Well, them and experienced backups Pablo Mastroeni and Chivas USA castoff Laurent Courtois in what was by all accounts an unattractive grind of a game, but got the home team exactly the result they needed both in this competition and to set up Saturday’s big clash against Seattle with rested regulars. Beat writer Phil Collin was at the game and filed this report.
Here’s the Galaxy starting XI, which included two players making their Galaxy debuts, BTW: Brian Rowe – Rafael Garcia, Tommy Meyer, Kofi Opare, Greg Cochrane – Michael Stephens, Pablo Mastroeni, Laurent Courtois – Jose Villarreal, Jack McBean, Chandler Hoffman
*The Galaxy play tonight at 7 o’clock in their second CONCACAF Champions League group game in Carson.
*Meanwhile, Saturday’s opponents have a surplus of options for their starting XI.
*Chivas USA President Jose David, a non-soccer guy much reviled by the club’s hardcore supporters, is out after just 11 months in the job where he was better known for spawning racial discrimination lawsuits than success on the field, replaced by a lawyer and bean counter from the mothership. Ho hum.
Despite starting an unusually large number of regulars (there were still six changes to the lineup that faced Real Salt Lake Saturday), it took Landon Donovan coming on as a substitute for the Galaxy to unlock the rear guard action of their Costa Rican opponents Tuesday in Carson in a CONCACAF Champions League opener the home team wanted to win by two clear goals.
MLS beat writer Phil Collin was one of 9,474 on hand for the game and filed this report.
Notable: Defender Kofi Opare made his debut and midfielder Robbie Rogers will undergo a scan today to determine the severity of a hamstring issue that forced him from the game prematurely.
Quotable: “It wasn’t a convincing performance but we played well enough to certainly win the game,” said striker Robbie Keane. “It’s always nice to get a couple of goals because goal difference is very important in this [competition.]”
Here’s the significance of the win in the tournament, according to the Galaxy website:
The Galaxy are now tied with Cartagines for the top spot in Group 8. Both teams have three points with the Galaxy standing at 1-0-0 while Cartagines are 1-1-0. Isidro Metapan are in third place with an 0-1-0 record and no points.
The Galaxy also have the best goal difference in the group at +2 while Cartagines are even and Metapan are -2.
It figures in a column about the Galaxy’s visibility among general sports fans in Southern California, the piece would go AWOL — on our own web sites (and we’re still awaiting the return of the dedicated soccer page on our websites since a radical redesign last week, in case you were wondering, BTW).
Still, you can belatedly read the column online as the Galaxy embarks on their final 10-game MLS stretch as well as the start of the CONCACAF Champions League tonight in Carson here.
Incidentally, regular Galaxy sellouts at home may be a thing of the past in Carson, but not elsewhere.
The Vancouver Whitecaps announced today that fewer than 1,000 tickets remain for Saturday’s game against the Galaxy.
Real Salt Lake, who vanquished Chivas USA last weekend, are now looking to do the same to the Galaxy, who make the trek to Utah for a game Saturday. Sister newspaper The Salt Lake City Tribune has more here.
Give blood Friday at the Cedars-Sinai Rita and Taft Schreiber Blood Donor Facility, 8700 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles and receive a free pair of tickets to an unspecified Galaxy game. Walk-ins are welcome, appointments recommended. Call 310-423-2637. As a bonus, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. the Galaxy’s 2011 and 2012 MLS Cups will be on display there, too.
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.
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: