Blog

29 August 11:23 pm

CARSON, Calif. -- Dangerous performances are becoming a habit for LA Galaxy youngster Jose Villarreal. 

Villarreal bagged a goal in 52 minutes of action in the LA Galaxy's 4-0 CONCACAF Champions League victory over the Puerto Rico Islanders. From the outset, Villarreal seemed in tune with strike partner Jack McBean as the teenagers caused considerable problems for the Puerto Rico back line. Villarreal finally broke through just seconds into the second half as he cut through a pair of Puerto Rico defenders, flicking the ball forward before being knocked to the ground. Ultimately, Villarreal was forced to leave the match due to the collision that left him with a welt on the back of his head well after the match. 

Although the forward was forced to leave the match early, he believes that he will be fine ahead of Saturday's clash against the Vancouver Whitecaps. 

VILLARREAL: "I’m feeling fine. I tested with the doctor and I’m feeling fine and hopefully tomorrow I train….It was just a knock in the back of the head, I’m fine."

(On sense of pride for the youngsters to win an important game…)

VILLARREAL: "Yeah, there’s pride but we just have to focus and not let that get in our way because we’ve been playing with the reserve league. We just have to keep playing the way we are and when Bruce tells us to come and play, we just have to do what we did tonight."

(On his goal...)

VILLARREAL: "Jack flicked it off and I kept running, the goalie came out and I just took a touch right by him and after that I think I toe poked it, I’m hat I was on the ground. I never got to see my goal."

29 August 11:05 pm

CARSON, Calif. -- At first glance, the LA Galaxy's lineup for a must-win CONCACAF Champions League match against the Puerto Rico Islanders was shocking 

For a Galaxy side that has made the CCL a club priority, it was surprising to see nine players under the age of 23 and five rookies start against the Islanders. However, the kids quickly showed that they were alright. Tallying four goals on the night, the Galaxy thoroughly trounced the Islanders picking up a vital point in their quest to advance from Group 5 play and into the later stages of the continental competition.

While the success may have surprised some in the press box, Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena was not shocked at all by the performance of his young players. 

ARENA: "Well our team's come a long way, all these players we have. The young ones have really developed well over the year and you can see they’re getting confidence and can play, and hopefully that speaks well for the rest of the season and the future for some of the young players...We were very confident in these guys. That’s the reason they played tonight, because they could beat this team."
 

29 August 10:47 pm

CARSON, Calif. -- Spearheaded by a youthful reserve-laden lineup, the LA Galaxy crushed the Puerto Rico Islanders 4-0 to win their second consecutive game in the CONCACAF Champions League. 

It was a thorough performance that was sparked early on by the play of stellar 18-year-old forward Jose Villarreal as well as a Galaxy midfield that overwhelmed the Islanders. The victories place the Galaxy in the catbird seat for the final two CCL matches, which both take place on the road. 

Here are my Three Points to the match.  For more check out the highlights below

Agree or Disagree with the points? What were your keys to the game?

Share your thoughts in the comments section. 

29 August 2:49 pm

We're just hours away from tonight's CONCACAF Champions League tie between the LA Galaxy and Puerto Rico Islanders.

For more on the match, consult LAGalaxy.com staff writer Larry Morgan's preview on the match

The LA Galaxy may be without the all three Designated Players tonight as Robbie Keane is suspended while David Beckham (stomach illness) and Landon Donovan (left hamstring strain) remain injury question marks. 

Lastly, be sure to check out my Three Points to the game

As always, follow along with me on the livechat during the game and be sure to catch Joe Tutino and Ralph Perez's broadcast of the game as well on LAGalaxy.com's match report.

29 August 1:37 pm

CARSON, Calif. --Two years ago, the Puerto Rico Islanders shocked the LA Galaxy at The Home Depot Center, but according to forward Jose Villarreal, the Galaxy have a game plan in mind to shut down the Islanders. 

