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MLS- LA Galaxy

Dynamo and Galaxy aim to join Sounders in CCL semifinals

DynamoSantos (Getty)

By IVES GALARCEP

With the Seattle Sounders having already booked their place in the CONCACAF Champions League in historic fashion, the Houston Dynamo and Los Angeles Galaxy will try to join them by getting results in a pair of tough match-ups tonight.

The Dynamo face the most daunting task, traveling to Torreon, Mexico to take on Santos Laguna (8pm, Fox Soccer Channel). Houston will look to become just the third MLS team to win a two-leg knockout round series against a Mexican team. They scored an important 1-0 victory in the first leg, and Santos Laguna’s inability to score a road goal at BBVA Compass Stadium means Houston could put major pressure on Santos by scoring a goal tonight. Doing so would mean Santos Laguna has to score three goals.

Santos Laguna is no stranger to needing a home result against MLS teams. Last year they dismantled the Seattle Sounders and Toronto FC in their home second legs after failing to win the first leg on the road. Though Santos isn’t as high-scoring a team under current manager Pedro Caixinha, the 2012 Champions League finalists are a stingier defensive team and just as tough at home. In 2013, Santos Laguna is 4-1 in Mexican League play, allowing just two goals in five matches.

U.S. Men’s National Team striker Herculez Gomez will be one of the keys to the Santos attack, and his success against MLS teams last year should make him a player for Houston to focus on, along with Darwin Quintero and Oribe Peralta.

The Galaxy have an easier road to the semifinals, but they still need a result tonight at Home Depot Center against Herediano (10pm, Fox Soccer Channel). The teams played to a scoreless draw in Costa Rica, meaning the Galaxy need a win at home to book their place in the semifinals, and a showdown against reigning CONCACAF Champions League winners Monterrey.

If you will be watching today’s matches, please feel free to share your thoughts, opinions and some play-by-play in the comments section below.

Enjoy the action.

65 comments
  • Tony in Quakeland

    I still feel like the Galaxy could have and should have done better on the first leg. They should be sitting here with an away goal. I think they will win – but there is certainly a chance that they may come to regret not winning the first leg outright.

    Like

  • Old School

    With out a doubt, pulling for the MLS sides to finish the business and advance.

    It’s conflicting because I enjoy watching Gomez and want to see him do well, but can’t bring myself to cheer for any success in this second leg.

    Handle your business, Houston/LA. Keep the ship that moving in the right direction for the MLS banner.

    Like

    • Tony in Quakeland

      Don’t worry, someone will come along after they’ve won to explain why it really isn’t that significant, etc., etc. These will include some of the same people who would find great significance in a Houston or Galaxy loss…

      Like

  • Ryan

    I figured the Sounders had the biggest hurdle to overcome after the first leg, and they went ahead and did business there. So hopefully these other two teams have an easier time. Three MLS teams in the semifinals.. YES PLEASE.:)

    Like

  • FSegaud

    Houston will have 1 or 2 good chances in this game. They need to stick one in to have a chance. Hope they get it done.

    Like

  • Derrick

    Houston needs to play defense. It’s in the dictionary under d e f e n s e. Then strike on the counter late.

    Like

  • FSegaud

    MLS app match tracker show penalty was saved, then penalty converted…what happened? Roy Miller show up?

    Like

    • Dudester

      The pen came of the bar.Foot save from Hall.The Laguna player put the rebound in the net.

      Like

    • Old School

      Hall tipped the ball and it had some top to bottom action off the post. The player followed up as it was bouncing and knocked it in, after being nearly saved.

      Like

    • Old School

      I got railed after the first MLS match of this season but I stand by my commentary: Houston look boring and generally bad.

      Like

  • Old School

    I don’t care if it’s miscommunication or not. Bobby Boswell with one of the biggest defensive blunders I’ve seen in recent memory.

    You don’t make your keeper or rely on him to run nearly outside out of the box to intercept a through pass.

    Gomez being Gomez and giving 100% effort and made a lazy defender pay.

    Like

  • Old School

    Why is there no “Commentary” thread?

    I only ask because these “Your comment is awaiting moderation” filters are becoming a hindrance to even stay logged in to SBI and discuss the match live.

    Like

  • Dudester

    Crevalle and esp Sarkodie are getting murdered on the wings.I knew it was a long night when I saw Corey Ashe was out.Sarkodie at rb Ashe at lb is much more solid.

    Like

  • bryan

    GOALKEEPERS: Guillermo Ochoa (Ajaccio), Jesus Corona (Cruz Azul), Alfredo Talavera (Toluca)

    DEFENDERS: Severo Meza (Monterrey), Jonny Magallon (Leon), Francisco Javier Rodriguez (America), Hector Moreno (Espanyol), Hugo Ayala (Tigres) Diego Reyes (America), Jorge Torres Nilo (Tigres)

    MIDFIELDERS: Carlos Salcido (Tigres), Jesus Zavala (Monterrey), Gerardo Torrado (Cruz Azul), Jesus Molina (America), Hector Herrera (Pachuca), Javier Aquino (Villarreal), Andres Guardado (Valencia), Angel Reyna (Pachuca)

    FORWARDS: Giovani Dos Santos (Mallorca), Oribe Peralta (Santos Laguna) Javier Hernández (Manchester United), Omar Bravo (Atlas), Raúl Alonso Jiménez (América)

    Like

  • MFP

    I’d love to see Houston steal a goal before it’s over, but man, Santos just looks better at everything. They win just about every challenge. Passes are more accurate. Always seem to have a couple of guys to pass to while Houston’s always passing to someone under immediate pressure from 1 or 2 people. Tough to see a goal happening here, but here’s hoping.

