USSF Division 2

Struggling Galaxy eliminated from Champions League



A day after two MLS teams qualified for the CONCACAF Champions League group stage, the top team in MLS failed to join them.

The Puerto Rico Islanders made their 4-1 first-leg lead stand up on Wednesday as their tough defense held the Los Angeles Galaxy to a 2-1 victory in Bayamon. The victory wasn't enough to keep the Galaxy from being eliminated.

Goals by Sean Franklin in the 84th minute and an own goal off Islanders defender Marco Valez were not enough for the club to make up for a 4-1 defeat last week at the Home Depot Center.

Throughout the match, the Galaxy proved unable to create a stable attack going forward against a well-organized Islanders defense. Los Angeles controlled possession, but couldn't finish enough of its chances, with Puerto Rico's goalkeeper Bill Gaudette making several key saves for the Islanders.

Puerto Rico put the Galaxy behind early after Edson Buddle was called for a penalty after getting tangled up with defender Marco Velez in the box in the 37th Minute. Forward David Foley converted the penalty for Puerto Rico.

Galaxy defender Sean Franklin found the net late in the match, but the goal was little consolation for a Los Angeles side that had been expected to make a strong run in the CONCACAF Champions League.

Los Angeles will return to Southern California for their friendly against Real Madrid on Saturday at the Rose Bowl looking to bounce back from its recent slide. The Islanders now advance to the group stages of the Champions League for the third straight tournament. The Division 2 side will enter into Group D with Mexican club Toluca, C.D. Olimpia from Honduras and the winner of CD F.A.S. and Club Xelaju MC.

  • isthatagoal

    so is it still that much of a shocker that tfc lost 1-0 on aggregate last year?


  • the mart

    puerto ricos goalie is an embarrassment to concacaf. the ref was garbage, la was spared a red. i guess i got ahead of myself when i was thinking about beckham and donovan selling out at toluca and guatemala.


  • DadRyan

    Gaudette is infuriating to a team losing on aggregate. If you had watched any CCL for the last three years you’d know he’s perfected milking the clock. It sucks to be on the losing end of that equation, but after all I’ve seen of the guy I’d take him over Troy Perkins any day of the week. Athletic, AND smart.

    For some reason, I can accept a keeper slowing down a game far more than diving. Although I’d say Gaudette did have a moment there this evening with what should and could have been considered embellishment. One of these days a ref will wise up and catch him if he sees fit, but it’ll be tough. Dude is sneaky.

    Good for PR. Something satisfying about watching DCU cast offs like Addlery shine elsewhere. Probably has something to do with thinking that DCU’s FO is chock full of retards.


  • Aden

    I was pretty upset about the time wasting. I can understand doing it in the final minutes, but he started wasting time from the get go.

    The official missed a clear PK for Donovan, and should have red carded Buddle, no question. The PK in favor of PR was a really poor call.


  • Test

    Great, more glorified friendlies and and less meaningful matches. When is this organization going to get it’s priorities strait?


  • BetaMale

    Yup we look like dookie. Something happened 4 weeks ago and we just switched off. Donovan needs to get his act together and act like the leader he told us he’d be.


  • DaveInSLO

    Amazingly the Galaxy were +140 on the moneyline to win this game outright. If gambling were legal that would have seemed to be a safe bet. I guess an own goal and a late 84th minute tally doesn’t make it safe…but it does make for a winner.


  • Cleveland

    MLS is going to have to seperate itself in CONCACAF if the league is going to be taken serious. Maybe the Islanders need to be asked to join MLS? Or better yet, raid their best players. I know people don’t watch these games, but I believe if the MLS dominated this event then word would spread among true soccer fans and the repetation of the league would improve and so would the viewing audience of the regular season games. In the end, MLS needs to do well in Champions League over several years.


  • Kosh

    The ref and his out of position assistants were over matched last night. That’s the problem with having a CL in this region, you are not going to get many quality refs. So when you start to approach the ref assignments like FIFA does for a WC, you can barely drop one tier deep before you start scraping the bottom of the barel.

    Gaudette was embarrassing and I cannot for the life of me understand how he does not get a yellow throughout the match. I mean who starts wasting time in the first 5 min? Talented guy, but that part of his game deos suck and I see it as an affront to the spirit of the game and his fellow professionals.

