CARSON, Calif. (Monday, August 15, 2011) – The LA Galaxy will begin their 2011/12 CONCACAF Champions League campaign on Tuesday night when they host Honduran Clausura champion Club Motagua in their first game of Group A. Motagua, who are 0-1-1 so far in the new Honduran season following a 1-1 draw with Atletico Choloma last weekend, are led by former MLS MVP Amado Guevara, as well as former MLS All-Star Ivan Guerrero, former Galaxy midfielder Guillermo “Pando” Ramirez” and Honduran forward Jerry Bengston. Tuesday’s game, which will be shown on FOX Soccer on tape delay at 9:30 p.m. (PT), is LA’s first-ever game in the Group Stage of the Champions League after they were knocked out in the Preliminary Round of last year’s tournament.
Four days later, the Galaxy will return to MLS action when they host the San Jose Earthquakes at The Home Depot Center. That game, which is presented by Herbalife, kicks off at 7:30 p.m. and could see the debut of the club’s latest acquisition, Ireland captain Robbie Keane, who agreed to terms with the Galaxy on Monday. Saturday’s game will be the second and final meeting of the year between the two California rivals, who played to a 0-0 draw at Buck Shaw Stadium on June 25. Donovan Ricketts was injured in the first half of that game forcing Josh Saunders into action, only for Saunders to be sent off just before halftime, leading Mike Magee to have to play in goal for the final 47 minutes of the game, making three saves to keep a clean sheet and earn MLS Player of the Week and Save of the Week honors.
That game will be shown live on Prime Ticket, starting with the Galaxy Live pregame show, which starts at 7 p.m.
OUT – Sean Alvarado (Right Knee – Surgery), Leonardo (Right Knee – Surgery), Donovan Ricketts (Left Ulna – Fracture)
DOUBTFUL – None
QUESTIONABLE – Chad Barrett (Right Knee – Sprain), David Beckham (Back Spasms), Jovan Kirovski (Left Ankle – Sprain)
PROBABLE – None
FOX SOCCER TO AIR ALL SIX GALAXY CHAMPIONS LEAGUE GAMES: All six of the Galaxy’s Group A games in the CONCACAF Champions League will be shown on FOX Soccer. Tuesday night’s game against Motagua will be shown on tape delay starting at 9:30 p.m. (PT), while the other five games, starting with LA’s second game of the tournament against LD Alajuelense of Costa Rica on Thursday, August 25 at 7 p.m., will all be shown live.
The Galaxy have played five regular season games on FOX Soccer this year, going 3-0-2 in those five games, including 2-0-1 at The Home Depot Center. LA beat Portland 3-0 on April 23 and Chicago 2-1 on July 9 at home while also drawing 0-0 with D.C. United on June 3 at home. On the road, the Galaxy beat Vancouver 4-0 and drew 0-0 at San Jose on June 25.
MOTAGUA REMATCH: While Tuesday night’s game against Motagua will be the Galaxy’s first-ever Champions League Group Stage game, it will not be the first time that they will face Motagua in CONCACAF competition. In March 2003, less then six months after winning their first MLS Cup championship, the Galaxy opened play in the CONCACAF Champions Cup Round of 16 against Motagua. The first leg of their two-leg, aggregate goal series was played in Tegucigalpa, Honduras and ended 2-2 with Carlos Ruiz and Alexi Lalas scoring for the Galaxy and Amado Guevara tallying a pair of goals for Motagua. The return leg was played at Titan Stadium in Fullerton a week later with Lalas getting on the scoresheet once again, giving LA a 1-0 win and a 3-2 win on aggregate.
The Galaxy are 2-0-2 all-time in CONCACAF play against teams from Honduras, drawing 0-0 with Real España in the Quarterfinals of the 2000 Champions Cup before winning 5-3 on penalties. In the Final of that tournament, the Galaxy defeated fellow Honduran side CD Olimpia 3-2 behind a pair of goals from Ezra Hendrickson and one from Cobi Jones, giving LA their first championship in club history.
RIVALS COME TO TOWN: The Galaxy and San Jose Earthquakes will complete their regular season series on Saturday night at The Home Depot Center. Following the 0-0 draw between the two sides at Buck Shaw Stadium on June 25, the Galaxy are now 24-15-8 all-time against San Jose in MLS regular season games, including 15-4-3 at home and 6-1-2 at The Home Depot Center.
Since the Earthquakes returned to MLS in 2008, they have faced the Galaxy three times at The Home Depot Center with the Galaxy going 2-0-1 in those three games. LA won 2-0 in both 2008 and 2009 before playing to a 2-2 draw last season with Landon Donovan scoring once in all three of those games. Donovan, who missed the 0-0 draw in San Jose in June while with the U.S. National Team, has six goals and four assists in his career against the Earthquakes, who he played for from 2001-2004, winning a pair of MLS Cup championships.
KEANE CONFIRMED: On Monday, the Galaxy confirmed that they had agreed to terms with former Tottenham Hotspur forward Robbie Keane. A proven goalscorer, Keane has scored more than 250 goals for club and country in a career that began in 1997 at the age of just 17 and has seen him become the tenth all-time leading goal scorer in the history of the Premier League.
A native of Dublin, Keane has made 108 career appearances for his country, scoring 51 goals to make him Ireland’s all-time leading goal scorer. A member of Ireland’s squad at the 2002 FIFA World Cup, Keane scored three times in four games at the tournament. Prior to joining the senior national team, Keane helped Ireland win the 1998 UEFA U-16 European Championship and the UEFA U-18 European Championship that same year. Ireland are currently tied for first place in Group B of qualifying for the 2012 European Championship, with Keane scoring five goals in six match
In his club career, which began in 1997 with Wolverhampton Wanderers, Keane has played in England, Italy and Scotland, appearing for Wolves, Coventry City, Inter Milan, Leeds United, Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool while also spending time on loan the last few years with Celtic and West Ham United. His 123 all-time goals in the Premier League leave him tied with former Trinidad & Tobago international Dwight Yorke for the 10th most goals in the history of the league.
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