Beat

24 August 4:12 pm

CARSON, Calif. -- A left hamstring strain prevented LA Galaxy captain Landon Donovan from taking part in the club's 5-2 victory over Isidro Metpan on Thursday and LA head coach Bruce Arena is taking a wait and see approach when it comes to Donovan's availability for Sunday's match against FC Dallas. 

Donovan was placed on the club's injury report on Friday and listed as questionable due to a left hamstring strain. Following training on Friday, Arena told reporters that the Galaxy captain's status remains in question for Sunday. 

“Don’t have anything at this point. There’s a chance that he’ll play," said Arena. "We have to have lineup by 3pm on Sunday so we’ll try to take advantage of that time as best we can.”

The Galaxy head coach also provided an update on the status of forward Edson Buddle, who remains listed as out due right knee surgery. Arena admitted that he was hopeful that the 31-year-old forward would be able to make his return soon, but no return date has been set.

“He’s getting there. He trained today," Arena said. "We expect him to be back in action in the near future. Don’t have a date for that.”

24 August 3:15 pm

CARSON, Calif. -- Make no mistake, LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena is not stressing over Thursday night's wild 5-2 LA Galaxy victory over Isidro Metapan in CONCACAF Champions League play. But that does not mean that the head coach is pleased with the way the match was run.

Following the game, Arena was vocal with his displeasure about the decisions by referee Alfredo Peñaloza to award a red card to Robbie Keane in the 70th minute and then a yellow card to Michael Stephens in the 80th minute as the midfielder was stepping on the field.  Just hours later, reporters caught up with the Galaxy head coach following LA's training session and Arena admitted that the team will have no problem getting over the wild result.

"Get over it? It wasn’t a funeral. Just a classic CONCACAF game. It really doesn’t change, we probably could have written that script a week ago. Every game looks like that in CONCACAF."

(On perhaps getting a Canadian referee in CCL?)

ARENA: “They should give us a Canadian referee or an English speaking referee, a Jamaica or anyone in those kind of games. We’ve opened up with Mexican referees in the last two years of the competition and it’s been very bizarre. Very bizarre.”

23 August 11:19 pm

CARSON, Calif. -- Before we turn the page from Thursday's 5-2 LA Galaxy CONCACAF Champions League victory over Isidro Metapan, a few notes:

*Following the match, head coach Bruce Arena said that he was "hopeful" that LA captain Landon Donovan will be able to play on Sunday against FC Dallas. 

*David Beckham's first half goal was the 1,000th goal in CONCACAF Champions League history. This dates back since the tournament was rebranded from the former CONCACAF Champions Cup. 

*Juninho is now the Galaxy's all-time leading goal scorer in the tournament with four goals. 

*Robbie Keane's red card will render him unavailable for next week's CCL match against the Puerto Rico Islanders.

For more on the match, consult my Three Points to the game and LAGalaxy.com's postgame interview with A.J. DeLaGarza

Below are the highlights from the match. 

23 August 10:55 pm

CARSON, Calif. – It was without doubt an emotional game for all of the LA Galaxy players and defender Sean Franklin was no different. 

Franklin found himself targeted for wide stretches of the match by Metapán’s left sided midfielders—particularly Paolo Suarez—but the right back did not budge as he by and large prevented the Salvadorans from exploiting the flanks.

Below are Franklin’s thoughts on the match. On the emotional end to the match…) FRANKLIN: “It was pretty crazy. There was a lot of calls that obviously were a little unfair. It’s part of the game, there’s going 
to be bad calls and at times, you’ll have to play with a man down and I thought our team did well and handled that over the last 20 minutes of the game.”  

(On dealing with the referees…)

FRANKLIN: “It’s all part of the game, it’s all about our character and how we handle it and I thought our team did well. I think we got two goals after we were down a man and we got to do the same thing next week when we play against Puerto Rico. We don’t know how the refs are going to be, we don’t know how the games are going to go. It’s all about adjusting to it and making sure that we do our part.”

(On getting a result…)

FRANKLIN: “It’s big, we got to win the games at home. We don’t want to drop points here and we knew that they were going to come in and play for a point. I thought that we did well at attacking them and I think the score could have been even higher if we finished our chances. They had some great chances too, but at the end of the day, we got three points.”

(On Metapán’s targeting of his side of the field…)

FRANKLIN: “They threw a lot of numbers on their left side. They had some good chances with a lot of crosses and they’re a little bit dangerous. But once we settled down and started playing our soccer, we showed why we won the game 5-2.”

23 August 10:24 pm

CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy may have picked up a 5-2 victory over Isidro Metapan in their CONCACAF Champions League opener, but the story of the match was referee Alfredo Penaloza's decision to send off Galaxy forward Robbie Keane in the 70th minute of play.

Following the match, Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena was particularly vocal about the way that the match was officiated and his comments are below...

