CCL

11 March 3:15 pm

CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy came into the 2014 campaign eager to learn from the failures of a year ago, and they’ll get their first opportunity to right the wrongs of 2013 when they kick off their CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal series against Club Tijuana on Wednesday.

The two biggest letdowns of 2013 saw the LA Galaxy falter in two-leg series falling to C.F. Monterrey in the CCL Semifinals and Real Salt Lake in the Western Conference Semifinals. Despite being played months apart, both series featured similar problems for the Galaxy as the team was unable to convert a number of scoring opportunities in the home leg before crashing out away from StubHub Center.

To correct these issues, the Galaxy invested heavily in experienced players during the offseason in hopes of turning the club’s fortunes around. A strategy that the team is hoping will pay off come Wednesday evening against Club Tijuana.   

“We have to learn our lessons from previous games,” said defender Todd Dunivant, who is expecting to be available for Wednesday’s match after dealing with a nagging injury. “When you talk about previous games, you look at the Monterrey home leg, where we were dominating that game for 80 minutes and feeling confident that we could get another goal or another two goals but we lost our shape and when you do that against good teams it’s going to hurt you. We have to be smart.

“This year, this team has brought in more experienced players with guys like Rob Friend, Stefan Ishizaki that have been in big games and won championships in other countries,” Dunivant added. “There’s definitely a different mood around our clubhouse.”

And the first lesson that the Galaxy must learn? Finish their chances at home.

“In both of those games, we played very well, but we didn't finish our chances and it gets magnified in these series,” said Landon Donovan. “In a series like this, every goal is important.  In both of those games, we played well at home, but we couldn’t finish our chances. We just have to be better in front of goal. It’s as simple as that.”

11 March 1:07 pm

The LA Galaxy are looking ahead to their CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal series against Club Tijuana and in the lead up to Tuesday's match, CONCACAF.com spoke to several members of the club on the upcoming tournament. 

The video includes a few interesting and dramatic shots of StubHub Center as well as informative interviews so check it out below. 

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10 March 2:29 pm

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. 

09 March 4:17 pm

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. 

07 March 1:14 pm

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

PART FOUR: Donovan on who he would pick in his dream 3 on 3 team.

PART FIVE: Donovan says that his pink eye was worst than NBC's Bob Costas.

06 March 5:55 pm

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 

05 March 2:04 pm

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. 

02 March 12:05 pm

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. 

27 February 2:45 pm

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

27 February 1:58 pm

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. 

GOALKEEPERSCody 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 Wednesday), 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)