The New England Revolution continued to show their new-found offensive ability Sunday night with a resounding 5-0 victory over the visiting LA Galaxy.
The defending MLS Cup champion looked like the better team in the first half, but fell victim to a goal against the run of play. Revolution striker Saer Sene, who was making his first start of the year after offseason knee surgery, struck in the 33rd minute.
“We wanted to get (Sene) a start. It was a conversation we had early in the year and he was coming back from injury,” said Revolution head coach Jay Heaps. “We circled a date to have a start and if it seemed rushed, it’s because we wanted to get him on field.”
Sene's return to the starting group was a positive sign for the Revolution attack, but youngster Diego Fagundez, who assisted on Sene's goal and netted one for himself in the 87th, once again stole the show at Gillette Stadium. His distribution and attacking play opened up a Galaxy defense that, without Omar Gonzalez, seemed to fall apart in the final minutes of the match.
“Diego (Fagundez) you see him, he has excellent body control today," said Heaps. "We see it all the time in training, but it’s tough to find that all the time on the field. But today he really had it. You can see he was putting the ball exactly where he wanted it and sliding off defenders. He created the first two goals.”
The 18-year-old was even good enough to catch the eye of Galaxy star Landon Donovan.
“I think he has improved a lot from last year,” Donovan told Goal. “We saw a lot of potential in him last year, but I think he has turned into a real player now. I think he understands the game better, he looks like he has progressed, but he is more confident.“
The youth movement in the Revs' attack seems to have found a rhythm. Fagundez, along with midfielder Kelyn Rowe and forward Juan Agudelo, have all been at the top of their game for the team in recent weeks, and Rowe stood out again on Sunday.
The 21-year-old had an instant impact once he was subbed on in the 57th minute, assisting on the third and fourth goals while scoring the fifth on his own in stoppage time.
“The guys on this team, we have so many good attacking players on this squad now. Bringing guys into the game late, that can change a game.” said defender Chris Tierney of the substitutes. "The depth of this squad is such a bonus this year.
"There are so many players that can hurt you, especially coming on fresh like that. I am not surprised that we scored five. It is always possible with the squad we have this year.”