The LA Galaxy may be hours away from their most important match of the season, but it is never too early to save the date for next year's CONCACAF Champions League.
On Monday, CONCACAF announced the dates for the CONCACAF Champions League Quarterfinal round that begins in March of 2013. The LA Galaxy will take on Club Sport Herediano in the Quarterfinal stage with the first leg taking place in San Jose, Costa Rica on March 4 while the second leg will take place at The Home Depot Center on March 11.
The league released their final injury report ahead of the Western Conference Semifinal Second Legs on Tuesday evening.
Below are the injury reports for the LA Galaxy and San Jose Earthquakes
LA -- OUT: DF A.J. DeLaGarza (L knee sprain); DF Leonardo (R knee inflammation); MF Kyle Nakazawa (back spasms); QUESTIONABLE: DF David Junior Lopes (facial fracture); MF Christian Wilhelmsson (R quad tightness)
San Jose - OUT: MF Mehdi Ballouchy (L knee ACL tear); MF Jacob Hustedt (L ankle surgery); DF Tim Ward (L non-specific soft tissue injury); PROBABLE: MF Cesar Diaz Pizarro (R groin strain); FW Alan Gordon (R ankle sprain)
CARSON, Calif. – The math is simple for the LA Galaxy, if they win against the San Jose Earthquakes on Wednesday by one goal, their Western Conference Semifinal will go to Extra time. Win by more than one goal? The Galaxy will advance to the Western Conference Championship. Tie or lose? The Galaxy’s title defense will come to an end.
Currently down a goal on aggregate after Victor Bernárdez put San Jose ahead in stoppage time of the first leg, the Galaxy forward Robbie Keane told reporters that the Galaxy have been in a similar situation this postseason.
“Last week when we played Vancouver, we conceded in the first minute and we scored two goals so it’s kind of the same scenario to be honest with you really. We know that we’re going to any team and playing against anybody and scoring goals,” said Keane. “Obviously, that’s what we’ll be looking to do, but at the same time we have to be clever with the way that we defend because the last thing that we want to do is concede anymore goals.”
Although the Galaxy face a stiff test against a club that is unbeaten against the Galaxy and unbeaten at Buck Shaw Stadium, Keane admits LA is confident of prevailing.
“We know in the locker room that we have got players that are quite capable that when we’re on form that we can beat anybody that will certainly be the case tomorrow,” said Keane. “But at the moment, they’re clearly the favorites; we’re one goal and playing in front of the home crowd. It’s up to them that if they throw it away, it’s up to us to win. They’ll be going in there with the right attitude and mentality to do that.”
But ahead of tomorrow’s match up Keane believes that “it’s all or nothing tomorrow” for the Galaxy.
“We ought to roll our sleeves up and fight hard to try to win this game. If not we’re going home and everyone is going their separate ways to go wherever they want to go. Nobody wants to do that at the moment, we want to stay here as long as we can and retain the championship.
MLSsoccer.com has put out a pair of video previews for Wednesday's match.
On top is a preview for the Galaxy and below a preview from San Jose...
LA: Bruce Arena, Landon Donovan, David Beckham, and Robbie Keane
San Jose: Jon Busch, Chris Wondolowski, Jason Hernandez, and Frank Yallop
CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy's season has come down to one match, win -- by at least two goals or one goal then advancing in penalties -- and their defense of their MLS Cup title will continue, but lose or draw at Buck Shaw Stadium and their season will come to an end.
However, to keep their season alive, the Galaxy must do something that no team has done this season and earn a victory at Buck Shaw Stadium. The San Jose Earthquakes are currently undefeated at Buck Shaw this season going 9-0-6 at their home field. But that isn't the only statistic that works against the Galaxy's favor as LA is winless against San Jose this season with a 0-3-1 record -- the lone draw coming on Oct. 21. at Buck Shaw -- also, just two of the last ten teams that fell in a Conference Semifinal First Leg at home went onto advance to the next round. The last team to come back from that deficit was, in fact, the Earthquakes in 2010, who dropped their home opener to the New York Red Bulls 1-0 before defeating New York 3-1 at Red Bull Arena in the second leg.
And just what do all these numbers mean ahead of Wednesday's Western Conference Semifinal Second Leg? According to Mike Magee, absolutely nothing.
