In a touching and moving edition of the LA Galaxy travel vlog in El Salvador, I travel with Mauricio Cienfuegos to his old neighborhood.
Check it out below...
SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador – Isidro Metapán may be playing for purely pride, but the LA Galaxy expect that to be a very dangerous thing when the two teams face off on Thursday at the Estadio Cuscatlán.
The tournament has hardly gone according to plan for the Salvadorians, who have earned just a single point in three CONCACAF Champions League matches. The fact that the team is unable to play at their home stadium in Metapán due to field size concerns from CONCACAF has not helped as the team dropped their last match in San Salvador 4-2 to C.S. Cartaginés.
That being said, the Galaxy expect Metapán to be eager to send the Galaxy to the CCL quarterfinals on a losing note.
“We don’t expect them to roll over at all; you're always playing for pride especially when you're in front of your home crowd in your home country against big clubs like the Galaxy. We expect them to test us,” said goalkeeper Brian Rowe. “They did well with their counter attack last time, but we're going to try to do a better job of keeping compact in the back and applying pressure on them early.”
Metapán’s pride won’t be the only issue for LA as they'll have to deal with a thick grass surface at Estadio Cuscatlán that is a far cry from the heavily manicured pitches that are provided in MLS play.
“The grass is a lot thicker than what we're used to. It’s a big and old stadium, but it'll be exciting with fans inside,” said forward Jack McBean. “We just have to play firm balls and get your touch in front of you because the ball is going to check up on you and stick in the grass.
In the latest edition of the LA Galaxy travel vlog, I help preview Thursday's match against Isidro Metapan.
Check it out below. Also be sure to read my Three Points to the match.
SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador. Heading into the final two CONCACAF Champions League matches, I've broken down all the scenarios for the LA Galaxy's potential opponents in the 2013-14 CONCACAF Champions League Quarterfinals.
Unless the Galaxy can defeat Isidro Metpan by a margin of six or more goals, the Houston Dynamo's match in Panama against Arabe Unido will play a direct impact on LA's next opponent.
Check out all the scenarios below...
Win by six goals over Isidro Metapan:
No. 1 LA Galaxy face No. 8 San Jose Earthquakes in CONCACAF Champions League Quarterfinals.
Win by a margin between three to five goals and the Houston Dynamo draws Arabe Unido:
No. 2 LA Galaxy face No. 7 Houston Dynamo.
Win by a margin between three to five goals and the Houston Dynamo or Arabe Unido win:
No. 2. LA Galaxy face No. 7 Sporting Kansas City.
Win by a margin between one to two goals and the Houston Dynamo draws Arabe Unido:
No. 3 LA Galaxy face No. 6 Sporting Kansas City.
Win by a margin between one and two goals and the Houston Dynamo or Arabe Unido win by less than five goals:
No. 3 LA Galaxy face No. 6 Alajuelense.
Tie vs. Isidro Metapan and the Houston Dynamo draws Arabe Unido:
No. 4 LA Galaxy face No. 5 Alajuelense.
Tie and the Houston Dynamo or Arabe Unido wins their match by less than two goals:
No. 4 LA Galaxy face No. 5 Houston Dynamo/Arabe Unido.
Tie and the Houston Dynamo wins by more than three or more goals over Arabe Unido win by more than three goals:
No. 4 Houston Dynamo/Arabe Unido face No. 5 LA Galaxy.
Lose vs. Isidro Metapan by less than three and the Houston Dynamo draws Arabe Unido:
No. 4 LA Galaxy face No. 5 Alajuelense.
Lose by more than three and the Houston Dynamo draws Arabe Unido:
No. 4 Alajuelense face No. 5 LA Galaxy.
Lose by less than three and the Houston Dynamo or Arabe Unido win by less than two goals:
No. 4 Houston Dynamo face No. 5 LA Galaxy OR No. 4 LA Galaxy vs. No. 5 Arabe Unido.
Lose by three or more and the Houston Dynamo or Arabe Unido win by a margin of three to five goals:
No. 3 Club Tijuana face No. 6 LA Galaxy.
Lose by three or more and the Houston Dynamo or Arabe Unido win by a margin of five or more goals:
No. 3 Houston Dynamo face No. 6 LA Galaxy OR No. 3 Club Tijuana face No. 6 LA Galaxy.
Based on this match and LA's status as a favorite, Alajuelense seems to be the most likely opponent -- if there is a result in Panama City -- for the LA Galaxy.
What do you think?
SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador – Suspended for the LA Galaxy’s MLS Regular Season finale against Seattle Sounders FC, Brazilian midfielder Juninho is expected to log plenty of minutes in Thursday’s CONCACAF Champions League match against Isidro Metapán.
