CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy take on Club Tijuana in the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal first leg on Wednesday at StubHub Center.
Check out my look ahead to the match below.
*In the Galaxy's last pair of two-leg series, LA have struggled, but they're hoping to learn from the lessons of Monterrey and Real Salt Lake when they play Tijuana.
*Robbie Keane admits that Tijuana's inability showcases a "weakness" that the Galaxy will be looking to exploit on Wednesday.
*LAGalaxy.com's Larry Morgan provides his preview of the match.
*Lastly, check out my video round-up of all of the LAvTJ video content produced by LAGalaxy.com.
MATCHUPS TO WATCH
Juninho vs. Cristian Pellerano
A battle of attacking defensive midfielders, the two players will be looking to set the tempo for their respective teams early on.
Gyasi Zardes vs. Edgar Castillo
Speed vs. Speed. The hyperactive left back will look to push forward into the attack for Tijuana, but look for Zardes to attempt to take advantage of the space left by his agression to help the Galaxy.
Herculez Gomez vs. Omar Gonzalez
Whether Gomez will starts remains to be seen, but if he does, the Galaxy center back will have his hands full with the dangerous attacker. Expect the battle on the field to be as heated as their war of words.
PREDICTED LINEUP: Penedo; DeLaGarza, Gonzalez, Leonardo, Riley; Zardes, Juninho, Sarvas, Donovan; Keane, Samuel
In the final installment of our LA Galaxy vs. Club Tijuana video series, I take a look at the three most interesting pieces of content that were produced on LAGalaxy.com in the lead up to Wednesday's match.
Check it out below.
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.”
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.
The new LA Galaxy jersey will be revealed later today, but first the U.S. National Team unveiled their new primary kit for the upcoming FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
The kit, which will be worn by both the USMNT and the U.S. women's team, features an all-white design with gray horizontal pinstripes throughout the body and the sleeves. Meanwhile, on the inside of the back collar is a blue pennant design that features the 13 stars from the original American flag.
The jersey will be available world-wide on Wednesday, but is already for sale at Nike stores and nike.com on preorder.
Check it out below.
Next month the LA Galaxy will begin their Road to Morocco with their CONCACAF Champions League Quarterfinals series against Club Tijuana.
Due to the proximity of the the cities of Los Angeles and Tijuana, we have decided to investigate the culture and relationship between the two cities in a series that we're calling the "Road to Morocco." In our first video, which you can see above, I take a look at what it is like to see a Club Tijuana match at the Estadio Calliente. Although there may be apprehension from many about crossing the border into Mexico ahead of the March 18 CCL second leg in Tijuana, I found the fans to be very receptive and eager to see a substantial Galaxy presence in their home stadium.
To accompany our video series, LAGalaxy.com photographer Paolo Ferrari created a photo gallery of our trip which you can see below.
Former LA Galaxy Academy player Paul Arriola’s career path could have taken him to MLS, but instead he opted for Liga MX side Club Tijuana, and the one-time LA Academy forward isn’t at all surprised that young players like LA’s Jose Villarreal are heading south of the border.
Villarreal is the latest in a slew of players who have left MLS for Mexico after he joined Cruz Azul last month on a year-long loan. Although Villarreal left LA on a loan, Arriola opted to sign with Tijuana last May after spurning a Homegrown contract from the Galaxy.
Arriola and Xolos will take on the LA Galaxy in the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal on March 12 at StubHub Center before the return leg on March 18 in Tijuana. Although hypothetically, Arriola could have been lining up for LA in the CCL quarterfinals if things had gone differently, he applauds players opting to play in Mexico.
“It’s good for American players who want to take a different route. Sometimes in [the United States] we’re not given the opportunity so there are other options and places to go,” Arriola told LAGalaxy.com. “Luckily for myself, my opportunity came and I was able to take it. Now here I am [with the first team].”
While Villarreal’s status with the Cruz Azul first team remains in question at the moment as he finds his feet in Mexico, Arriola is already in new head coach César Farías’ plans after making the game day roster for the club’s scoreless draw with Atlas on Saturday.
“It was a bit different last season because I went from a wing player to a second striker who sometimes switches out wide,” said Arriola. “It’s been different and I’m getting the opportunity to play so I’m thankful for that."
CARSON, Calif. – Mark your calendars: the dates for the LA Galaxy’s CONCACAF Champions League Quarterfinal with Club Tijuana has been set.
LA will host Tijuana at StubHub Center on March 12 at 7 pm in the first leg before the Galaxy head to Mexico for the second leg at Estadio Calliente six days later on March 18 at 7pm.
The series will be part of a swing of five games in 14 days for the Galaxy as the series in sandwiched between the team’s first three MLS regular season matches against Real Salt Lake on March 8 and DC. United on March 15 at StubHub Center and RSL on March 22 at Rio Tinto Stadium.
— LA Galaxy (@LAGalaxy) January 6, 2014
CARSON, Calif. – Club Tijuana received a little tune-up for their upcoming Liga MX campaign and their CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal against the LA Galaxy in March with a 3-3 draw against Club America at StubHub Center on Saturday.
America jumped out to an early two goal lead in the opening half an hour with goals by Luis Rey in the seventh minute and Raul Jimenez in the 30th minute, each exposing lax defending on Tijuana’s part. In the 52nd minute, Jimenez completed his brace by finishing off a penalty kick.
Tijuana earned their own penalty just five minutes later as Cristian Pellerano finished from the spot to spark a Xolos rally. Xolos cut America’s lead to just one in the 62nd off yet another finish by Pellerano in an impressive build-up sequence that was sparked by ex-LA Galaxy Academy attacker Paul Arriola. In the 82nd minute, another former Galaxy member Herculez Gomez fired a low cross through the penalty area to a waiting Juan Hernandez who tapped in the equalizer.
“It was pretty interesting [experience to play at StubHub Center], there was a lot of nerves and excitement,” Arriola told LAGalaxy.com. “This time though, it wasn’t to play the Galaxy. It was just a friendly. I’m waiting for March.”
Xolos open the Clausura tournament on Jan. 4 against Atlas in Guadalajara before returning back home to Estadio Caliente to host America in the home opener on Jan. 10.
Images of the match are on the StubHub Center Facebook page:
— Adam Serrano (@LAGalaxyInsider) December 29, 2013
Jose Villarreal is joining Cruz Azul.
The 20-year-old striker was presented alongside new Cruz Azul signings for the upcoming Clausura tournament Rafael Baca, Xavi Baez, Marco Fabian, Michael Farfan, and Fausto Pinto on Saturday afternoon in Mexico. On Friday, the LA Galaxy declined comment on the reports of Villarreal's move to Mexico, but the club is expected to make an announcement early next week.
Although there are no official details on the move, it is my understanding that the deal is expected to be a year-long loan for Villarreal with an option for the Mexican side to purchase the forward. This could be a major boost for the Galaxy as Villarreal is likely to attract a hefty fee if he is successful in Mexico which would be used to further strengthen an LA side that fell in the Western Conference Semifinal round in 2013.
Presentación de los nuevos integrantes del equipo. José Villareal pic.twitter.com/lGBTdcHeFq
— CRUZ AZUL FC™ (@Cruz_Azul_FC) December 21, 2013
Presentación de los nuevos integrantes del equipo. pic.twitter.com/M7djGjqTcs
— CRUZ AZUL FC™ (@Cruz_Azul_FC) December 21, 2013