CARSON, Calif. – Mexican teams have long ruled CONCACAF Champions League, but does that make Club Tijuana favorites against the LA Galaxy in this CCL Quarterfinals? Well, it’s not that simple says Club Tijuana forward Herculez Gomez.
In an interview with LAGalaxy.com, Gomez, a former member of the Galaxy, was asked whether Mexican team's 45-19-14 all-time record against MLS teams made Xolos favorites, the U.S. international disagreed, instead stating that LA have the advantage over their Mexican opponents.
“Look if we’re being honest, their salary cap, I don’t even call it a Salary cap. Their player personnel on paper probably outspend ours. We know that it’s going to be a test, but we’re excited,” Gomez told LAGalaxy.com. “We don’t have that huge marquee international player coming in. But we’ve got guys who have worked and stuck to their guns, and made a career out of what they do. In a brief time, they’ve done a lot.”
The response from his Galaxy opponents was pointed as they dismissed the claims of the U.S. international.
“It doesn’t really matter, but I would say as a general statement that the team with the higher payroll is probably the team that’s favored. All these Mexican teams pay their players a lot more money than we do as a whole,” said Donovan. “That’s something that we have to deal with, it’s a disadvantage for us in a lot of ways, but we still compete well and still expect to give them a good series.”
“I usually don’t listen to anything that Herculez Gomez says. He is just full of hot air,” said a smiling Omar Gonzalez. “They can feel whatever they want. I think that they’re a really good team. We won’t underestimate them. They have a lot of quality and a lot of players that don’t want to lose to us. It’s going to be an even match and our second game of the year, so I’m sure that it’ll be a great game. There’s a lot of respect there and I look forward to it.”
Check out the video below.
CARSON, Calif. -- Contrary to the LA Galaxy, Club Tijuana will enter the CONCACAF Champions League Quarterfinal series on a winning note after dispatching C.D. Guadalajara 2-0 at Estadio Caliente on Friday evening.
Tijuana controlled much of the match from the early stages as Chivas struggled to generate much offense going forward. Argentine forward Dario Benedetto put the home side out in front after just 23rd minutes with an impressive right-footed screamer that blew past Guadalajara goalkeeper Jose Rodriguez. Benedetto was involved again in the 73rd minute when he found a waiting Jaime Ayovi for the final goal.
Club Tijuana will now travel to Southern California for their match against the Galaxy before taking on Cruz Azul in Mexico City next weekend.
Highlights from the match are below.
Ahead of the start of the 2014 MLS Regular Season, Landon Donovan spoke to "The Sports Dude" Jeff Garcia of Hip Hop radio station Power 106 to preview the year and provide a little insight into his life.
The interview has six parts, but you can see the first where Donovan previews the upcoming season below.
PART TWO: Donovan on the USMNT's World Cup draw.
PART THREE: Donovan on his relationship with Mexican soccer fans.
We know what jerseys that the LA Galaxy will be wearing once the season starts on Saturday, but now we have details on shorts and socks.
On the shorts, we see the familiar Adidas three stripes as well as the blue and gold lining, but also the leticular crest that is present on the primary kit. Meanwhile, the socks provide a retro feel that takes me back to my AYSO days.
Full disclosure, I have to say that the socks may be my favorite touch of the kit so don't be surprised if you stop me on the StubHub Center concourse and find out that I'm wearing them under one of my blue suits.
Check it out below.
The shorts and socks together
The LA Galaxy crest
LA Galaxy jersey socks
Omar Gonzalez did not make the trip with the U.S. National Team for their match against the Ukraine, but the LA Galaxy center back may have solidified his starting spot at the World Cup due to the USMNT's lackluster defensive performance in a 2-0 loss to the Eastern European nation.
Andriy Yarmolenko put the Ukrainians up 12 minutes into the match before the Marko Devic sealed the victory for the Eastern Europeans with a finish in the 67th minute. Both goals featured defensive breakdowns in the build-up that aided the Ukrainians. Club Tijuana left back Edgar Castillo started and went 63 minutes in the defeat.
The match was played in Cyprus due to political turmoil in Ukraine. Jurgen Klinsmann's squad returns to action on April 2 when they take on CONCACAF arch rival Mexico in Glendale, Ariz.
Club Tijuana came within 10 minutes of their first road victory in over a year, but a late goal by Liber Quiñones sealed a 1-1 draw for the Xolos against Tiburones Rojos de Veracruz, and extended Tijuana's road winless streak to 19 games.
Midfielder Christian Pellerano gave Tijuana the lead six minutes into the match as a failed Veracruz clearance of a Xolos' corner fell perfectly for the Argentine who slotted it past the goalkeeper for the finish. Tijuana went down a man in the 78th minute as Pellerano was sent off for his second yellow leaving the Xolos to play with 10 for the remainder of the game. Up a man, Veracruz made Xolos pay three minutes later when the Tiburones Rojos (Red Sharks) took advantage of some shambolic Tijuana defending as Angel Reyna floated a pass over the visitors back-line to a waiting Quiñones who easily fired a shot past Cirilo Saucedo for the equalizer.
