What to Watch: LA Galaxy hope to clinch berth in CCL Semis against Club Tijuana

18 March 3:47 pm

What to Watch: LA Galaxy hope to clinch berth in CCL Semis against Club Tijuana

TIJUANA – The stage is set.

The LA Galaxy will take on Club Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles de Caliente on Tuesday night (7:00 pm on FoxSports 2/Galavision) with a berth in the CONCACAF Champions League semifinals on the line. LA hold a 1-0 aggregate goal advantage after defeating Tijuana at StubHub Center last week.

Of note: The LA Galaxy advance with a win or scoreless draw. If the Galaxy end up scoring first, Tijuana would need to score three goals to win the series outright. Should Tijuana win the game by one goal, the Galaxy would advance on the away goals rule.

LINKS:

*Winning on the road was a hallmark of the LA Galaxy’s past MLS Cup winning sides and as they look to return to that form, the Galaxy believe that a result in Tijuana will help them accomplish that goal.

*Looking to prevent them from doing so will be a raucous crowd that is expected to be boisterous once the match kicks off.

*In the latest edition of “What to Watch” Joe Tutino and Cobi Jones break down the game

*Galaxy newcomer James Riley looks back on his experience with Seattle Sounders FC when they became the second – and last – MLS team to win a CCL game in Mexico.

*In LAGalaxy.com’s Larry Morgan’s preview piece, the Galaxy state that they’re ready for “war” against Tijuana.

*The magnitude of the match didn’t stop LA Galaxy captain Robbie Keane from having a little fun in training with a crazy trick shot at the Estadio Caliente on Monday.

*Ahead of the match, I spoke to Mexican soccer reporter Tom Marshall on the implications of the game against Tijuana

*Lastly, my LAGalaxy.com preview from Tijuana on Keane and the Galaxy weathering the Tijuana storm.

KEY NUMBERS:

*MLS teams are 2-26-5 record all-time in Mexico during the CONCACAF Champions League with a 0-7-2 record in knockout round games.

*LA Galaxy are 2-3-0 all-time against Mexican competition in the CONCACAF Champions League.

*Tijuana is unbeaten in 17 of their last 18 matches at home. Their last home defeat came against Chiapas Jaguar in February who administered a 3-0 beat down to Xolos.  

*Club Tijuana is unbeaten in continental competition over the last year with a 5-0-0 record.

KEY MATCHUPS:

DARIO BENEDETTO VS. OMAR GONZALEZ

The Argentine striker was a handful in his cameo appearance in the first leg and will likely be looking to test Gonzalez early and often as Tijuana look to erase their deficit.

JUNINHO AND MARCELO SARVAS VS. CRISTIAN PELLERANO AND FERNANDO ARCE

Pellerano is an offensive force, but where Juninho can stop his run—and the Xolos attack—is by scooping up second balls and limiting the turnovers that plagued LA in the second half.

JAIME PENEDO VS. CLUB TIJUANA OFFENSE

Jaime Penedo stood on his head to keep the Galaxy ahead in their first leg victory against the Xolos and they’ll need another performance like last week’s to advance to the CCL semifinals.

PREDICTED LINEUP:

Penedo; DeLaGarza, Gonzalez, Leonardo, Riley; Zardes, Juninho, Sarvas, Donovan; Keane, Samuel

PREDICTION:

LA 1 TJ 2