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CCL Rewind: Arriola scores in Xolos win; Galaxy top Cartagines; and more

PaulArriolaClubTijuana1-CDVictoria (ClubTijuana)


Club Tijuana manager Jorge Almiron must be pleased with the progress of rookie forward Paul Arriola.

The American midfielder found the back of the net for the second consecutive game, a 3-2 victory for Xolos over C.D. Victoria of Honduras in the CONCACAF Champions League on a rainy Tuesday evening in La Ceiba, Honduras. Arriola played the full 90 minutes in the match, and was joined on the field at the end by fellow Americans Edgar Castillo, Joe Corona, and Gregory Garza.

After Arriola put the Mexican club up 1-0 in the 10th minute, veteran forward Diego Olsina finished with a sliding shot into the roof of the net to give Xolos a two-goal advantage. Three minutes after the break, Victoria would cut the deficit in half as Wilmer Crisanto scored a beautiful penalty kick. However, in the 69th minute, Xolos midfielder Cristian Pellerano put the game away with a long-range blast.

Victoria would again reduce the deficit to one with a goal in the 86th minute Fredrickson Elvir but it wouldn’t be enough, giving Xolos their first ever Champions League victory.

Here’s a closer look at the rest of Tuesday’s CCL matches:


The Los Angeles Galaxy had no trouble playing their first CONCACAF Champions League match of the season, despite putting in a workmanlike effort just three days prior.

Star forward Robbie Keane scored two second-half goals to defeat Costa Rican side Cartagines, 2-0, at the StubHub Center on Tuesday evening. The goals give Keane five in his last two games, after he exploded with a hat-trick against Real Salt Lake on Saturday.

Keane nearly opened the scoring in the first half when he beautifully controlled a ball into the box with his chest, though his volleyed strike went over the bar. The Republic of Ireland international wouldn’t be denied though in the 67th minute when he created space from his defender, controlled a chip from teammate Landon Donovan, and scored under Cartagines goalkeeper Wardy Alfaro to take the lead.

The 33-year-old added his and the game’s second in stoppage-time when he beat the Cartagines offside trip, scoring easily past Alfaro to put the game away.


With a number of their first team regulars either on the bench of back in Houston, the Houston Dynamo eked out a scoreless draw at W Connection on Tuesday evening.

The match, played at the spacious Hasely Crawford Stadium, was one that lacked rhythm, as the Dynamo reserve squad never looked to get things moving and the Trinidadian club still working out the kinks in their lineup as they work through preseason. Brian Ching and Cam Weaver earned starts for the Dynamo, but neither would have been too happy with their work. Weaver in particular missed two solid chances on goal.

W Connection came so close to pulling out a shocking victory in the 81st minute when midfielder Neal Benjamin was inside the six-yard box with the goal at his mercy, though his late chance was surprisingly put wide of goal.

The Dynamo left Will Bruin, Brad Davis, Oscar Boniek Garcia, Corey Ashe, and Ricardo Clark back in Houston to rest and prepare for a big road match with the Montreal Impact on Saturday. Though they didn’t win, the Dynamo did see the debut of new signing Alex Lopez, who went the full 90.


What did you think of Tuesday’s matches? Do you see Tijuana winning their group? Do you believe anyone can challenge the Galaxy in CCL matches at home? Do you see the Dynamo picking up points in their next match?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Arriola should be playing for LA Galaxy(he was part of their academy). But because of MLS’s restrictive salary rules LA couldn’t offer him a competitive offer.

    MLS is the only league on the planet that makes its product worse all in the name of fairness.

  2. Wonder if Arriola gets a call up as a winger soon. Klinsi loves pulling one or two wild cards into rosters. It wouldn’t surprise me if Arriola is one of those to replace the Wood call up just to “see where he is” in Klinsi’s terms.

    • If Arriola keeps hitting the back of the net on a consistent level, and mexican passport around the corner, The USMNT better get him before Mexico does. One good thing about Xolos: He is young and prone to peer pressure. Gomez, Corona, Guido, Garza, and Rodriquez will hopefully apply peer pressure and steer him to the USA (fingers crossed).

