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CONCACAF: Monterrey vs. Galaxy (SBI Live Match Commentary)




The hopes and dreams of MLS glory in the CONCACAF Champions League rest in the hands of the Los Angeles Galaxy, which face the daunting task of trying to beat two-time defending champions Monterrey on the road tonight (10pm, Fox Soccer Channel).

The Rayados come into the match riding the momentum of their comeback victory in the first leg, which saw Monterrey score a pair of goals in the final minutes of play to erase a 1-0 deficit and take full control of the series.

The Galaxy will be hoping to put pressure on Monterrey’s defense with an attack led by Robbie Keane, as well as with contributions of Landon Donovan, who is making a surprise start for the Galaxy tonight.

SBI will be providing live commentary on tonight’s match so please feel free to follow along here. As always, you are welcome to share your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below.

Enjoy the action (Tonight’s commentary is after the jump):


  1. I think that everyone can agree that MLS requires incremental improvement, we are just arguing over the pace. In the last couple of years there have been tiny steps by the league to improve quality, but nothing that I am aware of happened this year. Next year the league needs to make a concrete step forward, whether it is a substantial increase in overall team xombined salary limit, increase in the number of DPs, or more incentives for strong performance (or all of these). In adidition, even greater emphasis on reserve squads/ player development etc. Realistically we are not going to have relegation, which is one of the best methods to prod improvement.

  2. I have no problem with Garber saying he wants MLS to be an elite league in ten years. That’s what leaders do; they set goals and challenge people to achieve them. But they also need to be able to articulate a vision of what success looks like.

    I just want him to explain his vision for how the salary cap evolves along the way.

  3. Jose, you’re right. Though, you still haven’t knocked down my argument. Did you see the tv numbers Wahl released the other day on his twitter feed? They were frankly terrible! 175k? There’s more people living in Ann Arbor! And there’s a reason for these awful numbers: the quality is not good enough; it’s not even good enough against a mid-table Mexican team! When Garber says that he expects the MLS to be an elite league in ten years, it’s a joke! Elite relative to what? NCAA soccer? Some crappy Scandinavian league? Truth hurts: The quality of the MLS is little above average. Maybe.

  4. This is what troubles me about the MLS: the parity will ultimately damage the league. When the MLS promotes their league to the casual fan, like the NBA, NHL, and MLB, they tend to market the teams that have enjoyed prior success (e.g., Sounders, LA, Sporting KC, Houston, DC, etc.). Yet, when said teams fall flat on their faces by constantly struggling against league bottom-dwellers (e.g., Rapids, Fire), MLS’ reputation in terms of quality and progression is at stake. However, I am NOT promoting an entrenched EPL system with the same 4 or 5 teams always excelling. I just want the supposed “elite” teams to play well for several years like in the NBA or NHL. Ultimately, MLS needs their supposed elite teams to consistently succeed in order to expand team legacy and grow brand recognition for said team and the MLS overall!

    • I think you need to settle down. First off, 50% of the MLS teams in the CCL advanced to the semifinals of the tournament. We’re not that far off. I’d even go so far to say that if it was Sporting KC playing instead of Seattle or LA at this point in the season SKC would’ve taken it.

      That being said MLS can improve. The top tier teams of MLS are 4 players short of taking the league to the next level. The league should be at a point where a Jack McBean or Michael Stephens is on the reserve squad and a Sarvas and Leanardo are late match subs.

      The biggest move MLS can make is a real effort to keep American players here in MLS. Imagine if just the keepers abroad(Friedel, Guzan, Howard) came back. Now imagine if guys like Mix, Gatt, Jozy, Deuce, Boyd, Bradley, Hercules etc were playing here in MLS. The league would improve dramatically and the attention it received on TV, i the stands and in the press would too. Keane had a great year last season but it is shocking that he makes more $ than ay player in Liga MX.

      How can MLS expect the fans or the press to really give it the time of day when US players are overseas?

      • Yeah, but MX has a much bigger development system and many more teams. We just need more lower league density and better youth development with more pro and semi pro teams. This is a long road.

  5. So once again, MLS teams need to raise salary cap, 5 DPs per team and free agency in order to compete internationally and make MLS parity better and tougher to beat. But if teams do not want to use their dps spots or salary cap, well too bad for the team but MLS needs to walk away from teams like columbus, colorado and others in order to set the difference. This is soccer and not nba,nfl,nhl,mlb because in soccer there is plenty of talent around the world. For example if i was 19 years old and no Europe team comes calling but an MLS team does, hell yeah i would go for 2 or 4 seasons in MLS to raise my stock. And in nba,mlb,nhl,nfl you can not do that, so f*ck MLS parity.

    • you recommend contracting teams that haven’t filled all of their DP slots? MLS could put in incentives for teams that fill their DP slots but not take a franchise away unless it was written in a franchise contract agreement.

      Parity may suck for MLS teams when it comes to CCL but MLS was not created only to win CCL.

