CARSON, Calif. – It’s time for the LA Galaxy to turn the page.
There was no time to dwell on the club’s 1-0 frustrating defeat to Real Salt Lake last Saturday as the club immediately turned their focus to their CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal series against Club Tijuana. During their loss to the defending Western Conference champions, inconsistent finishing plagued the Galaxy as the team managed 27 shots including nine on frame that were saved by Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando.
Although the result wasn’t what the Galaxy wanted to open the 2014 campaign, LA are hoping to use the loss as motivation to push them to strong performance in the first leg against Tijuana.
“It makes us more motivated; no one likes to lose, especially in their first game,” said forward Rob Friend who won a stoppage time penalty for Robbie Keane that was saved by Rimando. “We expect to win every game so obviously now we are motivated for Wednesday, but I think we got a little bit of extra fire in us now.”
While the Galaxy come into the tournament off a loss, Club Tijuana was dominant in their last match as they easily dispatched Chivas de Guadalajara 2-0 at Estadio Caliente on Friday. For a team that has suffered through inconsistent form as of late, going 2-2-1 in their last five games, Tijuana was firing on all cylinders against an anemic Chivas team that struggled to test the usually creaky Xolos defense.
“Against the Mexican teams, it’s always tough so I’m sure it will be an interesting game. It’s a good game for us to bounce back,” said Keane. “I’m sure fitness wise and after playing today, it will do the team a world of good on Wednesday. I think you’ll see us a lot faster and sharper because the more games you play the more match fitness you get.”
As the Galaxy look ahead to their date with their rivals from Baja California, the answer to victory might be as simple as finishing the chances that the team wasted against RSL.
“We’re still confident we know how to play here [at StubHub Center],” Landon Donovan said. We played well against a good team [in RSL] for long stretches of the game. We have to be better in front of the goal. It’s easy to say but when those chances we have to finish them and it’s as simple as that.”