CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy may be down 2-1 to Monterrey in their CONCACAF Champions League Semifinal series heading into the decisive second leg, but LA understands that they’ve been in this situation before.
LA went down 1-0 in the Western Conference Semifinal to the Supporters’ Shield winners, the San Jose Earthquakes during the 2012 MLS Cup Playoffs. Needing a result at Buck Shaw Stadium, LA roared back and crushed San Jose 3-1 to clinch a berth in the Conference Final en route to a second straight MLS Cup title.
This time, the setting—Estadio Tecnológico is a tad more difficult than the rustic Buck Shaw Stadium —and the opponent will be different, but LA believes that can battle back. After all, they’ve done it before.
“We’ve already mentioned [the San Jose victory]. We’ve obviously been here before and last year we were here 20 times down in games, so we know what we need to do,” said Magee. “It’s going to be a little difficult going down to Monterrey, which is a hard place to get a result, but this is a game though where everybody will find out what our team is all about.”
Sean Franklin also sees the parallels and believes that if LA can tighten up on the missed opportunities and concentration lapses that plagued them in the first leg, a win is not out of the question.
“We were in this position last year; the only difference is that it’s going to be one more goal,” said Franklin. “We know that it’s going to be tough, but we think our team is excited with the task at hand. If we just sharpen up a few things and get a little bit smarter then there is a chance to go down there and win in Mexico.”
CARSON, Calif. -- LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena offered an update on the status of Brazilian midfielder Juninho ahead of next week's CONCACAF Champions League Semifinal second leg.
Juninho was forced to exit in the 61st minute of LA's 2-1 defeat to Monterrey on Wednesday. On Friday described Juninho as "healthy" despite dealing with a "neck" injury after "twisting his neck a little" in the Monterrey defeat.
"He's doing fine. We don't expect him to be out for any extended period of time," said Arena. "It's Friday, we don't have any decisions on Friday...It's Friday, we don't really care on Friday. We'll start caring more next week."
I spoke to LA Galaxy attacker Mike Magee on his Player of the Month award in this video for LAGalaxy.com.
Check out the video below...
CARSON, Calif. – Michael Stephens is ready to rebound after what he admits was not his best performance in the LA Galaxy’s 2-1 loss to Monterrey in the CONCACAF Champions League Semifinal first leg on Wednesday.
The 24-year-old midfielder feels that he could have done better during his 29 minute shift, particularly with his marking of Cesar Delgado after the Monterrey midfielder fired the cross that led to Humberto Suazo’s goal which put Monterrey level with LA after 81 minutes.
“I was tracking [Delgado] out of midfield and the guy got me. That’s going to happen. He got me with a couple of cuts, but I definitely have to do better and shut down the cross,” Stephens said.
He may get a chance at immediate redemption as LA has yet to confirm whether Juninho will be able to play in Wednesday’s second leg. If called upon next week, either as a starter or off the bench, Stephens insists that he can perform.
“I’m ready to go. It was my first time playing in the middle in a while [on Wednesday]. I could have done a better job holding my position, but I’m ready to go,” said Stephens. “I’m not discouraged by it by any means and if my number is called then I’ll be ready to play.”
The job will be a difficult one for the Galaxy as a 1-0 LA win, any loss and any draw will see them out of the tournament. However, the plucky midfielder believes it is not an insurmountable task.
“We dug ourselves a little bit of a hole, it was unfortunate to give up those two goals, but it’s not finished yet,” said Stephens. “As long as we get two goals, that’s not something that’s out of reach by any means. If we get two goals down there [in Monterrey] then we’re in a decent position so it’s definitely not over.”
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LA Galaxy goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini spoke to MLSsoccer.com's ExtraTime Radio on LA's 2-1 defeat to Monterrey in the CONCACAF Champions League Semifinal first leg, his transition to MLS from Europe and a number of other topics.
Cudicini also spoke to reporters following Wednesday night's CCL loss.
That video is below...
CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy were back in the office on Thursday after a disappointing 2-1 defeat to Monterrey in the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League Semifinal.
Most of the players that took part in Wednesday's defeat participated in a regeneration session while others were back on the training field to prepare for the decisive second leg in Mexico.
The odds will be stacked against the Galaxy when they travel down to Estadio Tecnológico in Monterrey as a 1-0 LA win, any loss and any draw will send Los Rayados to the final for the third consecutive year. Although the trip to Mexico will be a challenge, LA head coach Bruce Arena took note of the upbeat nature of his veteran team on Thursday.
"We're upbeat," said Arena. "We know that we obviously made some mistakes and we have to give our opponent a lot of credit, but it was a game in it's entirety, it didn't end the way that we like, but I think there were large segments of the game that we played quite well and that's a positive. We're going to lick our wounds a little bit and get ready for the return leg."
Arena did not have an update on the status of Brazilian midfielder Juninho, who was forced to exit on Wednesday in the 61st minute with an apparent injury. But even if he is unable to suit up next Wednesday, the Galaxy are confident that they can cope if he is unable to go in Monterrey.
"We have guys more than capable of stepping up," said forward Mike Magee. "It wasn't just one guy leaving [that led to Wednesday's loss], as a whole, we took our foot off the gas, which isn't something that we tend to do."
CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy lost Juninho to an apparent injury in the 61st minute of Wednesday night's 2-1 CONCACAF Champions League Semifinal first leg to C.F. Monterrey. But was his absence the reason for the club's late collapse head into the decisive second leg?
Omar Gonzalez certainly felt that his impact made a difference
“I think everything kind of went out of control when Juninho came out of the game,” Gonzalez said the defeat. “They started pushing a lot of guys forward and we didn’t deal with the situation. We were sitting back a little too much and not putting pressure on them like we were in the first 75 minutes.”
While Juninho's midfield teammate Marcelo Sarvas' disagreed.
"It's not about Juni, it's about the chances that we had and we didn't score," said Sarvas. "We could have easily up in the last 75 minutes, but 3-0 and killed the game. It's not about Juninho."
Greg Lalas from MLSsoccer.com offers his take on Juninho's absence. In my Three Points to the game, I offer my thoughts on the match.
Agree or disagree? Can LA win in Monterrey without Juninho, if he is unable to go?
Share your thoughts below.
CARSON, Calif. -- Below are my Three Points from the LA Galaxy's 2-1 defeat to Monterrey.
Agree or disagree?
Share your thoughts below.
CARSON, Calif. –Omar Gonzalez’s thoughts following the LA Galaxy’s 2-1 defeat to Monterrey.
(On when the game changed…)
GONZALEZ: “I think that everything went out of control when Juninho went out of the game. they were pushing a lot of guys forward and we didn’t deal with the situation enough and we were sitting back too much and not putting pressure on them like were in the last 75 minutes.
(On how the club comes back…)
GONZALEZ: “Exactly, we plan to go to Monterrey and hopefully put in the good 75 minutes that we put in tonight and make it 90 plus minutes when we go there and hopefully getting two plus goals.”
(On the high tempo that the game was played at…)
GONZALEZ: “I think that was just being confident, being confident in ourselves and knowing that we have a good team out there and playing the way we want to. We just need to make it into 90 plus minutes and I think we’ll have a better result. If we finish those other two chances, maybe it’s a different game.”
(On the referee’s calling fouls against him in the box…)
GONZALEZ: “I don’t know what was going on there, the referee was quick to call me on stuff that I didn’t know what I was doing. I think I was being a little too aggressive, but there wasn’t much there to call.”
(On DeLaGarza’s goal…)
GONZALEZ: “It was a great goal for A.J. and it was great to see him score, it doesn’t happen very often so every time it does, I’m just really excited for him.”
CARSON, Calif. -- Courtesy of Monterrey's website...highlights of the first and second half of the LA Galaxy's defeat to Monterrey.