CARSON, Calif. -- No LA Galaxy player is more familiar with CONCACAF Champions League opponent C.S. Herediano than Marcelo Sarvas.
The Galaxy's Brazilian midfielder was one of the centerpieces of L.D. Alajuelense sides that won the 2010-2011 Verano and 2011-2012 Invierno titles in the Costa Rican Primera division. Along the way, Liga tussled repeatedly with Herediano, but the most decisive clash came as both teams battled for the Invierno title. In the decisive second leg, Sarvas scored (watch the video below at the :10 mark) as Liga advanced past Herediano in a penalty kick shootout -- Sarvas scored there as well -- to win their second title in three seasons.
Ahead of a vital first leg, Sarvas expects Herediano to to attack from the opening whistle.
"I'm pretty sure that they will press us from the first minute," said Sarvas. "They will come very aggressive against us because it's the way that they make things happen there in Costa Rica. It's nothing with organization with possession. You go aggressive, you play hard and play tough. It's the way that they make things happen."
LA will not only face an aggressive opponent, but they'll also deal with the close quarters at the Estadio Eladio Rosabal Cordero, which seats 15,000 people and boasts a FieldTurf surface that Sarvas says is "between Portland and Seattle" in terms of quality.
But what reaction does Sarvas expect when he walks onto the field on Thursday?
"It'll be very hostile," said Sarvas. "[The goal came in a] final game so it is something memorable so I don't expect anything nice for me."