Since their inception in 1996, the Galaxy have competed in eight editions of the CONCACAF Champions League (formerly known as the CONCACAF Champions Cup), winning the regional championship in 2000 when they became the second MLS club ever to win the tournament. The team has also qualified for a nine CCL opportunity, to begin in the fall 2013.
1997 CHAMPIONS CUP
After winning the Western Conference Championship in 1996, the Galaxy were entered into the 1997 Champions Cup where they would go on to reach the Final against Mexican side Cruz Azul. LA reached the final of the-then 16-team tournament by defeating Santos Laguna (Mexico) 4-1 in the first round and knocking off Luis Angel Firpo (El Salvador) 2-1 in the quarterfinals. The Galaxy then defeated MLS rival D.C. United 1-0 in their own stadium in the semifinals to qualify for the Champions Cup Final.
However, despite taking an early 2-0 lead over Cruz Azul in the Final, the Galaxy gave up five straight goals and eventually fell 5-3.
1999 CHAMPIONS CUP
2000 CHAMPIONS CUP
However, one year later the Galaxy were able to make it back to the Champions Cup Final and went one step further, winning the tournament by defeating Olimpia of Honduras 3-2 in the final at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on January 21, 2001. READ ABOUT THE FINAL MATCH The Galaxy reached the Champions Cup Final by edging past Real España of Honduras and D.C. United in the quarterfinals and semifinals respectively, with both wins coming via penalties.
In the final, Danilo Tosello gave the Central Americans a 1-0 lead after 34 minutes, only for Ezra Hendrickson to equalize two minutes later for LA. Two minutes later the Galaxy were in front as Cobi Jones tallied, giving LA a 2-1 halftime lead. However, just six minutes after the break, the Honduran side equalized through Robert Lima, much to the chagrin of the Galaxy faithful in attendance. But with the clock, creeping toward full time and the Galaxy appearing to be heading to extra time for the third straight game, Hendrickson notched his second goal of the contest, finishing a pass from Mauricio Cienfuegos, in the 78th minute to give LA a 3-2 lead which they would hold until the final whistle.
2003 CHAMPIONS CUP
The Galaxy were back in the Champions Cup in 2003, facing CD Motagua of Honduras in the Round of 16. LA advanced through that series, claiming a 2-2 draw on the road before returning home and winning 1-0 in the second leg on a dramatic Alexi Lalas goal for a 3-2 win on aggregate. But that would be as far as the Galaxy would go as they were once again eliminated by Necaxa in the quarterfinals, falling 6-2 on aggregate. LA lost the first game 4-1 in Fullerton, Calif. before falling 2-1 in the return leg in Mexico.
2006 CHAMPIONS CUP
LA qualified for the Champions Cup again in 2006 when they fell to Deportivo Saprissa of Costa Rica in the quarterfinals. Despite looking like a team still in the early stages of preseason - and facing a team that placed third in the FIFA Club World Championship barely two months earlier - the Galaxy managed to scrape out a scoreless draw with Saprissa in the first leg of their quarterfinal at The Home Depot Center. In the return leg in Costa Rica on March 8, the Galaxy took a 2-0 lead into the half behind goals from Landon Donovan and Josh Gardner, but they could not hang on and dethrone the defending CONCACAF champion, falling 3-2 in extra time.
2010/11 CHAMPIONS LEAGUE
Starting in August 2008, CONCACAF debuted the CONCACAF Champions League to decide who would be crowned the best club team in the region and represent CONCACAF in the FIFA World Club Cup.
The Galaxy were first entered in the CONCACAF Champions League in July 2010. As the reigning MLS Cup runner-up, the Galaxy were drawn into the Preliminary Round of the competition, where they met the Puerto Rico Islanders. LA were shocked in the first leg at home, losing 4-1, leaving them an uphill climb heading into the second leg on the road in Puerto Rico. The Galaxy were able to win that game 2-1 with Sean Franklin scoring the game-winning-goal for his first-ever goal for the club, but it was not enough and LA were eliminated by a score of 5-3 on aggregate.
2011/12 CHAMPIONS LEAGUE
After winning the Supporters’ Shield in 2010, Bruce Arena’s squad once again qualified for the Champions League, this time bypassing the Preliminary Round and being drawn into Group A of the 2011/12 edition of the competition with LD Alajuelense of Costa Rica, Club Motagua of Honduras and Monarcas Morelia from Mexico.
LA quickly raced out to the top spot in the group, winning home games over Motagua and Alajuelense before heading to Mexico to face Morelia. Looking for their first-ever win in Mexico in an official game, the Galaxy led 1-0 and appeared to take a 2-1 lead in the 90th minute, only to see Robbie Keane’s goal waved off at one end of the field while the hosts went down the field an scored a winner of their own, stealing three points from the Galaxy.
Another road loss, this time to Alajuelense in Costa Rica, left the Galaxy in need of a win at home against Morelia in order to stay alive in the competition. They were able to get just that with Juninho scoring early in second half stoppage time to give LA a 2-1 victory. That win allowed the Galaxy to go to Honduras for the final group game knowing that a win would see them become just the second MLS team to win their group in the competition. Juninho was once again the hero, scoring a first half goal to give LA the 1-0 win that allowed them to finish in first place in the group on tiebreakers and advance to the quarterfinals.
However, that would be as far as the Galaxy would go as they were eliminated 4-3 on aggregate by Toronto FC. Mike Magee and Landon Donovan helped LA erase a 2-0 deficit in the first leg in Toronto to claim a 2-2 draw, only for the Galaxy to fall 2-1 in the return leg at The Home Depot Center a week later, handing the club their first home loss in more than 16 months and knocking them out of the Champions League.
2012/13 CHAMPIONS LEAGUE
As a result of winning MLS Cup 2011, the Galaxy qualified for the Champions League for a third straight season, facing Isidro Metapan of El Salvador and the Puerto Rico Islanders in the Group Stage of the newly formatted tournament. A pair of home wins to open group play set LA on their way to a 3-0-1 record, which was good for the top spot in Group 5 and a berth in the Champions League Quarterfinals. LA outscored their opponents 12-4 in the four games with Jack McBean scoring a team-high three goals while Juninho and Michael Stephens added two each and Brian Perk kept two clean sheets in his three appearances.
In the quarterfinals, the Galaxy knocked off CS Herediano of Costa Rica, winning the series 4-1 on aggregate. A 0-0 draw in the first leg in Costa Rica on March 7 set the stage for the all important second leg at The Home Depot Center six days later. In that game, Omar Gonzalez gave LA a 1-0 lead heading into halftime before Jose Villarreal and Robbie Keane scored second half goals to put the game, and the series out of reach. Herediano pulled a goal back in the 85th minute before Jack McBean completed the scoring with a stoppage time tally, sending the Galaxy through to the semifinals for the first time ever.
There, the Galaxy will face the two-time Champions League winners Monterrey. The first leg will be played at The Home Depot Center on April 3 with the return leg a week later on April 10 at Monterrey’s Estadio Technologico. The winner of the series will advance to the Champions League Finals, where they will face the winner of the series between Santos Laguna of Mexico and Seattle Sounders FC. If the Galaxy become the second MLS team ever to reach the Champions League Finals, they would be on the road for the first leg on April 24 before hosting the second leg at The Home Depot Center on May 1.
In addition to playing in the 2012-13 Champions League, the Galaxy have also qualified for the 2013-14 edition of the tournament, with the draw to be held early in the summer.