LA Galaxy to face El Salvador's Isidro Metapan and Costa Rica's Cartaginés in CONCACAF Champions League
The LA Galaxy learned their opponents for the CONCACAF Champions League on Monday after a wild process in CONCACAF that included a re-draw,
LA were inititally placed in Group 8 alongside Mexican giants Cruz Azul and Cartaginés, but due to CONCACAF's rule stating that Mexican and U.S. teams could not meet in the group stage, a re-draw of three groups took place. The Galaxy were ultimately placed in Group 8 with Salvadoran side Isidro Metapan and Costa Rican club .
The 2012 Apertura Champion Isidro Metapan faced the Galaxy in last year's edition of the tournament with LA defeating the Salavadoran side in both matches. Boasting El Salvador internationals Andres Flores, Milton Molina, Eliseo Quintanilla and Alfredo Pacheco, as well as Panamanian forward Nicolas Munoz, Metapan have become one of the most successful clubs in El Salvador as of late with seven titles in the last five years. Metapan play at the Estadio Jorge Calero Suárez, which is two hours outside of San Salvador. Last year, the Galaxy traveled for two hours by bus from the team's hotel in San Salvador to the match.
Cartaginés are making their first ever appearance in the CCL and fell in penalties in the Final of the Costa Rican 2013 Verano championship. But the Costa Ricans earned a ticket into the tournament after CONCACAF allocated a spot to Costa Rica after stripping Belize of their position in the tournament after the federation deemed that the nation did not have a stadium suitable to host a Champions League match. Cartaginés boast a trio of Costa Rican interntionals including forward Randall Brenes, midfielder Mauricio Castillo, and former New York Red Bulls defender Carlos Johnson. The Costa Ricans play at Estadio José Rafael Fello Meza Ivankovich, which is a 13,500 seat stadium with a grass field about 15 minutes outside of San Jose.
The LA Galaxy will learn their two opponents for the 2013-14 CONCACAF Champions League group stage on Monday evening.
The draw will take place in Miami at 5 p.m. PT and will air live on ESPN Deportes. Due to their status as MLS Cup champions, the Galaxy have been placed in Pot A alongside Mexican league champions Club America and Club Tijuana, Costa Rican champions C.S. Herediano, Guatemalan champion Comunicaciones, Honduran side C.D. Olimpia, Arabe Unido of Panama as well as the Supporters' Shield winning San Jose Earthquakes.
LA could be partnered alongside any of the following teams:
Pot B: Cruz Azul (Mexico) Montreal Impact (Canada), Alajuelense (Costa Rica), Victoria (Nicaragua) and Isidro Metapán (El Salvador).
Pot C: Luis Ángel Firpo (El Salvador), Cartaginés (Costa Rica), Guatemala 2, (pending tournament), San Miguelito (Panamá), Real Estelí (Nicaragua), W Connection (Trinidad and Tobago), Valencia FC (Haiti), Caledonia AIA (Trinidad and Tobago).
Above is a photo snapped just after the Galaxy's flight this morning of Boston Harbor and it's final approach to Los Angeles.
The arrival ends an eight-day trip for most of the contigent, who participated in both the club's 2-0 U.S. Open Cup defeat to the Carolina RailHawks as well as the 5-0 loss to the New England Revolution.
Over that period, the Galaxy flew 5,442 miles. LA will return to the road later this week when they take on Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday.
International Update: Robbie Keane scores two and is poised to become Ireland's all-time caps leader
Both Robbie Keane and Omar Gonzalez made significant contributions for their national teams over the weekend.
Keane notched a brace as Ireland demolished Georgia 4-0 in Dublin on Sunday as he tied former teammate Shay Given for Ireland’s all-time appearance record with 125. In fact, Ireland manager Giovanni Trappatoni was incredibly complimentary of Keane’s move to MLS and said that it has revitalized the Ireland captain.
Meanwhile, Gonzalez went the distance in the U.S. National Team’s 4-3 win over Germany at Washington D.C.’s RFK Stadium. The start was Gonzalez’s fifth straight with the U.S.
