HEREDIA, COSTA RICA – The atmosphere at Estadio Eladio Rosabal Cordero was everything that the LA Galaxy expected and unfortunately, for LA, at times it was much more.
The Galaxy endured jeers, chants, whistles, and according to Mike Magee the occasional spitball from the fans during their scoreless draw against Herediano in their CONCACAF Champions League Quarterfinal First Leg.
“I got spit on about 30 times tonight, so I’m not too happy with that. But besides that, their fans were very pro-them, but anytime you’re getting spit on, you’re not going to leave happy,” said Magee. “I don’t want to sound like I’m whining, but spitting's disgusting. I’d rather somebody punch me than spit on me.”
But was the reaction better than flying bags of urine, which have long been a staple of CONCACAF matches? Not so says Magee.
“At least you can see a bag coming; you can dodge it. Spit is disgusting and [with the] misty air, so it’s combination of each,” said Magee. “I’m not leaving here like this is a place I want to come back to.”
Magee had every reason to be frustrated after the result as he saw two opportunities to put the Galaxy ahead denied by the woodwork and the officiating crew. In the 52nd minute, the Galaxy attacker had a chance rattle the crossbar and then 15 minutes later, his next opportunity found the back of the net, but was ruled offside. Television replays showed that Magee was onside when the ball was played to him.
The hostile conditions of El Rosabal now thousands of miles away, LA captain Robbie Keane believes that not only were LA the better team on Thursday, but they are now in striking position to advance once they return to the friendly confines of The Home Depot Center.
“I thought we were the better team, to be honest with you. Considering we're playing in their stadium and on their pitch, that we're obvious not used to. I thought we were kind of in control of most of the game,” said Keane. “It’s in our own hands now, playing in our own stadium, in front of our fans, on a pitch we obvious feel more comfortable than this, so we look forward to it.”