"When you look at the big picture, you realize that it's just one game and we have to win and if we win the game then our season is not over. If you told us that ten games into the season, I think we would have taken it, which is all that really matters," said Magee. "We've played well [at Buck Shaw], we haven't gotten the results that we wanted to, but we've played well there and like I said, all we got to do is win the game, which is something that we're more than capable of doing."
CARSON, Calif. -- On Wednesday, David Beckham will make his first trip to Buck Shaw Stadium and the English midfielder could not have picked a more important match to play in.
After the LA Galaxy fell 1-0 to the San Jose Earthquakes in the Western Conference First Leg, the Galaxy are facing a must-win on Wednesday in the second leg at Buck Shaw.
In 78 minutes of action on Sunday, Beckham shown an ability to create on the left flank against the Earthquakes, but his crosses were unable to find many dangerous areas due to the stingy Earthquakes defense. The fact that the hyper-competitive Beckham was removed after at all, led to surprise for some, but Beckham admitted after the game that his substitution was merely to keep him fresh for Wednesday's decisive second leg. But despite the efforts of Beckham and the Galaxy, a Victor Bernárdez free kick goal in stoppage time gave San Jose the victory heading into the final leg at Buck Shaw.
"It’s always disappointing, especially when you have that much possession, we had quite a few good chances and crosses, especially in the second half, we kind of pushed onto them and were kind of creating chance after chance," said Beckham on Sunday. "If you don’t put one of those away, it can always kill you at the end. I think that them getting their goal was disappointing, but we can take the positives from the chances that we created and the possession that we had."
Beckham admits that LA's frame of mind remains unchanged heading into Wednesday's all-important second leg.
"Our mindset doesn't change going into the game, whether it was nil-nil or, obviously, the result that we got," said Beckham. "We still feel that we'd always have to go to San Jose to win the game. I think that they kind of sat back and in the end, they were going for the draw and accepting that. But obviously, you get a free kick like that then there’s a chance that you're going to score Unfortunately they did, but I think that overall our defending was great throughout the whole game. It’s just tough to concede that late in the game. They've come here and beat us, there’s no reason why we can't go there and beat them. It’s going to be tough."
And what does Beckham think about his first trip to Buck Shaw?
“We'll see,” Beckham said while flashing a smile. “I'll tell you on Wednesday.”
League addresses supporter protocol ahead of Western Conference Semifinal Second Leg at Buck Shaw Stadium
Ahead of what promises to be a heated Western Conference Semifinal Second Leg between the LA Galaxy and San Jose Earthquakes on Wednesday at Buck Shaw Stadium, the league has issued a statement to LA Galaxy Insider regarding the fan incidents that took place during the last time two clubs met at Buck Shaw on Oct. 21.
The league's comment from Executive Vice President Nelson Rodriguez is below:
“The fan incident at the Oct. 21 Earthquakes-Galaxy game was confined and without injury, but also unwanted and extremely rare. The League has reviewed the facts in detail with local authorities, both clubs’ front offices and supporters group leaders. Together we have prepared an enhanced supporter protocol for the Conference Semifinals so that all fans can enjoy a safe and festive soccer match experience.”
This protocol was in action on Monday when nearly 200 San Jose Earthquakes fans traveled to The Home Depot Center without incident for Sunday's 1-0 San Jose win over the Galaxy.
Referee Kevin Stott will officiate Wednesday's Western Conference Semifinal First Leg between the LA Galaxy and San Jose Earthquakes at Buck Shaw Stadium, the Professional Referees Organization announced on Monday.
Stott has officiated five Galaxy games his season -- tied with Jair Marrufo for most of any official -- and one for San Jose. Four of the five games that Stott officiated for the Galaxy were at The Home Depot Center, but his one road game was LA's 3-2 comeback victory over Real Salt Lake on June 20.
