Alan Gordon scored in the 83rd minute against Central FC on Wednesday in CONCACAF Champions League play to help the LA Galaxy clinch the top spot in Group D. After conceding yet another early goal, the Galaxy got the equalizer when Gordon tapped in a pass from Raul Mendiola to hold on to a berth in the Champions League quarterfinals next year.
— LA Galaxy (@LAGalaxy) September 24, 2015
Gordon told LAGalaxy’s Adam Serrano that the team is “thrilled” to advance to the knockout stage despite the far-from-perfect performance Wednesday. (See highlights below.)
Gordon’s goal snapped a 361-minute scoring drought for the once-mighty Galaxy attack that was in danger of getting shut out for the fourth straight game. (More from the match report here.)
Tuesday was the 14th time this season the Galaxy have conceded a goal within the first 30 minutes of a game. Across all competitions, the team has given up 16 early goals this year, including four within the past four games (18th minute against San Jose, third and 28th minute against Real Salt Lake, third minute against Central).
None of the Galaxy’s first-choice starting XI traveled to Trinidad and Tobago for Wednesday’s game as the team has a big MLS game on Sunday at 6:30 p.m. at home against FC Dallas. LA and Dallas are currently tied in points for second place in the Western Conference, with Dallas owning the tiebreaker. The Western Conference is extremely congested at the top as only four points separate the top five teams with the regular season quickly drawing to a close.
- Nick Green’s soccer column this week focusing on the Galaxy’s recent slump
- A look at the league’s expansion progress from SI’s Brian Straus
- Interesting story about the evolution of Cristiano Ronaldo from Grantland’s Mike L. Goodman.
- DC United and the Seattle Sounders were the other MLS teams through to the CCL quarterfinal
- Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena is getting an award Thursday night; he’ll be honored with the Spirit of Courage Award from the Courage Campaign Institution for his work in paving the way for LGBTQIA+ athletes in professional sports as he was instrumental in welcoming Galaxy defender Robbie Rogers to the team in 2013.
- Sebastian Lletget was named to the league’s 24 under 24 list this week, checking in at No. 3. Of the 23-year-old Lletget, MLSSoccer.com writes: “He hasn’t just been a complementary piece in that stacked LA lineup; he’s been one of the stars.”