ARENA: "Making a transition into this circus sometimes is unbelievable. It's very difficult on MLS teams. I sometimes wonder why we spend all the resources and time we do in this competition when sometimes it looks really bizarre. But we've had enough time to be ready for this game. Maybe little bit of the layoff affected us. But there's no excuses on our part, it should be -- that game should be five or six goal margin playing with 11 players. Period.

(On Robbie Keane's red card...)

ARENA: "I don't know. The ref missed the call and typical, we've seen in these competitions, the referees think they're bigger than the game itself and they've got to put themselves ahead of everything, I guess he felt he should not be, I don't know.  Robbie spoke, said something, whatever, but when a referee misses a call like that, he's got to be big enough to kind of ignore it and let the game go on. So a player gets a yellow card for diving when he's fouled and then obviously a red card for, I don't even know. They didn't explain anything to us."

(On Stephens' yellow...)

ARENA: "I've never seen a player like Mike Stephens come into a game and get a yellow card like that so that's a mystery in itself. Its something that's part of the CONCACAF experience and there's no excuses for it. At this time in this competition, after all these years, it's got to be better."

23 August 2:02 pm

We're just hours away from tonight's CONCACAF Champions League match between the LA Galaxy and Isidro Metapán.

For a little bit of pregame reading, check out LAGalaxy.com staff writer Larry Morgan's preview of the match as well as MLSsoccer.com's Scott French's own take on the important CCL game. 

Lastly, be sure to read the Three Points to the match and consult the match report for all of the other pieces ahead of tonight's game. 

PREDICTED LA GALAXY LINEUP: Saunders; Franklin, DeLaGarza, Gonzalez, Dunivant; Sarvas, Beckham, Juninho, Jimenez, Magee, Keane 

23 August 10:32 am

A good gameday morning to everyone out there. 

As we inch closer to tonight's CONCACAF Champions League match between the LA Galaxy and Salvadoran club Isidro Metapán, be sure to check out my Three Points to the match before heading out to The Home Depot Center

I'll have a few more updates as we get closer to tonight's 7pm kick off time.

22 August 3:23 pm

CARSON, Calif. -- For MLS clubs in the CONCACAF Champions League, dealing with highly defensive opponents is part of the game and the LA Galaxy expect it to be no different when they host Salvadoran club Isidro Metapán on Thursday at The Home Depot Center. 

Although Metapán are considered to be one of the most dynamic offensive clubs in their native land, even the most offensive clubs often opt for a defense first approach or "bunkering" when playing in MLS or Mexican opposition in CCL play. Expected to drop as many as ten players back, the Salvadorans will likely look to clog the midfield and limit the Galaxy from creating scoring chances due to their added numbers in the back. This approach places the onus on forwards Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane as well as the Galaxy midfield to break a group that is expected to be highly compact and organized in front of goal. 

Below are thoughts from Keane and Donovan on facing a Metapán side expected to be highly defensive on Thursday: 

KEANE: "I certainly think that probably will be the case tomorrow, but its a good test for the players, because we're going to come up against teams like that also in the league. It's good that we know how to deal with that, how to break teams down."

DONOVAN: "That would be the expectation. If that changes, we will be surprised I think, but we deal with that a lot here and having to break teams down, and tomorrow will be the same."

22 August 2:24 pm

CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy may be dealing with injury issues heading into Thursday's CONCACAF Champions League match against Isidro Metapán, but they are not alone. 

According to El Gráfico, El Salvador's largest sports daily newspaper, four Metapán players did not make the trip to the United States due to visa issues including starting center back Ernesto Aquino. Also according to the Salvadoran daily , Metapán trained with the following formation before coming to Southern California: GK Fidel Mondragón; RB: Luis Perla, CB: Ricardo Alvarado, CB: Milton Molina, LB: Alfredo Pacheco; RM: Cristian Sanchez, CM: Omar Mejia, CM: Ramon Sanchez, LM: Paolo Suarez; FWD: Eliseo Quintanilla, FWD: Nicolas Muñoz.

Below is a thought from Galaxy midfielder David Beckham on the Salvadoran club:

"We've always respected teams like we'll be playing tomorrow. It doesn't matter if we've heard too much about them. They've still got a very good team unit and we know enough about them to know that we have to play well to win the game. We're well aware of the players, and well aware of individual players that they have, its about our own game and If we play our own game, then we're difficult to stop. But we've got to do that."

22 August 1:47 pm

CARSON, Calif. -- Landon Donovan is still dealing with a left hamstring strain that has his status in question for Thursday's CONCACAF Champions League opener against Isidro Metapán.

The injury first surfaced "about ten minutes in" during last Wednesday's U.S. friendly victory over Mexico at the Estadio Azteca and ultimately caused him to be subbed out at half time of the 1-0 U.S. win. Although he is not listed on the club's injury report, Donovan confirmed to reporters following Wednesday's training session that it was a mild strain, but the Galaxy captain is hopeful that he'll be able to play a role on Thursday. 

"We're going to see how it is tomorrow. We'll kind of play it by ear and hope that I can contribute tomorrow."