Galaxy bounced from CONCACAF Champions League with 4-0 loss

Ringo H.W. Chiu – THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Ringo H.W. Chiu – THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

So much for having the advantage after the first leg.

The L.A. Galaxy were bounced from CONCACAF Champions League play after a 4-0 loss to Santos Laguna on Tuesday night. After the team was so encouraged with its scoreless draw at home in the first leg of the quarterfinal series, getting smoked in the second leg just shows how much work the Galaxy have left to do.

L.A. gave up two goals on set pieces, struggled to maintain possession in the midfield and failed to generate any offense. In their three preseason games and two CCL games, the Galaxy have scored a combined three goals. Two of those came in the friendly against FC Shirak.

The team opens the MLS season on Sunday against D.C. United at StubHub Center at 7 p.m.

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Galaxy game day: Sebastian Lletget inches closer to full health before second leg of CCL quarterfinal

Photo by Steve McCrank // Daily Breeze

Photo by Steve McCrank // Daily Breeze

While Sebastian Lletget battled tightness in his groin throughout most of the preseason, offseason signing Emmanuel Boateng slotted into Lletget’s spot at the left midfield. The 22-year-old Boateng had an encouraging offseason for the Galaxy, despite some offensive miscues in the team’s CONCACAF Champions League debut, so the competition for the starting spot in the left side of the midfield is definitely strong heading into the rest of the season.

Lletget said this week that he is “very, very close to 100 percent” leading up to the second leg of the Galaxy’s CCL quarterfinal match against Santos Laguna on Tuesday (7 p.m., Fox Sports 2, Sportsnet World). He said returning to full fitness is still the main concern, but intends to retain his starting spot when he becomes fully healthy. Continue reading

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Galaxy on-field chemistry progressing after CCL draw

AP Photo

AP Photo

For the first time in his professional career, A.J. DeLaGarza is without Omar Gonzalez. The old college teammates made for a lockdown defensive pairing when they played together for the Galaxy at central defense.

DeLaGarza has a new partner in the backline this season in Jelle Van Damme, who was impressive in his official Galaxy debut. Van Damme was an imposing physical presence on defense for L.A. against Santos, clearing crosses and winning balls with his head. The Belgian defender even got possibly the Galaxy’s best shot of the night as his first-minute header was saved by a diving Santos goalkeeper. Continue reading

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VIDEO: Arena, Keane, Kennedy, de Jong, Van Damme on CCL draw

(AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

(AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

The LA Galaxy were mainly encouraged after their scoreless draw against Santos Laguna on Wednesday. It’s early in the season and the team was content with its defensive performance, especially the games from Dan Kennedy, Nigel de Jong and Jelle Van Damme. Here’s some video from head coach Bruce Arena and players:

 

Bruce Arena

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Arrive early for Galaxy’s CCL quarterfinal against Santos Laguna

stubhubThe LA Galaxy advise fans attending Wednesday’s CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal match at StubHub Center to arrive early to beat traffic and grab parking.

It’s a school night at Cal State-Dominguez Hills, so there will be limited parking available. Fans are encouraged to carpool or take Uber. Those who don’t arrive by 6 p.m. risk missing the beginning of the 7 p.m. match, the Galaxy advise.

Wednesday’s game against Santos Laguna is the Galaxy’s first competitive match in 2016. The team opens MLS competition on March 6 at home against DC United. Continue reading

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Galaxy give up late equalizer in CONCACAF Champions League game, settle for tie

LAGordo

Alan Gordon, pictured against Portland, scored the Galaxy’s only goal in the team’s 1-1 CONCACAF Champions League match against Comunicaciones on Wednesday.

With seconds separating them from the No. 1 seed in the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal, the Galaxy gave up the equalizing goal to Guatemala’s CSD Comunicaciones on Wednesday night, dropping the defending MLS champions from the first seed to the fifth in next year’s quarterfinals.

Rolando Blackburn tapped in the equalizer in the 93rd minute after Agustin Herrera beat both Todd Dunivant and Baggio Husidic on the right side. It was the third straight game in which the Galaxy conceded a goal in the 90th minute or later.

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CONCACAF Champions League links: Galaxy starters rest with eye toward Decision Day

AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu

AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu

The Galaxy already clinched their CONCACAF Champions League group last month, so tonight’s matchup against CSD Comunicaciones (7 p.m./FOX Sports Plus) is just for seeding in next year’s quarterfinals.

After the game against Portland on Sunday, head coach Bruce Arena said he will likely leave all the starters at home to prepare for Sunday’s crucial game against Sporting Kansas City.

Along with the final CCL group game Wednesday, Galaxy fans should be keeping an eye on SKC’s game against Colorado (5:30 p.m., MLS Live). The result could impact the Galaxy’s playoff seeding. If Sporting Kansas City wins or ties, then there’s a little extra pressure on the Galaxy to get points Sunday to get the second seed. (Of course, the easy solution for the Galaxy is that a win equals the No. 2 seed and a bye automatically.)

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Galaxy clinch quarterfinal spot in Champions League with 1-1 draw against Central FC

Photo by Stephen Carr / Daily Breeze

Photo by Stephen Carr / Daily Breeze

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.

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CONCACAF Champions League Video Preview: LA Galaxy visit Central FC at 5 p.m. on Fox Soccer plus

GalaxypoolTraining Trinidad & Tobago-style: The Galaxy are hard at work preparing for their pivotal CONCACAF Champions League game tonight in the Caribbean where the temperature is in the low 90s (Photo by Robert Mora for the LA Galaxy).

For a complete photo gallery, click here.

A game preview is here.

The Trinidad & Tobago perspective is here. The game preview observes that Steven Gerrard, Robbie Keane and Giovanni Dos Santos did not travel for the game.

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