MONTERREY, Mexico -- The stage is set, the LA Galaxy will face C.F. Monterrey for the right to face Santos Laguna in the CONCACAF Champions League final.
Santos knocked out Seattle Sounders FC 2-1 on aggregate despite a late charge by Seattle. On Wednesday, the Galaxy will look to erase their own 2-1 deficit against Los Rayados at the Estadio Tecnologico.
My Three Points to the game are below...
Agree with my points? Disagree?
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MONTERREY, Mexico – The LA Galaxy were close to knocking off C.F. Monterrey in the first leg of their CONCACAF Champions League semifinal, now if they are to pull off an impressive comeback, finishing the match will be key.
Speaking to reporters prior to the club’s training session on Tuesday, LA Galaxy captain Landon Donovan stressed that a complete performance –with zero late goals— will be mandatory if LA is to advance past the two-time defending CCL winners.
“I think we turned off a bit on some plays [in the first leg]and it’s been a little bit of a characteristic of our team so far this year. So us older guys, us leaders need to take more control in those situations and make sure that we don’t get sloppy and give up late goals,” said Donovan. “ We've given up too many late goals, too many chances immediately after we score goals, we've given up too many opportunities late in games that we were better in, so we've got to be better about that.”
If they can manage that, than Donovan believes that a result is possible, regardless of the odds.
“ We've got a lot of players who've played in these games, know how to deal with these games and we have a lot of quality on our team,” Donovan said.” Is it a perfect scenario? No, but there’s every chance we can make something happen and pull off a special result.”
LAGalaxy.com videographer Paolo Ferrari has provided the following video preview of Wednesday's CONCACAF Champions League Semifinal second leg between the LA Galaxy and C.F. Monterrey.
Watch the video below...
CARSON, Calif. – Landon Donovan has a pair of appearances under his belt after taking a two-and-a-half month sabbatical and now he may be asked to play a greater role in the LA Galaxy’s CONCACAF Champions League Semifinal second leg against C.F. Monterrey on Wednesday.
Heading into his third week of training with the club, Donovan admits that he is feeling fitter each day as he looks to regain the scoring touch that made him a valued member in LA’s consecutive MLS Cup winning sides.
"I feel great," Donovan told reporters following LA's final training session in Southern California before departing for Mexico. "We obviously have a busy week. We’ve got the game in Mexico and then the Dallas game which is obviously a big game for us. I think Bruce wants to be smart in how he uses a lot of people, myself included, but I feel great and when they’re ready to use me then I’m ready."
Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena told reporters on Monday that it was doubtful that Donovan could go a full 90 minutes, but the Galaxy attacker admitted that he won’t know how fit he truly is until he starts logging substantial minutes.
“I feel pretty fit, but to play a full game. I feel pretty fit, but until you play a full game, you’re not back to full fitness,” said Donovan. “If I’m called upon on Wednesday then I’ll go as long as I can and give us much as I can and we’ll see what happens.”
Would you like to see Donovan get the start on Wednesday? Or would you want him to come off the bench against Monterrey?
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MONTERREY, Mexico --The LA Galaxy have arrived in Monterrey, Mexico ahead of their CONCACAF Champions League Semifinal second leg against C.F. Monterrey on Wednesday.
As you can expect -- and as evidenced by the tweet below -- there were several members of the Mexican media who were waiting for the club upon their landing eager to speak to Galaxy attacker Landon Donovan.
— Adam Serrano (@LAGalaxyInsider) April 9, 2013
Once the Galaxy settled in their hotel, however, the team was able to enjoy the NCAA Men's Basketball National Championship as Greg Cochrane and Kenney Walker's Louisville Cardinals triumphed over Kofi Opare's Michigan Wolverines. A few select tweets from the viewing party are below.
— Rafael Garcia(@Rafizzy07) April 9, 2013
Hey @kofiopare6.. Who won the national title game? I missed it.
— Greg Cochrane (@gregcoch) April 9, 2013
— Kofi Opare (@kofiopare6) April 9, 2013
National champs lets go!!!
— Greg Cochrane (@gregcoch) April 9, 2013
CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy find themselves down 2-1 on aggregate to C.F. Monterrey ahead of their CONCACAF Champions League Semifinal second leg tie down in Mexico.
Conventional wisdom would say that the LA Galaxy need an early goal to have a chance to nick Monterrey, but Galaxy attacker Landon Donovan affirms that LA just needs two goals, when they come, is immaterial.
