MONTERREY, Mexico – We’re just a few hours from Wednesday night’s CONCACAF Champions League Semifinal second leg between the LA Galaxy and C.F. Monterrey.
To get you prepared for kick off, check out my links, matchups to watch and my predicted lineup below…
*When Omar Gonzalez takes the field at Estadio Tecnológico, he play within the same lines as his uncle Lalo Rodriguez Plata, I spoke to both about Gonzalez's connections to Monterrey.
* Landon Donovan may end up playing extended minutes for the LA Galaxy in their do-or-die match up and Donovan spoke at length about what is needed for LA to advance: goals and leadership.
*Michael Stephens struggled late in LA’s 2-1 defeat, but he’s eager to return to form if called upon in the second leg.
*Lastly, read my Three Points to the game.
MATCHUPS TO WATCH
OMAR GONZALEZ vs. ALDO DE NIGRIS
Old friends turned adversaries; Gonzalez will need one of the best games of his career to handle De Nigris and his strike partner Humberto Suazo. Gonzalez and the Galaxy backline had success against Monterrey in the first leg, but total focus and concentration will be needed for LA to wrap up the Rayados attack.
ROBBIE KEANE VS. JOSE MARIA BASANTA
The veteran internationals tasseled repeatedly in the first leg, but for the Galaxy to advance over Monterrey, they will need a big game from Keane. The Irishman’s guile tested Bastanta several times in the first leg, but the Argentine will be a formidable foe for Keane.
TODD DUNIVANT vs. CESAR DELGADO
Delgado looks poised to start for Los Rayados after a strong game in the first leg. As a second half substitute, the Argentine was influential in creating a goal for LA and left back Todd Dunivant will have a major test if he is to shut down the winger.
Cudicini; DeLaGarza, Gonzalez, Leonardo, Dunivant; Franklin, Juninho, Sarvas, Magee; Donovan, Keane
MONTERREY, Mexico -- It's game day in Monterrey and to get you prepared, LAGalaxy.com videographer Paolo Ferrari has provided this preview video, which was produced following the LA Galaxy's final training session on Tuesday.
My own piece from training which emphasized the triple digit temperatures that LA trained in at the Estadio Tecnológico, can be found here. Luckily for the Galaxy, the forecast calls for temperatures in the mid-70's during the game and 74 degrees at kick off.
Watch the video below...
MONTERREY, Mexico -- In preparation for Wednesday night's CONCACAF Champions League Semifinal second leg between the LA Galaxy and C.F. Monterrey, I spoke to a pair of notable soccer podcasts to preview the important match.
First up, I spoke to Jason Davis' "American Soccer Morning" podcast on the North American Soccer Network. Don't just listen to my interview as Davis also interviews former LA Galaxy defender and current Hammarby IF manager Gregg Berhalter about his club's prospects for the upcoming season.
Lastly, I joined MLSsoccer.com's "March to the Match" alongside Nicolas Rosano to preview the Galaxy's CCL tie.
MONTERREY, Mexico -- Omar Gonzalez's visit to Monterrey is headline news in Mexico ahead of Wednesday's CONCACAF Champions League Semifinal second leg, but in this feature for LAGalaxy.com, I speak to Gonzalez and his uncle former Monterrey captain Everardo “Lalo” Rodriguez Plata about the Galaxy's defender's past in Monterrey.
As for how Gonzalez is reacting to the increased attention in Monterrey, the LA Galaxy defender spoke about it to the media on Tuesday.
" I think it’s great that everyone found out that I’m from this city and that I have a lot of ties to this city and this is a great city even though it’s a little dangerous right now and I always still love coming back to visit," said Gonzalez.
MONTERREY, Mexico -- The stage is set, the LA Galaxy will face C.F. Monterrey for the right to face Santos Laguna in the CONCACAF Champions League final.
Santos knocked out Seattle Sounders FC 2-1 on aggregate despite a late charge by Seattle. On Wednesday, the Galaxy will look to erase their own 2-1 deficit against Los Rayados at the Estadio Tecnologico.
My Three Points to the game are below...
Agree with my points? Disagree?
Share your thoughts below.
MONTERREY, Mexico – The LA Galaxy were close to knocking off C.F. Monterrey in the first leg of their CONCACAF Champions League semifinal, now if they are to pull off an impressive comeback, finishing the match will be key.
Speaking to reporters prior to the club’s training session on Tuesday, LA Galaxy captain Landon Donovan stressed that a complete performance –with zero late goals— will be mandatory if LA is to advance past the two-time defending CCL winners.