Both Keane and Gonzalez will be back in action on Friday. Ireland takes on the Faroe Islands in a pivotal World Cup Qualifier while the U.S. take on Jamaica. The two LA stars aren’t the only Galaxy players who may suit up for their country this week as Homegrown right back Oscar Sorto will look to make his Toulon Tournament debut when the U.S. Under-20’s take on Korea Republic on Wednesday.
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Sunday's match was a brutal one for the LA Galaxy, who fell 5-0 to the New England Revolution.
A few notes on the match including some provided by the Galaxy Communications staff below:
*The Galaxy arrived at Gillette Stadium 55 minutes prior to kick off on Sunday after traffic en route.
*The 5-0 defeat ties the club record for the biggest margin of defeat in an MLS regular season game, equaling a 5-0 loss to the MetroStars on June 15, 2002.
*This was also just the second time that the Galaxy have conceded five or more goals in a game under Bruce Arena. LA lost 6-3 to FC Dallas on September 12, 2009 at The Home Depot Center.
*The Galaxy are 0-5-0 in MLS this year when conceding the first goal and 0-7-0 when doing so in all competitions.
*This was the 17th straight game in all competitions this season that the Galaxy have made at least one lineup change.
*According to the team issued game notes: Todd Dunivant (left quad strain), Leonardo (left ankle) and Jack McBean (fractured left clavicle) all missed the game because of injuries.
*Bryan Gaul and Kofi Opare were in the 18-man squad for a regular season for the first time in 2013. Each of LA’s 29 rostered players have been on the gameday squad at least once.
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – LA Galaxy Goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini understands that he didn’t play his best game in the club’s 5-0 defeat to the New England Revolution, but the ‘keeper knows that he’ll need to recover quickly as the club looks forward.
New England put all five of their shots on goal into the back of the net on Sunday, but LA’s collapse truly began in the 70th minute. LA’s defense was caught frozen after a disagreement between referee Fotis Bazakos and assistant referee Adam Garner on whether to call an LA throw in or a New England free kick. Bazakos overruled his assistant and signaled for the free kick, which was quickly taken by Revs midfielder Diego Fagundez, who found Lee Nguyen, who fired the second goal past Cudicini.
Following the second goal, LA pushed forward in hopes of cutting the lead in half, but the Revolution answered with three goals in the final three minutes of the match plus stoppage time to seal the 5-0 deficit. After the match, Cudicini was left feeling, but admitted that there was no excuse for the poor play.
“It’s surprising; I don’t think that it is quite common for the Galaxy to lose 5-0. It happens when we try to score a goal and we open up in the back, which is a recipe for disaster as we showed today,” said Cudicini. “I’ve had a long career so I’ve seen games like this. It’s a pity because we were coming from two good games, but there are no excuses.”
After conceding five goals, Cudicini understands that he’ll open himself up for criticism from the media and others, but he’s looking forward to getting back on the training ground to prove himself next week when LA travels to face Real Salt Lake.
“It’s part of the game. We have to take all the critiques and the bad comments about this game. We’re adults and we have to look forward and we have to get back on track next week,” Cudicini told LA Galaxy Insider. “To be fair, I think that it’s difficult to forget a game like this. Hopefully on Tuesday when we get back on the training ground, we’ll be ready to prepare for next week.”
Below are the highlights -- or lowlights -- of the LA Galaxy's 5-0 defeat to the New England Revolution.
FOXBOROUGH, Mass.— LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena spoke to the media following the LA Galaxy’s 5-0 defeat to the New England Revolution.
Arena’s quotes are below…
(On the result…)
ARENA: “Obviously, at the end, we certainly fell apart. It’s just a game where we actually played well in the first half and probably should have gotten on the board early with the chance that Gyasi [Zardes] had. Give them credit, they took advantage of their opportunities in the first half and they played a great second half.”
(On making changes…)
ARENA: “I’m going to make believe that the last 15 minutes [of the game] didn’t happen, but for the most part our back line played alright. The second goal, let’s be honest, the referee made a big mistake. He caught our whole team on the wrong side of the ball. That happens and that basically determines the game. No excuses on our part.”
