CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy take on Club Tijuana in the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal first leg on Wednesday at StubHub Center.
Check out my look ahead to the match below.
*In the Galaxy's last pair of two-leg series, LA have struggled, but they're hoping to learn from the lessons of Monterrey and Real Salt Lake when they play Tijuana.
*Robbie Keane admits that Tijuana's inability showcases a "weakness" that the Galaxy will be looking to exploit on Wednesday.
*LAGalaxy.com's Larry Morgan provides his preview of the match.
*Lastly, check out my video round-up of all of the LAvTJ video content produced by LAGalaxy.com.
MATCHUPS TO WATCH
Juninho vs. Cristian Pellerano
A battle of attacking defensive midfielders, the two players will be looking to set the tempo for their respective teams early on.
Gyasi Zardes vs. Edgar Castillo
Speed vs. Speed. The hyperactive left back will look to push forward into the attack for Tijuana, but look for Zardes to attempt to take advantage of the space left by his agression to help the Galaxy.
Herculez Gomez vs. Omar Gonzalez
Whether Gomez will starts remains to be seen, but if he does, the Galaxy center back will have his hands full with the dangerous attacker. Expect the battle on the field to be as heated as their war of words.
PREDICTED LINEUP: Penedo; DeLaGarza, Gonzalez, Leonardo, Riley; Zardes, Juninho, Sarvas, Donovan; Keane, Samuel
Banter between MLS teams usually produces hilarious results, but this offering from an exchange between the LA Galaxy Twitter account and Sporting Kansas City's twitter may take the cake.
Check it out.
— LA Galaxy (@LAGalaxy) March 12, 2014
CARSON, Calif. -- Club Tijuana's struggles away from Estadio Caliente are well documented, but whether the LA Galaxy will be able to exploit this weakness at StubHub Center remains to be seen.
Heading into their CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal series, Tijuana has gone winless in 19 consecutive league matches, but over that span, the team has won a total of three times away from home during CCL and Copa Libertadores play.
"It's something that we can't think about too much. There's obviously a weakness there somewhere on the road. We have to make sure that we don't give them the opportunity to do so on the road," said LA captain Robbie Keane. "When you haven't won in that long on the road there are some chinks in your armor that we can get at. That's what we're going to try and do."
Think Tijuana will drop another result away from home?
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In the final installment of our LA Galaxy vs. Club Tijuana video series, I take a look at the three most interesting pieces of content that were produced on LAGalaxy.com in the lead up to Wednesday's match.
Check it out below.
CARSON, Calif. -- LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena and forward Landon Donovan spoke to reporters in a press conference at StubHub Center on Tuesday ahead of their CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal against Club Tijuana.
Check it out below.
CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy came into the 2014 campaign eager to learn from the failures of a year ago, and they’ll get their first opportunity to right the wrongs of 2013 when they kick off their CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal series against Club Tijuana on Wednesday.
The two biggest letdowns of 2013 saw the LA Galaxy falter in two-leg series falling to C.F. Monterrey in the CCL Semifinals and Real Salt Lake in the Western Conference Semifinals. Despite being played months apart, both series featured similar problems for the Galaxy as the team was unable to convert a number of scoring opportunities in the home leg before crashing out away from StubHub Center.
To correct these issues, the Galaxy invested heavily in experienced players during the offseason in hopes of turning the club’s fortunes around. A strategy that the team is hoping will pay off come Wednesday evening against Club Tijuana.
“We have to learn our lessons from previous games,” said defender Todd Dunivant, who is expecting to be available for Wednesday’s match after dealing with a nagging injury. “When you talk about previous games, you look at the Monterrey home leg, where we were dominating that game for 80 minutes and feeling confident that we could get another goal or another two goals but we lost our shape and when you do that against good teams it’s going to hurt you. We have to be smart.
“This year, this team has brought in more experienced players with guys like Rob Friend, Stefan Ishizaki that have been in big games and won championships in other countries,” Dunivant added. “There’s definitely a different mood around our clubhouse.”
And the first lesson that the Galaxy must learn? Finish their chances at home.
“In both of those games, we played very well, but we didn't finish our chances and it gets magnified in these series,” said Landon Donovan. “In a series like this, every goal is important. In both of those games, we played well at home, but we couldn’t finish our chances. We just have to be better in front of goal. It’s as simple as that.”
In the latest edition of LAGalaxy.com's "By the Numbers," we look at the LA Galaxy's CONCACAF Champions League Quarterfinals first leg against Club Tijuana.
Check it out below.
The LA Galaxy are looking ahead to their CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal series against Club Tijuana and in the lead up to Tuesday's match, CONCACAF.com spoke to several members of the club on the upcoming tournament.
The video includes a few interesting and dramatic shots of StubHub Center as well as informative interviews so check it out below.
CARSON, Calif. -- Samuel just tries... stuff.
In his MLS debut, new LA Galaxy forward Samuel did not shrink under the pressure as the club's new Brazilian put in a strong debut going 77 minutes alongside LA captain Robbie Keane.
Where the Brazilian was particularly effective was in his ability to hold up the ball while also creating chances for himself -- like a 31st minute shot that forced one of RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando's nine saves -- but one moment of flair stole the show. During the 33rd minute while attempting to escape RSL defender Aaron Maund, Samuel attempted to fire a rainbow kick over the defender that ultimately resulted in a Galaxy free kick.
Although his thoughts on the rainbow remain unknown, Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena was pleased with the Brazilian's debut performance.
"I thought Samuel had a real good game," said Arena following training on Monday. "He's still getting a feel for our team and the league, and the preseason was a period of adjustment, but I think that he's going to get better each game. You see the potential there."
Check out Samuel's audacious rainbow below.
CARSON, Calif. – Mexican teams have long ruled CONCACAF Champions League, but does that make Club Tijuana favorites against the LA Galaxy in this CCL Quarterfinals? Well, it’s not that simple says Club Tijuana forward Herculez Gomez.
In an interview with LAGalaxy.com, Gomez, a former member of the Galaxy, was asked whether Mexican team's 45-19-14 all-time record against MLS teams made Xolos favorites, the U.S. international disagreed, instead stating that LA have the advantage over their Mexican opponents.
“Look if we’re being honest, their salary cap, I don’t even call it a Salary cap. Their player personnel on paper probably outspend ours. We know that it’s going to be a test, but we’re excited,” Gomez told LAGalaxy.com. “We don’t have that huge marquee international player coming in. But we’ve got guys who have worked and stuck to their guns, and made a career out of what they do. In a brief time, they’ve done a lot.”
The response from his Galaxy opponents was pointed as they dismissed the claims of the U.S. international.
“It doesn’t really matter, but I would say as a general statement that the team with the higher payroll is probably the team that’s favored. All these Mexican teams pay their players a lot more money than we do as a whole,” said Donovan. “That’s something that we have to deal with, it’s a disadvantage for us in a lot of ways, but we still compete well and still expect to give them a good series.”
“I usually don’t listen to anything that Herculez Gomez says. He is just full of hot air,” said a smiling Omar Gonzalez. “They can feel whatever they want. I think that they’re a really good team. We won’t underestimate them. They have a lot of quality and a lot of players that don’t want to lose to us. It’s going to be an even match and our second game of the year, so I’m sure that it’ll be a great game. There’s a lot of respect there and I look forward to it.”
Check out the video below.