      Last year Xolos comes out of nowhere to win Liga MX, this year Tigres are really good. Santos Laguna, Monterrey, Club America and so on have all been at the top over the recent years. In fact Chivas, one of Mexicos most famous clubs have been mediocre for many years running. There’s plenty of parity in liga MX and their teams continually win CCL.

  6. MLS needs to go to an MLB-style draft (all US/Canadians 18+, keep same rules as MLB for players opting for college then getting redrafted). Eliminate DPs but increase the salary cap to offset and make it a hard cap. Eliminate the illegal single-entity structure and replace it with one modeled after the NFL. MLS is growing as a business but has stagnated as a soccer league. The above proposals could help them grow on both fronts.

    • I think you hit the nail on the head, both with your idea for a salary cap and the stagnation as a soccer league. The play as a whole is getting better, but my patience is waning. There just isn’t as much progress as I would have liked to have seen by now especially in terms of academies developing players.

      • Seriously?

        Did you not notice that the Galaxy used 2 of their 3 subs tonight to bring in academy products? And that Seattle started one of their academy products last night?

        Oh, and eliminating DPs and setting a hard cap is probably a worse idea than scraping the cap altogether. You need the flexibility to bring in players like Beckham because a good growth strategy is multifaceted (quality on the pitch, marketing, global awareness).

    • There’s linkage between the MLS business success and growth as an increasingly entertaining soccer league. Every year MLS is more entertaining with new players adding to the drama. Goals are better, more skill is being added with new signings and we’re seeing the emergence of a few perennially strong clubs with distinct identities (Sporting KC, Seattle, LA, RSL + more).

      I’m not saying it’s completely arrived but I don’t see stagnation as a soccer league. Unless winning CCL is you’re only yardstick for progress as a soccer league.

      • How else are you going to measure progress as a soccer league other than international competitions? And, relative to Mexico, MLS has taken steps backwards since RSL choked a couple of years ago. We can’t just rely on your gut feelings that the play on the field looks better (I think it’s certainly improved in the long term, but plateaued in the last two or three years).

        Garber has done a great job on growing the MLS brand with soccer-specific stadiums and better tv deals. But Liga MX is pulling away from MLS and I have some pretty serious fears about what happens to MLS once multi-million dollar expansion fees peter out.

  7. Keane was horrible tonight. Very depressing. Landon better get his ass to camp on time next season and make a difference next year (assuming LA makes it past the group this summer)

  8. I finally realized what it is that MLS teams lack. They have good players but they can’t play football. Their positioning and movement is wrong. Not wrong as in bad but not optimal.

    How do you fix that? Coaching by itsellf isn’t goign to do it because the whole leage as a whole needs to change to reinforce it.

    • maybe some horns blowing all game long will “fix it”. yea, that is what MLS needs. Or maybe free beer at the games. Or half price popcorn. Blue turf could do the trick. I am out of ideas to “fix it”.

  9. Once again, the recipe to become a better league and win international tournaments, which is only one (concacaf champions) is to give teams 5 dps per team, raise salary cap and free agency. Garber needs to understand that MLS has a low salary cap and not enough talent to compete against LigaMX teams which they are not so good. LigaMX has a their league, the league cup, champions and libertadores and their teams still do it. For example, galaxy looked good tonight but galaxy is the best team in MLS and LigaMX has about 6 galaxy teams in their league. So once again, Garber does not know nothing about soccer and that is whats hurting MLS. I know MLS needs to take it slow, but Garber needs to realize that MLS teams need a higher salary cap, more DPs and free agency with no discover rules and IF TEAMS DO NOT WANT TO WASTE MONEY ON DPS, well thats their fault and bad for the owner. MLS parity is killing MLS every year since every MLS team has no differences and it will only get worse. How sad is it when Xolosde Tijuana, wins division 2, then goes to division 1 and wins division 1, then starts killing it in libertadores and advances. Is like Timbers moving up and winning NASL and MLS and making it to concacaf knock out rounds. The difference is that xolos Tijuana where able to use free agency, free salary cap, no discovery rules in order to survive the season and libertadores. Garber needs to open his eyes!!!!!!!ASAP

    • Disagree!!

      With the steady and moderate growth approach we’ve seen our teams play improve tremendously over the course of the years. We had or reps play very strong line-ups who showed us a ton of respect. I remember what these games looked like just a few years ago. It sucks that our reps lost, yes. But this call for reckless spending is simply ridiculous and for what? To win this competition at the greater cost of the health of the league?

      Even with 5 DPs what’s next when we meet a Barcelona or Real Madrid in December? Will 10 DPs do it??

      Losing sucks and this burns but in the grand scheme of things there is growth and improvement and patience and prudence will see us have better more sustainable gains in the long-run and better yet – a league to enjoy outside of CCL matches.

      • i dont want to be 50 years old and tell my kids……Son back in our day we had a low salary cap with parity in MLS, with discovery rules and no free agency and our commissioner did not even know about soccer.
        Maybe fans like you, do want to tell your people stories about MLS dumb history as a soccer league, but not me. Its time to take MLS to the next level but why wait for team number 20, when the league needs international exposure.

