It was improbable from the outset given the 1-2 first leg loss in Carson last week and the Galaxy’s hopes faded the longer Wednesday’s game went on:
7 p.m. live on Fox Soccer: LA Galaxy at Monterrey
The LA Galaxy will seek to do what the Seattle Sounders couldn’t on Tuesday — and in fact perform a feat no other club has ever completed in the competition — when they face Monterrey tonight in the second leg of their CONCACAF Champions League semifinal.
After last week’s disappointing loss on home soil, it’s a tall order and the Galaxy know it:
Meanwhile, the game isn’t over — yet, literally — but some are already writing the MLS postmortem in the competition.
For those not discouraged by that, there’s a viewing party in Long Beach tonight:
GALAXY VIEWING PARTY TONIGHT 6PM SEE BOTH CHAMPIONSHIP CUPS AND SUPPORT OUR TEAM!!!
— Gallaghers Pub&Grill (@GallaghersLBC) April 10, 2013
Chivas USA’s erstwhile opponents, the Seattle Sounders face a massive task tonight (the key phrase in the linked story is that no team has ever overcome a first leg Champions league deficit in a dozen tries), while mathematically speaking the Galaxy’s task Wednesday is even greater.
More on the Galaxy game later.
An evening that started so promisingly for the Galaxy before the largest crowd — more than 20,000 — ever to watch a CONCACAF Champions League in Carson ended with their capitulation at the tail end of the contest that allowed Monterrey to score twice in the closing eight minutes to swipe a victory and take a seemingly insurmountable advantage in the two-game series.
And the Galaxy only had themselves to blame:
#lagalaxy back four “very poor” in last 10 mins, said Bruce Arena.
— Nick Green (@LAsoccerblog) April 4, 2013
Staff Writer Phil Collin has the game story. One clarification to the article: away goals count double if the game is tied on aggregate. Thus the Galaxy can win the series with a 2-0 win in Mexico (2-3 on aggregate), but they need to win by two clear goals whatever the score.
Defender A.J. DeLaGarza sounded a hopeful note on Twitter, but his sheepish post-game reaction suggests an Arena tongue-lashing in the locker room after the game:
Still 90 more minutes…
— AJ DeLaGarza (@AJD_20) April 4, 2013
If the Galaxy were under any illusions about the magnitude of the task facing them tonight in Carson, they were dispelled Tuesday as fellow MLS CONCACAF Champions League semifinalists Seattle were outclassed at home by Herculez Gomez and Santos Laguna.
The 1-0 scoreline did not adequately reflect the dominance of the Mexican visitors who were clearly superior to a Sounders team struggling with an insipid start to the season.
If the Galaxy are looking for crumbs of comfort they can point to a poor recent away record in Liga MX play for the visitors and their own firepower that has sizzled to start the season as I pointed out in this week’s column.
Mike Magee, he of five goals in five games that plopped him atop the MLS scoring charts, was named the league’s player of the month today, while Inglewood’s Jose Villareal continues to impress.
I plan to Tweet from the game tonight @lasoccerblog, while Staff Writer Phil Collin will have a full game wrap later here.
Galaxy 4 Herediano 1
An entertaining, virtuoso performance over an admittedly inferior opponent that showcased the Galaxy’s abundant pipeline of young, local attacking talent wrote another page of club history tonight in Carson.
It’s the sort of tuneup for a derby managers dream about and another early season indication the Galaxy are in a confident, purposeful mood.
Accomplished goals by Inglewood’s Jose Villarreal — who received a standing ovation from a crowd aware it was witnessing a special, blossoming talent as he came off late in the game — and Newport Beach’s Jack McBean were highlights, but wiley Robbie Keane led by example and helped himself to a goal, too.
Phil Collin has the game story.
Looking forward to the CCL semi finals in Monterrey!Can’t wait to see my entire family down there… It’s been WAY too long. #family
— Omar Gonzalez (@Omar4Gonzalez) March 14, 2013
For both sides of the Atlantic.
Read the column here.
More on the task ahead for Lionel Messi and Barcelona is here.
Going to Wednesday’s Galaxy game? Essential gameday info is here.
Count the Galaxy impressed.
I plan to Tweet this evening from the Galaxy CONCACAF Champions League game @lasoccerblog, while MLS beat writer Phil Collin will have a full game wrap here tonight.
Vacationing Galaxy playmaker Landon Donovan will return to the club the week of March 24, coach Bruce Arena confirmed Monday — albeit somewhat reluctantly.
Citing burnout, Donovan had requested additional time off and used it to head to Cambodia for a vacation as the MLS season began. The club had said the last week of March was his projected return date, but this is the first time a specific date was mentioned. Since the Galaxy customarily take the Sunday following a game off, Donovan is expected back on Monday, March 25, Arena indicated.
“He’s filed for social security benefits and discovered he’s too young for them at the moment,” quipped Arena.
The announcement came as the Galaxy prepared for their second leg of their CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal against Costa Rican team Herediano. The teams played to a 0-0 tie in the first leg last Thursday in the Central American country.
Capacity for Wednesday’s game at 24,500-seat Home Depot Center has been capped at 12,500, Galaxy President Chris Klein said today (it’s a school night for Cal State Dominguez Hlls, so attendace is limited to ensure students have parking available).
Arena also confirmed today that injured reserve central defender Tommy Meyer has returned to training.
I’ll have more on this week’s CCL game and Sunday’s SuperClasico in this week’s column on Tuesday.
Incidentally, it appears empathy for Donovan is wearing thin among the ranks of some fans:
— Christian (@cjkxx) March 11, 2013
@lasoccerblog He needs to man up and everyone needs to stop making excuses for him. So many guys in their 30′s wish they had that job.
— JuliusCesar25 (@JuliusCesar25) March 11, 2013
The LA Galaxy resume their CONCACAF Champions League campaign tonight in Costa Rica. A preview is here.
The game and competition doesn’t have the allure of the Manchester United-Real Madrid UEFA Champions League game –or even the Xolos’ remarkable run in the Copa Libatadores — but you can watch it live in Long Beach at 5 p.m. with other Galaxy fans on Fox Soccer.
Better yet, follow the team to Costa Rica in the latest installment of the LA Galaxy documentary following the team’s participation in the tournament.