It’s a match made for MLS: the prolific American starring for his local MLS club that plays in Carson a short South Bay skip from his Hawthorne hometown verses the all-time top Mexican scorer in MLS facing off in one of the biggest soccer markets in the country.
The face-off isn’t perfect.
Both players have cooled off of late.
And Torres, who should be pulling in capacity crowds, plays for a uniquely unpopular club fumbling toward oblivion and is virtually unknown compared to revered Mexican stars he has surpassed such as Carlos Hermosillo, Luis Hernandez and Cuauhtémoc Blanco.
Yet players like these represent the future of MLS.
“I was very happy to get my first MLS goal with my feet instead of my head,” DeLaGarza’s fellow central defender, Maryland graduate and good friend Omar Gonzalez said. “I was pretty surprised that it went in and I just ran over to A.J. to lift my shirt with “Luca Knows Heart.” Tomorrow’s a very important day for him and we’re all going to be here for him. I’m happy to get the win for him tonight so he can focus on what he has to focus on tomorrow.”
Finally, it was a good night for returning striker Alan Gordon, too:
The game in Hartford, Conn., is a friendly against Ecuador and will air live on ESPN.
“For 15 years, Landon has thrilled us with his amazing abilities on the field and impressed us with his gracious approach off the field,” said U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati. “We are looking forward to celebrating his legacy during our next home National Team match and allowing fans the opportunity to thank him for all the memories he’s provided over the years.”
There was no quote from Jurgen Klinsmann in the press release, BTW.
Oh, and for the actual column on the upcoming SuperClasico, click here.
This was a more comfortable victory for the Galaxy than the 2-0 scoreline reflected over a Vancouver team seemingly without the self-belief to try for a win in Southern California where the visitors have traditionally performed poorly. Reporter Phil Collin filed the game story.
“There were some choice words (from Arena at halftime) that we absolutely deserved to hear,” Donovan said. “After what happened Saturday, and what happened in the first half, giving up seven goals in a game and a half is unacceptable for this team. The first order of business was defensively to do the job. We were embarrassing defensively, all of us, from front to back. We know we’re good enough to always get chances in games. We wanted to get the second goal. We thought if the second goal came, we could keep pushing. I was really proud of us at 3-3, after that first half a lot of teams would have closed up shop and tried to get a point. That wasn’t enough for us, we wanted to win the game. We needed these three points.”
“Landon dug deep,” Arena said. “I haven’t seen that kind of passion out of Landon in a game in a long time. He wanted to win and be an important part of our team to try to win this game. Landon did a terrific job.”