Former Galaxy striker Herculez Gomez and Texas-native Greg Garza started and fellow American Joe Corona came on midway through the first half due to a shoulder injury to Fernando Arce. Paul Arriola and recent U.S. National team call-up Edgar Castillo were not on the game day roster.
Highlights of the draw are below.
In the four installment of Road to Morocco, the LA Galaxy and Club Tijuana discuss the importance of winning the CONCACAF Champions League.
Check out the latest video below.
Watch the previous editions here:
Episode 1: Visiting Club Tijuana
Episode 2: Battle for San Diego
Episode 3: L.A. vs. Tijuana: Taco challenge
U.S. National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann named his 24-man training camp roster for the March 5 match against Ukraine and left off the list were Galaxy stalwarts Landon Donovan and Omar Gonzalez.
The roster is predominantly European-based players with just two selections from MLS (Michael Bradley and Clint Dempsey) but also includes Club Tijuana left back Edgar Castillo. The inclusion of Castillo is quite notable for Galaxy fans as the Xolos defender will log heavy mileage in the coming weeks with potential appearances in Tijuana’s March 1 match against Veracruz, the U.S. friendly four days later, Tijuana’s March 7 game against Chivas de Guadalajara, and finally the CONCACAF Champions League first leg against the LA at StubHub Center on March 12.
Also called up to the training squad is Florida-born Bayern Munich wunderkind Julian Green who is not yet eligible to appear for the U.S. due to his appearances in the German national youth set up.
The match which was moved away from Ukraine earlier in the week due to political unrest in that country will take place in Cyprus at Antonis Papadopoulous Stadium in the city of Larnica.
Check out the full roster below.
GOALKEEPERS: Cody Cropper (Southampton), Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton)
DEFENDERS: John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Edgar Castillo (Club Tijuana), Alfredo Morales (Ingolstadt), Oguchi Onyewu (Sheffield ), Will Packwood (Birmingham City), Tim Ream (Bolton Wanderers)
MIDFIELDERS: Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim), Jermaine Jones (Besiktas), Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht), Brek Shea (Barnsley), Danny Williams (Reading)
FORWARDS: Juan Agudelo (Utrecht), Jozy Altidore (Sunderland), Terrence Boyd (Rapid Vienna), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC), Julian Green (Bayern Munich), Aron Johannsson (AZ Alkmaar)
CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy’s season opener is fast approaching and it appears that the team is rounding into fitness.
Goalkeeper Jaime Penedo (broken finger and abductor injury) and defender Todd Dunivant (hamstring injury) have returned to full training while Robbie Rogers (ankle injury) has begun running and according to head coach Bruce Arena will “be ready to go soon.”
Penedo had been dealing with a broken pinky finger prior to the team’s trip to Mexico, but during the team’s trip to face Pumas UNAM, the Panamanian goalkeeper suffered an abductor injury that caused him to miss the club’s next three preseason matches. However, the goalkeeper is bullish that he’ll be ready to suit up once the March 8 season opener against Real Salt Lake rolls around and possibly as soon as Saturday’s closed-door scrimmage against Minnesota United.
“I've been training in the gym [after the injury] but now I’m back with the team in training,” said Penedo. “The opener is the goal and we’re working for that, but we’ll see what happens this weekend.”
Another player who has returned to action is midfielder Stefan Ishizaki who has overcame a stomach illness that kept him bedridden for two days last week. Now with the season opener less than two weeks away, the Swede is hitting the gym to make up for lost time.
“Last week, it wasn't that good; I ate something bad and had to stay in bed for two days. I couldn’t train so that set me back. This week, I've done a lot of extra work and I’m feeling better,” said Ishizaki. “[The season opener] is almost two weeks away and I know that I can get a lot of extra work in during that time.”
Club Tijuana’s run of dominance at the Estadio Caliente came to screeching halt on Friday when the Xolos dropped a disappointing 3-0 result to Chiapas Jaguar, ending their home unbeaten streak at 17 games.
Carlos Ochoa led the charge for Chiapas with two first half goals before Luis Robles added a third to put the match out of reach for the Xolos. The defeat was Tijuana’s first at home since April 20, 2013 when they dropped a 2-1 result to Monarcas Morelia in the week 15 of the 2013 Clausura Tournament.
From the opening whistle, Tijuana struggled to deal with the physical Chiapas side who carved up the Xolos defense in the first half. Up three goals after the first 45 minutes, Tijuana was afforded more room to operate in the attack, but could not break through a compact and organized Chiapas defense.
The Xolos finest chance came in the 86th minute when second half substitute Herculez Gomez launched a free kick that rattled the crossbar as Tijuana’s rally fell way short.
Tijuana returns to action next Saturday when they attempt to snap their 18 game road winless streak against former Chivas USA head coach Jose Luis Sanchez Sola’s Tiburones Rojos side in Veracruz.