    For those saying PR needs to be in MLS, chilax. PR is dead last in their own league, they would be dead last in MLS too (well, with DC United involved…man, as a DC fan that smarts, but the truth hurts). PR beat a slumping Gals side in a home and away series. I am taking nothing away from PR or their players, because they pulled it off and the way they did it was most impressive. But it was a home and away series. There is a reason why they are last in thier league and most of their players play in said league.

    Great CCL record though.


  • K-Town

    True. The fact is that both teams won on the road. PR just happened to catch LA at a slumping time of year and embarrass them for it. I am an Aztex season ticket holder and have seen all of the PR games here in Austin this year. I will say that Gaudette is AMAZING for USL. I don’t know how he isn’t in MLS. I saw him make some incredible saves against us. However, the Aztex have mostly had their way with PR. Overall they are not a good team at all, but do have some decent players that really get fired up for these kind of games. They would be dead last over a season of play in MLS though. Unfortunately, the headlines make it look otherwise, and MLS need to start proving why they are Div I. 5 MLS teams entered CCL and all but LA make it to the group stages who would’ve thunk it.


  • Bubble Boy 2.5

    Donovan looks like a player who wants to move on. PLEASE MOVE ON!!!! I’M SO SICK OF WATCHING YOU IN THE MLS, ESPECIALLY AFTER YOU DID SO WELL AT EVERTON. Sell the Yak, Moyes…and make the Donovan deal everyone wants. Donovan deserves it.


  • yankiboy

    Marco is not playing poorly. The own-goal last night wasn’t his fault. The clearance that bounced off him was a poor one. Nothing that Marco could have done about that.

    He didn’t get caught out of position or cough up the ball last night that I can recall.

    Marco had some good moements playing for TCF and he had some bad ones.

    Life goes on. I am really happy that he is back with Puerto Rico Islanders for the time being but I also hope that he moves on to a bigger club because i feel that he is capable of more.


  • paul lorinczi

    Actually, I think the problem with Donovan is he is needs a rest.

    He has been going strong since January this year with limited breaks. He frankly looks tired.

    If he does go overseas, he probably will not do well because he needs a rest.


  • yankiboy

    Bill is Bill. His timewasting would be driving me crazy when if I were an opposing team’s fan. Being an Islanders’ fan it can be really grating at times.

    Don’t get me wrong I love the guy and it is hard to argue with success but sometimes I am shouting at the tv to just get on with it.


  • yankiboy


    In a league where the federation president is suspect, and some national team stars try to injure opponents, riot squads are occasional utilized to protect visiting squads, rules for qualifying competetions are sometimes seemingly made up on the fly a guy’s annoying stalling is definite black eye on the federation…


  • yankiboy

    We don’t MLS money so it is a non-issue.

    The reason why were are at the bottom of our division is because we have underachieved and let results slip away. The club is better than the mediocre results that we have obtained this year.

    PR should be dominating the division again this year. Maybe now things will turn around.

    Thanks for the CCL props.


  • yankiboy

    I never like losing. Last night included. The bigger picture is that they accomplished the mission of qualifying tofr the group stage. It was ugly last night but it was a success.


  • Nicole

    Puerto Rico didn’t play anything that remotely looked like soccer. The time wasting by everyone, not just the goalie, from the opening minute was an embarrassment. Man up, Islanders! One dude laying around clutching his right shoulder; then the Galaxy player helps him up using that very same arm – no pain. Whatever. I hope they crash and burn in their next CL game and finish last, dead last, in their league.

    What a joke – and that applies to the ref too. Hard to get more blatantly obvious what he was doing.


  • philmatt24

    Or maybe he looks like a player who has played 13 matches in the past 2 months (starting with the Australia tune-up on 6/5), with a few of those games requiring him to pour out his heart and soul to carry the USA, and hasn’t had more than a week or two off in about 2 years. I’ve seen at least one interview where he requested to not play in one or two of LA’s games (specifically the July 4 game when he and Buddle rejoined the team), so that he could recuperate… but of course he’s such a big asset to the team that he has to play every game, and such a big draw that MLS needs him to do the same (and play in the All-Star game…)

    Just saying, I know he wants to go to Europe, and I also know he’s not the type of guy to dog it and let down his teammates intentionally. As long as he’s with LA, he’ll be playing to the best of his abilities – he’s just worn down right now. Hopefully Everton (or Fulham, or someone) can make an offer MLS can’t refuse, and hopefully LD gets some rest at some point so he can get back to tip-top shape.