Stott's record in matches involving the Galaxy and San Jose is below:
3/10: LA 1 RSL 3 - Fouls: 24 (14 for LA and 10 for RSL ); Cautions: 2 (both to RSL)
5/5: LA 0 NY Red Bulls 1 - Fouls: 24 (11 for LA and 13 for NY); Cautions: 4 (2 for LA and 2 for NY)
6/20: RSL 2 LA 3 - Fouls: 18 (8 for RSL and 10 for LA); Cautions: 4 (3 for RSL and 1 for LA)
8/26: LA 2 FCD 0 - Fouls: 24 (13 for LA and 11 for Dallas); Cautions: 5 (4 for LA and 1 for Dallas)
10/28: LA 1 Seattle 0 - Fouls: 22 (12 for LA and 10 FOR Seattle); Cautions: 3 (2 for LA and 1 for Seattle)
San Jose Earthquakes
7/18: SJ 2 FCD 1 - Fouls: 20 (11 for SJ and 9 for FCD); Cautions: 5 (3 for SJ and 2 for FCD); Penalties: 2 (one each; both missed)
Add another cable company to the list of providers carrying Time Warner Cable Sports Net and Time Warner Cable Deportes.
On Sunday, Time Warner Cable Sports announced in a release that they have reached a deal with Cox Communications to carry the two networks. More details on when the channels will launch on the cable provider are expected shortly. The agreement comes after two weeks after Time Warner Cable Sports reached a deal with Verizon FiOS, Charter Networks, and AT&T U-Verse to carry the two networks.
CARSON, Calif. – Landon Donovan and the LA Galaxy dominated possession and dominated the scoring chances on Sunday, but were unable to earn the win at the final whistle, falling 1-0 to the San Jose Earthquakes in the Western Conference First Leg at The Home Depot Center.
After playing in Thursday’s Knockout Round match on the flank, Donovan returned to the forward spot and was instrumental in creating chances for the Galaxy. Whether it was his pass that led to Robbie Keane’s shot off the cross bar in the 85th or a pass in the 63rd that set up a Marcelo Sarvas chance that sailed wide left, Donovan was active throughout the match.
However, it would prove for not as a Victor Bernárdez free kick goal gave the Earthquakes a 1-0 victory heading into the second leg at Buck Shaw Stadium on Wednesday.
Below are Donovan’s thoughts from Sunday’s match…
DONOVAN: “Yeah, it was never a game you would think that we would lose but, it was kind of one fluke play and we were a little unlucky. We probably weren’t sharp enough in the offensive part of the field, but at worse we thought we’d go up there 0-0 and just have to get a goal. Now it looks like we’ve got to get two. But, it’s not over, we’ve played well there twice this year and there’s no reason why we can’t win there.”
(On whether Sarvas’ foul was a foul…)
DONOVAN: Yeah, I mean during the game we didn’t think it was a foul. I think if you ask Ricardo again, he’d probably say it was a mistake, and he shouldn’t have called it. But we still had a chance to get our wall together and do a better job and those kind of plays happen. Sometimes you don’t get calls for you and you’ve got to do a good job with the resulting free kicks and we didn’t.”
DONOVAN: “Josh will be fine. It took a pretty nasty deflection, and it had a lot of spin on it. None of us field players know what it’s like to have that coming at you. There was some good pace on it too, but I think Josh is going to have a really good game Wednesday and give us a chance to win.”
(On LA’s finishing…)
DONOVAN: “We didn’t have too many great chances, but obviously unlucky with Robbie’s and probably didn’t run hard enough in front of the goal with a lot of the crosses we had. We got a number of decent chances and some good attacking play, and on Wednesday we’ve got to score.”
(On the lack of rest…)
DONOVAN: “It probably plays into it to some extent. This is a long season in this country and we play a lot of games over a short period of time, over only six months so the end of the year is hard. But we put ourselves in that position by finishing fourth, so we have no excuses; we’ll get ourselves ready physically. Mentally this is already behind us, and we’re going to go forward on Wednesday.”
(On the Galaxy’s mindset for Wednesday…)
DONOVAN: “First and foremost, we can’t concede. We’ve got to be smart with our defending, but we’re in a position now we’re we’ve got nothing to lose. So we’re going to go like we have always, we’re going to go and try to win the game. There’s no reason why the guys in this room can’t go win a game in San Jose.”
(On San Jose’s chaotic play…)
DONOVAN: “That’s sort of, we know how they play. The game settled down a little bit in the second half. We were a lot better, kind of wore them out. Quite a few of their guys were cramping, so maybe that will all come into play a little bit on Wednesday. We did a really good job of moving the ball and making them defend, we just weren’t sharp enough when we had chances to score.”