“I think we turned off a bit on some plays [in the first leg]and it’s been a little bit of a characteristic of our team so far this year. So us older guys, us leaders need to take more control in those situations and make sure that we don’t get sloppy and give up late goals,” said Donovan. “ We've given up too many late goals, too many chances immediately after we score goals, we've given up too many opportunities late in games that we were better in, so we've got to be better about that.”
If they can manage that, than Donovan believes that a result is possible, regardless of the odds.
“ We've got a lot of players who've played in these games, know how to deal with these games and we have a lot of quality on our team,” Donovan said.” Is it a perfect scenario? No, but there’s every chance we can make something happen and pull off a special result.”
LAGalaxy.com videographer Paolo Ferrari has provided the following video preview of Wednesday's CONCACAF Champions League Semifinal second leg between the LA Galaxy and C.F. Monterrey.
Watch the video below...
CARSON, Calif. – Landon Donovan has a pair of appearances under his belt after taking a two-and-a-half month sabbatical and now he may be asked to play a greater role in the LA Galaxy’s CONCACAF Champions League Semifinal second leg against C.F. Monterrey on Wednesday.
Heading into his third week of training with the club, Donovan admits that he is feeling fitter each day as he looks to regain the scoring touch that made him a valued member in LA’s consecutive MLS Cup winning sides.
"I feel great," Donovan told reporters following LA's final training session in Southern California before departing for Mexico. "We obviously have a busy week. We’ve got the game in Mexico and then the Dallas game which is obviously a big game for us. I think Bruce wants to be smart in how he uses a lot of people, myself included, but I feel great and when they’re ready to use me then I’m ready."
Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena told reporters on Monday that it was doubtful that Donovan could go a full 90 minutes, but the Galaxy attacker admitted that he won’t know how fit he truly is until he starts logging substantial minutes.
“I feel pretty fit, but to play a full game. I feel pretty fit, but until you play a full game, you’re not back to full fitness,” said Donovan. “If I’m called upon on Wednesday then I’ll go as long as I can and give us much as I can and we’ll see what happens.”
Would you like to see Donovan get the start on Wednesday? Or would you want him to come off the bench against Monterrey?
Share your thoughts.
MONTERREY, Mexico --The LA Galaxy have arrived in Monterrey, Mexico ahead of their CONCACAF Champions League Semifinal second leg against C.F. Monterrey on Wednesday.
As you can expect -- and as evidenced by the tweet below -- there were several members of the Mexican media who were waiting for the club upon their landing eager to speak to Galaxy attacker Landon Donovan.
— Adam Serrano (@LAGalaxyInsider) April 9, 2013
Once the Galaxy settled in their hotel, however, the team was able to enjoy the NCAA Men's Basketball National Championship as Greg Cochrane and Kenney Walker's Louisville Cardinals triumphed over Kofi Opare's Michigan Wolverines. A few select tweets from the viewing party are below.
— Rafael Garcia(@Rafizzy07) April 9, 2013
Hey @kofiopare6.. Who won the national title game? I missed it.
— Greg Cochrane (@gregcoch) April 9, 2013
— Kofi Opare (@kofiopare6) April 9, 2013
National champs lets go!!!
— Greg Cochrane (@gregcoch) April 9, 2013
CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy find themselves down 2-1 on aggregate to C.F. Monterrey ahead of their CONCACAF Champions League Semifinal second leg tie down in Mexico.
Conventional wisdom would say that the LA Galaxy need an early goal to have a chance to nick Monterrey, but Galaxy attacker Landon Donovan affirms that LA just needs two goals, when they come, is immaterial.
"Well, you need two goals. We’ve all seen plenty of soccer games, where you score in the 80th and you score in the 85th or you in the 85th and you score in the 90th. That’s the way this game is, that’s the beauty of it. All we need is one goal at some point and we don’t concede more than a goal and try to get a second," said Donovan. "We’re going to go in with that attitude, we’re not going to go crazy exposing ourselves early, but we’re going to go and try to be aggressive."
Overcoming any deficit is a challenge and while Mexico poses a unique challenge, Donovan is confident that the Galaxy have the experience and talent to defeat Monterrey.
"Our guys are experienced enough so they know how these games go. We’re prepared in that way, I think the remainder will be with the away goals count, we need to get two goals, which way you slice it. Even if they score a goal, hope isn’t lost. We score a goal and then we’ve got a chance to score another," said Donovan.
"Ideally, we don’t give up any goals, but even if we do give up a goal then we have to score another to at least get into to overtime or advance over 90 minutes," Donovan added. "That’s the goal, we have to go there and score goals. It’s kind of nice when you know that because we’re not going there to tie the game, we’re going there to win it and we’re just going to go for it."
Two of the club's stars with European experience -- Carlo Cudicini and Robbie Keane -- touch on their experiences in the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League below.