  • Tired Legs...

    I don’t think anyone will benefit from having Landon in the near future, the guy is exhausted. The last 2 years are taking their toll, he needs rest. If he keeps on like this I could see him getting injured.


  • Peretz48

    I remember one sequence late in the game where Gaudette barely touched his own player and then crumbled to the ground. That play alone deserved a yellow.


  • SaminMaine

    That was the worst soccer match I’ve watched in a very long time…no tempo whatsoever, LA looked lost, Donovan was an non factor. The penalty was legit, though. I’d like to see refs crack down on the shirt/arm pulling that defenders can get away with. I was annoyed by the timewasting of Gaudette, but he played a great game (double save on Donovan was fantastic).


  • Pete

    Why is everyone complaining about Gaudette wasting time? If the oh so great MLS LA Galaxy wouldn’t have been trounced 4-1 at the Home Depot Center, the 2-1 in PR would have probably qualified them.


  • The Tuppers

    Those can’t be LA fans complaining about time wasting, can it? Not when they have Donovan “oh my leg is broken, I can’t get up” Rickets stalling every gawd-damn time his team has the lead (which is quite often).


  • StevenG

    Why did the PRI have to play so defensively? When they’re leading by three points would it have killed them to try and play a little attacking soccer? It just seemed kind of cynical.


  • Dennis

    With respect to Donavon: Any competitive athlete needs to have a coach with the sense to give enough rest that the athlete can compete at his potential. Failure to rest a player who is so obviously overworked is the most short-sighted thing a coach can do. Hope for a short-term gain overriding sound long-term decisions seldom get the short term gain and can destroy the future.

    Arena should be ashamed for subjecting his star to that abuse. As John Wooden said, if you want to win, get good horses and don’t hurt them.

    (Good athletes seldom refuse to compete as hard as possible, but when over-tired, the result is often disappointing to everyone except the opponents.)


  • yankiboy

    Nicole, you make some great points.

    I think that when we beat your boys at the HDC that manned up pretty well.

    Yopu guys managed to score one goal in two games (minus the own goals that our guys put in).

    We wish the LA Galaxay a successful season as well.


  • yankiboy

    I would say because of fear. LA is a very, very good team. If PRI falls to pieces and actually doesn’t manage to go through to the groupstage with the advantadge that it took back to Puerto Rico then heads were going to roll.

    I would have liked to have seen more attacking. I understand that they were managing the result but I agree with you.


  • jb

    While watching this game and observing what looked like a tired performance from Donovan, I remember thinking about how many intense games he has played and for how long with little break. Then I read this article and see several posters thinking the same thing. If we amateurs can see this, then surely his coaches can. I know he is usually the main attraction to any game, but what’s he going to be worth injured? I hope somebody (listening Bruce?) gets the balls to sit him down for a few games. I’m pretty sure we’re still going to need him for the MNT the next cycle, never mind a possible (even more) lucrative deal overseas.


  • Sergio Hernandez

    Gaudette has been outstanding in these two games. Time wasting it part of the game, it is up to to referee to control this. He should have been booked.


  • guwinster

    Puerto Rico allready got raided. They lost pretty much their whole team from last year which is why they are struggling in the USL.


  • josh

    Down 4-1 going into PR with the RM friendly this weekend, and a slumping team, I would have punted this game if I were Arena. Lay it all on the shoulders of Tristan Bowen, Michael Stephens, etc. The Galaxy are going to have a tough time crawling out of this hole they have dug for themselves without some rest. And with the scheduling as it is, it is up to Arena to figure out how to provide it. The Galaxy is one of the deepest teams in MLS, they need to get results out of that depth in games like these.


  • Ski Fast!

    I think the Galaxy are not really as dominant in terms of skill as their season record seems to indicate–and this slump is exposing that aspect a bit. Buddle was on a hot streak and their defense was holding up. But, if you deny them space they struggle. Maybe it’s just a recent trend, but when I watch them they do not seem to move the ball around very fluidly.


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