(On the team becoming unglued after allowing that second goal…)
ARENA: “Yeah and they shouldn’t have. That’s life, but that’s something that I’m hopeful that the referees and assistant referees can learn from. There’s too many guys to correct that and resolve that issue. It’s a big part of the game, but in all fairness, we weren’t in position to win the game anyway.”
(On the development of Zardes…)
ARENA: “He’s getting there. The job of a forward is to score goal and the one that he had early, he’s got to do better with that chance. He was dangerous; he got a couple of chances. It’s going to take a little time. He’s still a little uncertain with some of his runs, but he’s a nice project to have.”
(On how the team moves forward after the result…)
ARENA: “Very easily. We have a game next week and that’s how we’ll move forward.”
(On Landon Donovan’s development this season…)
ARENA: “He’s getting fitter. He’s got a ways to go. Obviously, [he's] behind the group, but he’s catching up.”
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - The LA Galaxy fell 5-0 to the New England Revolution on Sunday at Gillette Stadium.
Saer Sene scored in the first half before Lee Nguyen, Diego Fagundez, Chad Barrett and Kelyn Rowe all tallied in the second half for the Revolution.
The Galaxy are now 2-4-1 on the road in MLS play and 2-5-1 in all competitions.
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ALLSTON, Mass. – The LA Galaxy trained on Saturday on the campus of Harvard University in their final preparation for Sunday’s match against the New England Revolution.
The training session lasted for a little over an hour in sweltering low-90 degree temperatures on the turf field at Soldier’s Field soccer stadium.
A few notes from training:
DONOVAN BACK TO HIS OLD SELF?: Landon Donovan is feeling a little bit more like his old dynamic self lately. Just a day after being named to the U.S. National Team’s preliminary roster for the 2013 Gold Cup, Donovan admits that he finally feels like he’s back to the player that has led the Galaxy to back-to-back titles.
“I feel like I’m back,” said Donovan. “I feel like I’m in moments, at my best, and last week I felt like even though I didn’t contribute on the score sheet, I feel like it was my best and my most complete game, so I feel like I’m back.’
After his stellar performances against Sporting Kansas City in April and Philadelphia in May, Donovan talked about the need to string together consistent performances. Now as he prepares to play his ninth game this year, he feels that consistent play has arrived.
“It’s there now,” said Donovan. "The Vancouver game was poor, the Philly game was pretty good for the most part, I felt pretty good in the New York game, I just wasn’t very effective, and in the Seattle game I felt great. It’s there now, the confidence is there, the comfort is there, and I’m ready to break out.”
SARVAS SHINES: Marcelo Sarvas is quickly becoming one of the LA Galaxy’s primary contributors.
Until now, he’s done so with little acclaim, despite leading the team in assists with four and being a major cog in the midfield for LA. Earlier this week, however, Sarvas gained some praise from MLSsoccer.com, who named the Brazilian to their “Halfway All-Star Team,” which left the Brazilian beaming.
“I’m happy. I think that every soccer player plays to win games and win titles as well as to be recognized wherever you are, whether you are in Brazil, the United States, England or whatever," said Sarvas. "I’m happy to have the recognition. It’s my second year in this league and it is a big prize for me.”
ROGERS MOVING ALONG: Robbie Rogers went 28 minutes in LA’s 2-0 U.S. Open Cup defeat on Wednesday, but he admitted that he was pleased with his fitness after Saturday’s training session.
“Today I felt really good. I feel like those minutes that I got on Wednesday, really pushed me along,” said Rogers. “I’m going to continue to need minutes like that, so it’s unfortunate that we don’t have any more Open Cup games, but I’ll find them somewhere else.”
The training session also marks Rogers’ first week with the club, which has been a calm one despite the media scrutiny on his status as the first gay male athlete in a major American professional sports league.
“I forgot what it was like being in the hotel with the guys and all that stuff, but it’s actually more relaxing then being at home for me at the moment, just because of the craziness,” said Rogers. “Now I’ve had some time to just sit on my bed and chill, so it’s been really nice.”