MONTERREY, Mexico – LA Galaxy Insider Adam Serrano provides his Three Points to the LA Galaxy’s 1-0 defeat to Monterrey at Estadio Tecnologico in the semifinals of the CONCACAF Champions League.
FINISHING TOUCH ELUDES THE GALAXY
As in the first leg, LA Galaxy had the chances yet again, but could not find the back of the net against Monterrey.
This was most apparent early in the first half as the Galaxy repeatedly tested Monterrey’s back line with a pair of clear chances. The best chance came in the 31st minute as Omar Gonzalez had a point blank finish saved by Monterrey goalkeeper Juan de Dios Ibarra who then saved a Juninho shot from distance only a few seconds later. Following the early flurry, the Galaxy struggled to generate opportunities as Monterrey settled into the game. After De Nigris put Monterrey up 1-0 in the game and 3-1 on aggregate, the Galaxy continued to press, but were unable to generate any true chances on goal.
The final stat sheet told the whole story for the Galaxy as they managed three chances on frame, but zero goals as their dreams of advancing in the CONCACAF Champions League were ended.
GONZALEZ STELLAR IN LOCKING DOWN MONTERREY
The LA Galaxy needed Omar Gonzalez to have a massive game if they were going to have a chance to overturn their first leg deficit against Monterrey and the defender aptly delivered on Wednesday night.
Gonzalez was omnipresent in the defensive end as he blanketed Humberto Suazo and Aldo De Nigris throughout the match. Whether it was with a one-on-one stop of Suazo or his positioning on several clear Monterrey chances, Gonzalez kept LA in the match throughout.
However, the one blemish on Gonzalez’s otherwise impressive game was in the attacking third where he saw his team’s best chance to get on the scoreboard fall to his feet midway through the first half, only for Monterrey goalkeeper Juan De Dios Ibarra to save the shot with his foot, keeping the game scoreless.
DONOVAN GOES THE DISTANCE, WORK STILL TO BE DONE
Landon Donovan made his first start and played the full 90 minutes, but still looked like a work in progress as he works his way back into the squad.
The match was a true test for the attacker as he was forced to play in a pair of positions, starting off as a forward alongside Robbie Keane before dropping back to the right side of midfield to close out the game. Donovan was particularly useful in the linkup as LA looked to generate chances, but too often, Monterrey was able to wrap up the U.S. international and prevent him from making the difference.
After his 90 minute appearance, expect Donovan to play a greater role in the Galaxy starting XI going forward, but possibly not against FC Dallas on Saturday.
Adam Serrano is the LA Galaxy Insider. Read his blog at LAGalaxy.com/Insider and contact him at LAGalaxyInsider@Gmail.com