SAN JOSE, Costa Rica—LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena is well versed in the drama of CONCACAF Champions League road matches and he expects nothing less than a battle during Wednesday’s match against C.S. Cartaginés.
Arena is likely to opt for a similar squad as the one that defeated Isidro Metapan a week earlier with a mix of first team players and reserves. Several of the players that won't participate include Omar Gonzalez, Jaime Penedo, Juninho, and captain Robbie Keane, all of which stayed behind in Southern Calfiornia. The Galaxy squad will undoubtedly be in for a brawl on Wednesday the Costa Ricans needing a victory to keep their slim hopes of winning Group 8 alive.
"They'll be very aggressive to start the game,” said Arena following the team’s training session at the Estadio Nacional on Tuesday. “The early moments of the game will be very important."
But with Cartaginés expected to heap on early pressure and the Galaxy needing just a point to advance to the quarterfinals, will Arena opt for a defensive mindset?
"We're going to go play,” he asserted. “We don't know what the game is going to look like. If they get a goal in the first 15 minutes then it won't be a defensive effort. We'll see what the game is going to look like."