfield for Scott Caldwell in the 58th minute. But not long after, Keane almost made it a 2-0 game when he broke into the box and forced a brave save from Shuttleworth, who stood his ground to deny the league MVP.

Seemingly out of nothing, New England was able to level the match in the 79th minute. Captain Jose Gonclaves sent a long clearance out of the back that was chased down by rookie sub Patrick Mullins. Mullins took it to the end line before looking back and finding Chris Tierney. Tierney collected the pass and then was able to poke his shot past Jaime Penedo and into the back of the net to level the game.

Not long after, Teal Bunbury curled a shot over the reach of Jaime Penedo that seemed destined for the back of the net before it slammed off the crossbar in the 85th minute. In the 103rd minute, Mullins made a bid for the winner when he tested Penedo with a point-blank shot that was pushed away by the Galaxy goalkeeper.

“Patrick was excellent,” Heaps said. “He’s an all-go, no-quit type of guy, and we needed a little bit of energy, and he brought it.”

But for all the Revolution’s hustle and hard work, all it took was a momentary lapse for the Galaxy to pull away for good. A long ball from Marcelo Sarvas dropped in front of Keane, who ran free toward Shuttleworth and buried it.

“This group is a bunch of fighters,” Shuttleworth said. “We had a great season and it’s tough to look at it now because of this result, but it’s something we’re very proud of. We made it to the final, and hopefully next year, we can come back stronger and win it.”

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