Juninho picked up his fifth yellow card in the closing stages of Sunday’s scoreless draw with the San Jose Earthquakes, which ruled him out for the Seattle trip, but with the 2013 MLS Cup Playoffs looming, the midfielder believes it’s imperative for him to stay sharp by featuring in El Salvador.
“I know that I need to keep my fitness in good shape so I’m going to play significant minutes tomorrow and I hope that we can get points here and get 12 points in total,” Juninho told LAGalaxy.com at the team’s training session at the Estadio Cuscatlán on Wednesday. “I hope that I can pass my experience onto the guys on the field and make them comfortable. We’re going to try hard to get three points.”
LA will try to get those points at the cavernous Estadio Cuscatlán where the shaggy field conditions may be an issue. A far cry from the well groomed pitches in MLS, Cuscatlán’s thick grass surface is likely to play a role in Thursday’s contest.
Although this may have been an issue for other players, Juninho believes that he can equip himself well to the conditions.
“It’s very familiar to me because in Brazil where I grew up, we have a couple stadiums like this where the grass is very long like it is here,” said Juninho. “It’s a little difficult compared to the American stadiums, but we’ll need to do our best and not focus on those issues.”
CARSON, Calif. – As unlikely as it may seem, the LA Galaxy can still clinch the top spot in the Western Conference, but for that to happen, they’ll need the unlikely to occur.
In addition to LA defeating Seattle Sounders FC on Sunday, they’d need last place Chivas USA to earn back to back victories over Real Salt Lake on Oct. 23 and the Portland Timbers on Oct. 26. That may seem a bit unlikely, but with the Galaxy eager to clinch a home-field advantage throughout the Western Conference portion of the Western Conference, you’d forgive a few of the LA players for supporting the Rojiblancos this week.
But will they?
“I’m not going to be rooting for them, but it’d be good if they can pull out two pretty big victories against two of the top teams in the Western Conference,” said A.J. DeLaGarza. “Then we still have to take care of business in Seattle. A lot needs to factor into us getting the top spot still.”
Chivas USA has won two games in a row once this season back in March, but LA will be hoping that they can repeat their feat.
“We’ll be cheering for them,” said midfielder Michael Stephens. “We have no problem with them beating those teams in this case.”
Will you be supporting Chivas USA this week?
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CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy have a hefty portion on their plate this week as they close out the CONCACAF Champions League against Isidro Metapán in El Salvador before changing gears three days later to take on Seattle Sounders FC in their MLS regular season finale.
The two game slate promises to be a challenging one that will cause the Galaxy to utilize their entire squad and LA head coach Bruce Arena takes full responsibility for their congested schedule. Arena noted following the Galaxy’s final training session before departing for El Salvador that he was aware of the busy schedule last December, but the club and MLS were unable to work with CONCACAF to prevent MLS teams from playing in the final week.
“I think that the whole exercise of us playing this week is stupid. I take the majority of the blame for that. I should not have allowed this to happen. It is poor communication and procedure on a part of the LA Galaxy, CONCACAF and MLS. This shouldn’t have happened at this time. There are teams in our group that are finished and there aren’t any other leagues that are in their last week. We should have been the league not playing this week.
Thoughts on Arena's comments?
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CARSON, Calif. – It’s a travel day for the LA Galaxy as they’ll head to El Salvador in preparation for Thursday’s match against Isidro Metapán.
A year ago, the Galaxy traveled commercially to El Salvador ahead of their clash with Isidro Metapán, but with the team facing a pair of vital matches this week, LA will once again travel to Central America via charter.
“We’ll be chartering so it takes two and a half hours off the trip,” said midfielder Michael Stephens. “Also, it helps us so we can leave immediately following the game in El Salvador and focus right away on Seattle.”
CARSON, Calif. -- In the latest edition of Herbalife's "Be a Pro" series, Marcelo Sarvas is profiled.
Check it out below..
Below is a break down of all the Galaxy’s scenarios heading into the final week of the season:
The LA Galaxy finish first in the Western Conference IF:
*They defeat Seattle Sounders FC on Oct. 27 AND have Real Salt Lake fall to Chivas USA on Oct. 23 AND have Portland Timbers fall to Chivas USA on Oct. 26
The LA Galaxy finish second in the Western Conference IF:
*They defeat Seattle Sounders FC AND have either Real Salt Lake or the Portland Timbers lose or draw in their finales.
The LA Galaxy finish in third in the Western Conference IF:
*They defeat Seattle Sounders FC AND have Real Salt Lake AND Portland Timbers win their finales.
The LA Galaxy finish fourth in the Western Conference IF:
*They tie Seattle Sounders FC AND have the Colorado Rapids win against Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Oct. 27.
*They lose to Seattle Sounders FC AND Colorado Rapids lose or draw against Vancouver Whitecaps
The Galaxy finish in fifth in the Western Conference IF:
*They lose to Seattle Sounders FC AND the Colorado Rapids defeat Vancouver Whitecaps FC.