On Thursday night, the LA Galaxy embark on their continental adventure when they take on Isidro Metapán of El Salvador at the Home Depot Center. The match will be LA’s first in this year’s CONCACAF Champions League.
Qualifying for the tournament as 2011 MLS Cup winners, the Galaxy famously crashed out of last year’s tournament just before the start of this MLS campaign by losing home and away to Toronto FC. The loss sent the MLS champs on an tailspin to start the season, as LA faltered coming into both competitions as a recognized favorite from all sides.
Like the Galaxy, Metapán reached the quarterfinal stages of last year’s competition, before falling to Pumas of Mexico. The Salvadorian squad has already taken part in the group stages with a 3-1 over fellow Group 5 team Puerto Rico Islanders.
With this year’s group stages consisting of only three teams in each group, LA can’t risk a slow start but are also in a precarious position hovering around the Western Conference’s final playoff spot. The Galaxy have had some time to rest having not had a match last weekend, but will turn around and play again just two days later in MLS. It’s likely Galaxy Head Coach Bruce Arena will pepper in many non-starters in this first match up, although losing at home would be detrimental to LA’s qualifying for the knockout rounds of the tournament.
Posted by: Vincent LR