Puerto Rico arrive at The HDC having not scored in three NASL matches, but bring with them a talented offense that provides a dangerous mix of physicality and speed. The Galaxy may have to face the Islanders without all three of their Designated Players as Irish forward Robbie Keane is suspended while David Beckham (stomach illness) and Landon Donovan (left hamstring strain) are injury doubts. This could open up opportunities for players like Villarreal, who may earn his second CONCACAF Champions League start on Wednesday with Keane suspended and Donovan questionable. 

The opportunity to participate in such an important may may deter some younger players, but Villarreal has a plan for Galaxy success.

VILLARREAL: "They're a very physical and athletic team with a lot of strong guys that have pace, but I think that if we put the ball on the ground and move it around them then I think we'll be able to get around them and score some goals." 

29 August 10:47 am

A Good gameday Morning to everyone out there,

Tonight, the LA Galaxy will continue their CONCACAF Champions League campaign against the Puerto Rico Islanders.

Before the match, check out my Three Points to the match.

I'll be working on a very exciting Galaxy feature today, but expect more posts as we get closer to game time.

28 August 4:54 pm

CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy have moved on from their shock 2010 defeat in the CONCACAF Champions League preliminary round to the Puerto Rico Islanders, but they have by no means forgotten.

In 2010, with the LA Galaxy flying high in league play, LA suffered a 4-1 defeat at The Home Depot Center in the first leg of their CONCACAF Champions League's preliminary round series with the Islanders. Fueled by two goals by Jamaican forward Nicolas Addlery, the Islanders crushed the Galaxy and advanced to the CCL's group stages a week later on a 5-3 aggregate after LA defeated the Islanders, 2-1 in Bayamón. 

For LA Galaxy midfielder Mike Magee -- who went 23 minutes during LA's victory in Puerto Rico -- the impetus will be on the Galaxy to match Puerto Rico's intensity to prevent a repeat of 2010. 

"That's not still in our mind. I think I remember a little bit when we saw them on tape earlier that kind of reminded us, but we have a much different team now and if anything, we can just take that on any given day anyone can beat anyone. So we definitely need to match their intensity at least."

(On Puerto Rico's recent inability to score goals...)

MAGEE: "They're not? They obviously scored a lot of goals on us a couple years ago. They look fast, they look fit and they have a lot of guys that we saw a couple years ago and played in the league who are dangerous so obviously, this is going to be a game where they're going to try harder so we've got to match them."

(On dangerous players for Puerto Rico...)

MAGEE: "Addlery....when he played us last time, he was a complete handful. Obviously, I haven't followed that league too much, but last time we played him, he was amazing and i think single handedly beat us."

(On whether or not LA overlooked Puerto Rico in 2010...)

MAGEE: "For sure. Sometimes you assume that just because they're in a different league that you can kind of play half a game and to be honest, if we don't play our best and we don't play our hardest then obviously we know that they can beat us but they can smash us."

28 August 3:07 pm

CARSON, Calif. -- According to LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena, the status of David Beckham and Landon Donovan is still up in the air ahead of Wednesday's CONCACAF Champions League match against the Puerto Rico Islanders. 

Donovan has missed Galaxy's last two matches due to a left hamstring strain suffered while on International duty while Beckham battled through a stomach illness on Sunday, but was still able to go 78 minutes in the Galaxy's 2-0 victory over FC Dallas.  The Galaxy will already be without  one of it's three designated players in forward Robbie Keane as he was controversially sent off during last week's 5-2 CCL win against Isidro Metapán 

During the portion of club's training session on Tuesday that was open to the media, Beckham participated in training -- saying that he "felt a little better" as he walked off, but Donovan was not on the field. 

Following the training session, Arena addressed the media on the status of the two DPs.

ARENA: "They're moving along. David seemed fine today, Landon's working out inside today."

(On whether Donovan was likely or possible to play on Wednesday...)

ARENA: "I don't do any of those likelys and probablys and all of that stuff. We'll know tomorrow before kick off."

(On Donovan not training being a potential issue...)

