BY ADAM SERRANO
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.