"Well, you need two goals. We’ve all seen plenty of soccer games, where you score in the 80th and you score in the 85th or you in the 85th and you score in the 90th. That’s the way this game is, that’s the beauty of it. All we need is one goal at some point and we don’t concede more than a goal and try to get a second," said Donovan. "We’re going to go in with that attitude, we’re not going to go crazy exposing ourselves early, but we’re going to go and try to be aggressive."
Overcoming any deficit is a challenge and while Mexico poses a unique challenge, Donovan is confident that the Galaxy have the experience and talent to defeat Monterrey.
"Our guys are experienced enough so they know how these games go. We’re prepared in that way, I think the remainder will be with the away goals count, we need to get two goals, which way you slice it. Even if they score a goal, hope isn’t lost. We score a goal and then we’ve got a chance to score another," said Donovan.
"Ideally, we don’t give up any goals, but even if we do give up a goal then we have to score another to at least get into to overtime or advance over 90 minutes," Donovan added. "That’s the goal, we have to go there and score goals. It’s kind of nice when you know that because we’re not going there to tie the game, we’re going there to win it and we’re just going to go for it."
Two of the club's stars with European experience -- Carlo Cudicini and Robbie Keane -- touch on their experiences in the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League below.
CARSON, Calif. -- LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena addressed the media on Monday ahead of the club's trip to Monterrey for the CONCACAF Champions League Semifinal second leg against C.F. Monterrey on Wednesday.
Arena's comments are below...
(On his feelings of the team heading down to Mexico...)
ARENA: "Good. We're looking forward to the game. It should be a good game."
(On how close Landon Donovan is to contribute more...)
ARENA: "Every week, we go. It's going to get better. He's gotten better."
(On whether Donovan could go 90 minutes...)
ARENA: "I would doubt that."
(On his feelings of the health of the team...)
ARENA: "We're making progress. Obviously, it's still the start of our season although we're in an incredibly important competition, but we're moving forward and hopefully, we're getting healthy not only for the game on Wednesday, but as we move forward with league matches."
(On his players reaction to Wednesday...)
ARENA: "I don't think that there are any issues, in terms of us, not believing that we can win the game."
CARSON, Calif. –At just 19, Jose Villarreal has experienced plenty in his whirlwind first year as a professional including the deafening roar of a Mexican crowd rooting against an American opponent.
Earlier this year, Villarreal was a key member of the U.S. Under-20 side that took Mexico to extra time in the CONCACAF U-20 Championship in Puebla, Mexico. He’ll experience a similar situation on Wednesday as the Galaxy look to overturn a 2-1 aggregate deficit in their CONCACAF Champions League Semifinal tie against C.F. Monterrey at the vaunted Estadio Tecnológico.
The circumstances may be a tad different, but Villarreal believes that he can draw on the past experience when he takes the field in Monterrey.
“The experience is going to be the same, playing against a Mexican team full of Mexicans and the atmosphere with the crowd screaming. It might help me, it might not, but we’ll just see,” said Villarreal. “It’s going to be a tough game for us going down a goal being in Monterrey, but we just have to be focused and approach It with the right mentality.”
As for the game plan, an early goal seems to be a requirement for LA’s hopes, but Villarreal believes that LA can manage no matter how the game plays out.
“Maybe if we score an early goal, they pick it up and it’s an intense game after that or maybe we can close them for the first 45 minutes and it’d be better for us, but we’re just going down there with the mentality to win the game,” said Villarreal.
Using a reserve-laden squad, C.F. Monterrey fell 1-0 to Deportivo Toluca in Los Rayados' final match before Wednesday's CONCACAF Champions League Semifinal second leg against the LA Galaxy.
Juan Carlos Cacho would score the lone goal in the 70th minute to snap Monterrey's six game unbeaten streak across all competitions. Just four starters (Juan de Dios Ibarra, Hiram Mier, Richard Osorio, and Severo Meza) from last Wednesday's CCL first leg remained in the starting lineup against Toluca. However, first leg starters Humberto Suazo, Jesus Zavala, and Aldo de Nigris each entered the match as substitutes.
With the defeat, Monterrey fell to 12th spot in Torneo Clausura 2013 table. The top eight spots qualify for the Liguilla (postseason).
Highlights of the match are below...
CARSON, Calif. -- Barring any unforseen setbacks, Juninho has the green light to appear in Wednesday's CONCACAF Champions League Semifinal second leg match against C.F. Monterrey down in Mexico.
The Brazilian midfielder returned to the practice field on Sunday and following the session, Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena gave Juninho a clean bill of health.
"Juninho is fine. He'll be ready to play," said Arena.
I spoke to the Galaxy's Brazilian midfielder on his injury and his status for Wednesday's game against Monterrey below.
Pleased to have the Brazilian back for Wednesday? Think he can help the Galaxy turn around the deficit?
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