ARENA: 'It would be if he hadn't played soccer in awhile, but he's capable of getting on the field and doing well."

28 August 2:34 pm

CARSON, Calif. -- After producing a primer on Isidro Metapán, last week, here is my primer to the Puerto Rico Islanders ahead of Wednesday's match. 

History:  Founded in 2003, the Islanders have an illustrious history in the CONCACAF Champions League, even earning the name Los Sepultureros (The Gravediggers) for their ability to knock out top tier clubs. Under former head coach Colin Clarke, the Islanders made a run to the semi-finals of the CCL in 2009 defeating the likes of Alajuelense, Santos Laguna and Cruz Azul before falling. In 2010, Puerto Rico would pick up yet another victory, as they defeated the Galaxy in the preliminary round of the CCL 5-3, including a 4-1 win at The Home Depot Center. With their inclusion in this year’s tournament, the Islanders are one of only a few clubs to have participated in the CCL -- at least the preliminary round level -- in each year of its present incarnation.

Key Players: Led by head coach Adrian Whitbread, the Islanders are headlined by a backbone of players that famously led Puerto Rico over the Galaxy in 2010 including Jamaican forward Nicolas Addlery, who scored two goals against the Galaxy at The Home Depot Center. Also returning to The HDC are influential midfielder Noah Delgado -- a former LA Galaxy SuperDraft pick in 2004 -- and talented English forward David Foley. But the Islanders will also bring another weapon in Dominican forward Jonathan Faña, who is among the NASL leaders in assists.  

Standings: La Tropa Naranja (The Orange troop) is currently in a tie for second place in the NASL with the Tampa Bay Rowdies at 36 points. However, the Islanders hold the advantage over Tampa on goal difference. Puerto Rico and Tampa Bay sit six points behind first place San Antonio Scorpions.

News: Goals have come at a premium for the Islanders as of late in league play as the team has failed to score a goal in three matches. Since a 2-1 victory over the Scorpions in San Antonio, Puerto Rico has gone a disappointing 0-1-2 heading into their match against the Galaxy.

Stadium: The Islanders play at the 22,000 seat Juan Ramón Loubriel Stadium in Bayamón, Puerto Rico. Recently renovated into a soccer-specific facility, the stadium was originally designed for baseball. Puerto Rico are currently 7-3-1 at JRL in NASL play this season.

What the Galaxy coaches say about Puerto Rico: “They're very similar to the team that we saw a couple years ago. An experienced team, pretty good organization and some pretty dangerous players in the attack. A team that if we don't play well, we're not going to win.” – Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena.

What the Galaxy players say about Puerto Rico: "They have the best mindset because if you look at what they've done in the past in this competition . They've been very successful so they put a lot of emphasis on these games because it means a lot in terms of measuring themselves against clubs in other countries and against MLS teams." - current LA Galaxy goalkeeper and former Puerto Rico Islander Josh Saunders. 

For even more consult the video update below from Mark Rogondino and Cobi Jones...

28 August 9:24 am

CARSON, Calif. -- Below is the Television schedule for the LA Galaxy's remaining CONCACAF Champions League matches. All times are Pacific...

Round 3 – Wed. Aug. 29, vs. Puerto Rico Islanders, 7 p.m.

English TV: Fox Soccer

Spanish TV: None

Round 4 – Wed., Sep. 29, at Puerto Rico Islanders, 5 p.m.

English TV: Fox Soccer

Spanish TV: Univision Deportes Dos

Round 6 – Thu., Oct. 25, at Isidro Metapan, 7 p.m.

English TV: Fox Soccer

Spanish TV: Univision Deportes

A couple notes:  Univision Deportes is currently carried on Dish Network and AT&T U-Verse. Univision Deportes Dos is available exclusively on Dish. Univision Deportes is Ch. 869 on Dish and Ch. 658 (SD) and Ch. 1658 (HD) on AT&T. Univision Deportes Dos is Ch. 870.