      • With your recommendations all you will have are the stories to tell your kids about a league that once was. I would rather my kids take my grand kids to enjoy a strong and always improving MLS.

        The long-game is boring and not sexy but it is responsible and necessary for the continued growth and existence of our lovely game in this very crowded sports landscape.

      • Yep. If need be, we put aside trying to win competitions involving other leagues. Better to keep our own growing than to wreck it for that.

      • Not saying that just saying hat maybe there is another way than throwing other people’s money at it for the quick win.

      • Yeah that’s why I say “put aside”, though — as in put off (for the meantime). So I agree with you.

      • Yeah, I’m skeptical of this, too. In the long run, the general financial health of the league and especially the development of the academies are way, way more important for MLS than importing a little extra quality here or there. Why put those at risk?

      • Kosh is right. Talk to other sports fans in your circle of friends and only a few may follow MLS or global soccer. Unless you have an incredibly cool circle of friends that all love soccer. If so consider yourself lucky.

        Point is soccer is still growing and MLS is fragile because the older generation don’t get it, won’t get it and and won’t buy it. Making a bunch of rash changes assumes they will but we’ll have to wait for the rising generation to embrace the game, hope USMNT can go deep in WC’s and the US produces true world class players. fingers crossed.

    • I agree. Monterrey is mid-table Liga MX team and they looked really good. Liga MX seems to have parity too, but what the market can take parity not a contrived parity like MLS.

    • Thing is Garber doesn’t it see it through the eyes of a die hard soccer fan. He sees MLS through the eyes of a sports league businessman.

      His goals are different from ours as fans. We want to see Sounders or Galaxy beat a liga MX team and win CCL. He wants to bring a 20th team to the league make sure every team is financially successful with a growing fan base. He probably sees winning CCL as icing on the cake and a validation of the leagues growth. Garber knows that raising the salary cap will help in CCL and we all hope small increases are implemented in the coming years.

      Garber was an exec at the NFL and he knows better than anyone on SBI the numbers needed for the sport to reach a critical mass of fans before signing lots of DP’s with large team salaries.

  10. Donovan is not fit right now.

    Yes, MLS should tried get an extra two or three weeks for Semi-Finals (poor planning in MLS offices).

    • First, you say the Galaxy need a creative MF. Then, you say Sarvas is fantastic. You do realize that Sarvas is the guy who is supposed to be our creative MF, don’t you?

      • Well I don’t really see sarvas as a creative midfielder at all. He does well to relieve pressure by passing quickly once he receives the ball but I don’t believe the team sees him as a creative mid. He’s being used more as another juninho, tough on defensive, great positioning to win Balls back and get that pass to who I hope would be more of a pure playmaker.

  11. I feel like I just watched a game with a racist Ricardo Salazar. The referee had way too much negative presence on the game. That took them out of the game more so than anything to do with Monterrey themselves.

    • Settle down it wasn’t that bad. LA stood toe-to-toe with the two-time defending champs away from home. LA were not played off the field and Moterrey playing their best players for so long this whole series and resting their best shows the respect and level of improvement MLS teams have in this tourney.

      Many things go against us – timing of these games was a huge difference for me – but that said our reps didn’t get embarrassed and they played with the opposition. We could do with more quality but we’re getting there.

      Congrats to Monterrey and Santos on jobs well done. Good luck to the winner on repping CONCACAF in December. As for our MLS sides…come on back home guys. Back to the drawing board and get out there again in August.

  12. That said. Omar G. Has looked good, but maybe not great distributing. Really the problem is no presence in central midfield, or flank outlets. LA on its heels.

    • I guess its a reality, but too bad that this tournament is so one-sided for Mexican teams. They are good, and that is no disrespect against them, but there is a wide gap between LMEX and the rest, including MLS.

      • The gap is closing. If this was five years ago both Mexican teams would have crushed the MLS squads. I am not one for morale victories but it is a step in the right direction. Both games ended 2-1 on aggregate if this score holds up. Thats respectable.

      • MLS is getting better, undoubtedly. But the Mexican league is improving too, so its not really that simple. I am happy for Mexican league to be better while MLS develops for a while. Ideally they will both be world class. I would rather see slower-steadier development through youth policy (e.g. Germany) than spending lots of money on DPs (e.g. Premier League).

      • The thing is that Santos and Monterrey are terrible this year, Monterrey is out of the playoffs in Mexico and Santos lost Luduena and Suarez who were two of the best players of the team next to Peralta and Quintero

  13. Monterrey looks much stronger. This tournament really shows the example the MX league is for MLS. LA just cannot have any possession in its own side of the field. There is no midfield possession near midfield, so they can’t build any plays.

  14. At half, Galaxy playing about as well as you could expect of them. Limiting Monterrey’s chances while having a few of their own. Bring Magee on in the second half to push for goals.

      • The moderation filter stops the word “passes” because of the word that can be found inside it. Wish I could do something about it.

      • I bet Ives is more tired of responding to these posts than other commenters are tired of reading my posts about what a pusbag Donovan is.

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