Galaxy’s European stars draw on past experiences in Champions League
CARSON, Calif. – Carlo Cudicini and Robbie Keane each had long European careers prior to joining the LA Galaxy and both players will look to draw on those experiences as they look to help LA comeback against C.F. Monterrey in their CONCACAF Champions League Semifinal.
LA currently find themselves down 2-1 on aggregate to Monterrey after conceding two goals in the last 10 minutes last Wednesday at The Home Depot Center. In order to advance to the Champions League Finals, LA will need to score at least two goals at Estadio Tecnológico as a 1-0 win, any loss or any draw will see the Galaxy crash out of the tournament.
The Galaxy’s situation brings back memories for Cudicini, in particular, who remembered one series during his tenure with Chelsea in the 2003/2004 UEFA Champions League. Playing away in the first leg of their semifinal tie against A.S. Monaco, the Blues fell 3-1 to the French side at Stade Louis II stadium.
But in the return leg, Chelsea got first half goals from Jesper Grønkjaer and Frank Lampard to even the series at 3-3 on aggregate. However, Monaco pulled back in front in first half stoppage time with Hugo Ibarra scoring before Fernando Morientes finished off Chelsea with a goal on the hour mark, giving Monaco a 5-3 win on aggregate and sending them to the Champions League Final for the first time.
Although Cudicini’s side fell to Monaco, the Italian believes that the experience could benefit his new club when they take on Monterrey in the CCL Semifinal second leg on Wednesday.
“That shows that you can definitely get the result when you’re away,” said Cudicini. “I know it’s difficult, I know its Mexico and all. It doesn’t happen too often that a U.S. team wins over there, but we’re going to try.”
Keane didn’t remember any specific instances during his European career, but the Galaxy captain admitted that sometimes playing on the road in a two-leg series could benefit a club.
“When you’ve played in Champions League or UEFA Cup, there are always two legs and sometimes going away from home is good because it puts more pressure on you,” said Keane. “We know on Wednesday, it’s going to be a good atmosphere and we have to keep the crowd very quiet and if we can get an early goal then great. We’ve got a chance, it’s certainly not over.”
Adam Serrano is the LA Galaxy Insider. Read his blog at LAGalaxy.com/Insider and contact him at LAGalaxyInsider@Gmail.com