    Like

  • martin

    Houston is done. Not even having the league give them a break could help their sorry asses.

    Like

  • K

    LAG should be the superclub of CONCACAF. They have revenues that are 5 times some of their CCL opponents. The fact that they can’t dominate Costa Rican teams is pretty revealing at how flawed MLS financial restrictions are and how much they damage some MLS clubs.

    Like

    • Francois

      They’re pretty much dominating this match, I don’t know what game you’re watching.

      Like

    • Gnarls

      4-1 is domination, but I agree with the sentiment. We’d all like to see more financial freedom for the teams with the means (LA, Seattle, et al), but the fact MLS teams are able to woop up on non-capped teams is testament to MLS’ quality.

      Like

  • Francois

    Where is the Running Commentary, Ives? First, no commentary for the UEFA Champions League, now commentary for the Concaf Champions League? What’s up, man?

    Like

  • Beast

    Seattle and LA look to be our only represenatives in the next round. L.A. has to hold on though.

    Like

    • The Adjective Police

      What do you mean ONLY? Liga MX has two teams and MLS does too.

      and re your other negativity vis a vis MLS….. Real Salt Lake came quite close to winning CCL last year. I don’t remember the aggregate score but it was a one goal game against Monterrey in second half of second leg. No reason to think Seattle or LA can’t hang with Monterrey or Santos.

      if you’re an MLS fan as you claim…. cheer up….. we just might be playing in Dubai, Brunei, or whatever Emerite they’re holding the Club World Cup this December:)

      Like

    • Old School

      Villarreal and Salazar have been going at it all night. If you watch off the ball, a lot of chippyness and Villarreal has been getting the best of him in the run of play.

      Obviously Salazar is getting frustrated and tried to injure Villarreal. How that was only a yellow is borderline criminal.

      Absolutely absurd….Villarreal is lucky his leg isn’t in two pieces.

      Like

  • Citronomics

    Glad I tuned into the 2h of the Galaxy match. What a classy goal by Villareal! Scored critical goals for US U-20 and excited to see how he continues developing with LAG.

    Like

    • John F

      I’ll repeat something I said last year: Villarreal is the real deal. He is going to be something special.

      Like

      • Beast

        U.S. fans need to stop looking for the anointed one, Villareal has barely had a few years of professional play under his belt (same with Yedlin) give these players time to develop.

        Like

      • John F

        That’s what I meant by “going to be“. But I’ve seen enough to be very impressed.

        Like

      • Old School

        Beast is pretending to be a voice of reason but instead is just a negative/anti-MLS spawfest.

        Ignore him.

        Like

      • Beast

        I’m a MLS fan, but I’m keeping things in perspective Old School. MLS still has a long way to go to compete with our rivals down south.

        Like

  • Beast

    Even if LA wins they have to play the Monterrey Rayados. Santos Laguna plays Seattle, and we know how things go down in Mexico. MLS teams get sent to the graveyard.

    Like

    • Old School

      So, you’re saying it’s already over before the matches have even been played? Got it.

      Two minor oversights on your part that may affect your psychic ability:

      -Landon Donovan will be with LA for the Semi’s
      -Obafemi Martins will be with Seattle for the Semi’s

      Like

      • Beast

        One player isn’t the team, and no I didn’t say it was over I’m just implying that it will be a massive challenge for both clubs to get positive results over two legs. Both teams will especially have to avoid being destroyed in Mexico at the Estadio Tecnologico and Santos’s stadium. Remember the Rayados are two-time defending champion.

        Like

  • John F

    Something not being said anywhere I’ve noted: LA has not allowed a goal in almost three games this season.

    Like

  • Beast

    As much as I want a MLS team to win, the wage gap and skill gap is still very large. I do not think this is the year for MLS.

    Like

    • Beast

      Liga MX is the Titan of this region, no chance Monterrey at full strength will lose to the LA Galaxy with or without Donovan.

      Like

      • Gnarls

        There’s a chance, but things will need to fall LA’s way. First and foremost, I hope we see something resembling objective officiating in Monterrey. Second, Donovan will have to be fit and WANT to play. He’ll be back with the team, but I can’t imagine he’ll be ready to play the first leg.

        Like

    • Old School

      We get it.

      A Mexican team has already won the 2013 CONCACAF Champions League in your world.

      Like

      • Beast

        Like I said we have a long way to go as evidence by Houston’s lost earlier today.

        Like

      • Gnarls

        Houston plays a very non-technical style. It’s no surprise they were knocked out, but don’t conflate Houston with every other team in the league. You’re kinda just trolling now. You’d be happier on some eurosnob blog, no?

        Like

  • MA1 Rodriguez

    Thank you Keane for being great mentor towards Galaxy’s youth!!! Bean and Villareal scored!!!

    Like

    • Beast

      Good for the young kids, like to see a 4-3-3 with Bean-Keane-Villareal against Monterrey. Alot of good hold up and combination play will be needed.

      Like

    • Gnarls

      The young Galaxy players are incredibly fortunate to play under Keane’s tutelage. Villareal and McBean (and Zardes soon, I hope) have a ton of natural abilities, but Keane’s experience is a priceless resource.

      Like

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