CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy will open their 2011/12 CONCACAF Champions League schedule with a pair of home games at The Home Depot Center on August 16 and August 25. CONCACAF unveiled the first two rounds of the Champions League Group Stage schedule today with the Galaxy slated to host the winner of the Preliminary Round series between Club Motagua of Honduras and CSD Municipal of Guatemala in their first-ever games at this round of the competition, which was reformatted to its current setup following the 2008 Champions Cup.
The Galaxy have been placed into Group A of the Champions League along with LD Alajuelense of Costa Rica, the Preliminary Round series winner between Motagua and Municipal, as well as the winner of the series between Mexico’s Monarcas Morelia and Haiti’s Tempete FC. The six-game Group Stage will conclude in mid-October, with the Galaxy facing each of their fellow teams in Group A once at home and once on the road.
The Galaxy will play their first game of the Group Stage on Tuesday, August 16 at 7 p.m. when they host the winner of the Preliminary Round series between Club Motagua of Honduras and CSD Municipal of Guatemala. Motagua, who qualified for the Champions League by winning the 2011 Clausura in the Honduran Liga Nacional, are led by former MLS All-Stars Ivan Guerrero and Amado Guevara as well as Honduras international forward Jerry Bengtson and former Galaxy midfielder Guillermo “Pando” Ramirez, who scored the game-winning goal in MLS Cup 2005.
Motagua will host Municipal in the first leg of their series tonight before travelling to Guatemala for the return leg of their aggregate-goal series on Thursday, August 4. Municipal, who feature Panama National Team goalkeeper Jaime Penedo and El Salvador National Team forward Elisio Quintanilla, reached the Champions League by finishing second in both the 2010 Apertura and the 2011 Clausura of Guatemala’s Liga Nacional de Futbol.
Nine days after playing their first game of the competition, the Galaxy will play their second match of Group A, hosting LD Alajuelense, the champion of the 2010 Invierno and 2011 Verano in Costa Rica’s Primera Division. That game will be played at The Home Depot Center on Thursday, August 25 with kick-off scheduled for 7 p.m.
One of the most successful and popular teams in Costa Rica, Alajuelense lost just five times in the 2010-11 Primera Division, defeating Herediano in the Invierno championship and then knocking off San Carlos for the Verano championship. They are led by several members of Costa Rica’s national team, including defenders Johnny Acosta, Allen Guevara and Jose Salvatierra, all of whom saw time in both the CONCACAF Gold Cup and CONMEBOL Copa America this summer, as well as midfielder Luis Miguel Valle, who was a part of Costa Rica’s Copa America squad.
This is the second straight season that the Galaxy have qualified for the Champions League and the seventh time in the club’s history. The Galaxy reached the CONCACAF Champions Cup Final in 1997, the first time that they qualified for the competition. Three years later, the Galaxy won the competition, giving the club their first championship, defeating CD Olimpia of Honduras 3-2 in the Final at the L.A. Coliseum. The Galaxy last qualified for the Champions League for the 2010/2011 tournament, but were knocked out in the Preliminary Round by the Puerto Rico Islanders, falling 5-3 on aggregate.
For more information, please contact the Galaxy by calling 1-877-3GALAXY (342-5299) or by visiting www.lagalaxy.com.