  3. Keane is a good player, but Landon is a game changer. He just simply turned the game within minutes of entering it.

  4. Arriola counts as a foreigner on Xolos roster. Mexican citizenship will help his roster status. I believe the Galaxy would only offer to pay him peanuts anyway. I do not blame Arriola one bit for leaving the Galaxy. To be payed very well as a soccer player and still live in San Diego? It’s being kinda spoiled. Otay Mesa is a great place to live with reasonable priced homes in the area. Tijuana is my favorite Mexican team. Whenever I am in TJ or visiting my Doctor’s in TJ I always get opinions when I ask about the american players on Xolos. It’s all good reviews.

    • Agreed. No need to worry about hims suiting up for Mexico. He’s only doing it to help his team. Only 18 and making such a big statement? Love it!

    • Arriola is already a Mexican citizen and counts as a Mexican, not foreign, player for Xolos. Most Americans playing in Mexico are dual citizens, if not they wouldn’t be getting the opportunity–easy to take a chance on a player who doesn’t take up one of the five foreign player roster spots. (Even Bornstein has Mexican citizenship through his mother).

    • Could be, but it is definitely the case that he wouldn’t count as a foreign player for Xolos anymore, which would make him better value for money.

    • Doubtful. He’s come out and said he’s applied for Mexican citizenship to make himself a non-foreign player and that he completely intends to stay with the US setup. I think it was actually an SBI interview in which he stated all this as well if you want to look for it.

      • If you listen to one of the recent SBI show podcasts, they have a rather lengthy, and quite good, interview with Arreola in which he says he is not considering any callup from Mexico and would only play for the US. Doesn’t mean he can’t change his mind at some point, but as of now, he seems to have his heart set on playing for his country to birth.

    • San Diego boy through and through. From interviews I’ve seen, the main reason he left Galaxy for TJ was that as a kid a few months removed from high school, he could still live/be at home every day and have the stability of family while adapting to life as a pro soccer player. He has very clearly stated he is a proud American and wants to represent the US. It is all about not taking up one of the foreign player spots on the roster in very common in Liga MX.

  5. I watched the Galaxy game, and I think the talk about Keane getting the kudos for scoring is a bit misleading: it was all LD. Look, i respect Keane very much and his two finishes were ok, but it was all Landon. He comes in, and immediately drops two gorgeous dimes. This game was heading to a scoreless affair, but LD came in and changed that himself. He’s in such a zone right now, i’d really like to see him take himself to a more challenging league in Europe.

  6. I wonder if the Galaxy will regret not keeping Arriola as he was on their development squad. Xolos are becoming a Baja US side. I would love to see Galaxy vs. Xolos draw when they get to the knockout stages.

    • Unfortunately I don’t think they really had a choice. Xolos could offer a lot more money than the Galaxy could, Xolos is much closer to his home than LA and its probably in a better league. There was a lot more going for him at Xolos.

  7. Paul Arriola continuing to be “the guy that got away” for Galaxy supporters, now and for many years to come (probably). It’s painful watching guys like Rogers and Jimenez aimlessly trying to play the wings for the Galaxy. If we would of just did whatever it took and signed Arriola, the Magee trade probably wouldn’t of been necessary.

    • Both Rogers and Jimenez are doing serviceable jobs – the former needs to kick his injury and find that last bit of form that’s been eluding him as of late – but neither one of them should be described as being “aimless.” Jimenez has a couple of goals under his belt this campaign and Rogers – contrary to many naysayers who hold a post-LAG Magee lens up to him – has been doing quite well to objective observers.

      LA has an embarrassment of riches in its Academy system. It is inevitable some will find their way to other teams.. Between Zardes, Villareal, and McBean, how many more kids can the Galaxy afford roster space on? Arriola wasn’t fought for. Should he have been? Perhaps, but Arriola chose otherwise and LA is armed to the teeth with replacements, both existing and upcoming.

      His being in MX is good for him. And it’s good for LA’s academy rep.

  8. “San Diego-born Bruno Piceno also started for Xolos, coming off in the 70th.”

    so many US players at Xolos. i wonder how many kids from San Diego are in their reserve team and youth teams. every game we hear about a new US-born player on Xolos.

    • Considering that San Diego area products include Corona, Cherundolo, Marvell Wynn, Frankie Hejduk and several others whose names escape me at the moment, it has become a hotbed for soccer players.

      • well yeah, SD is a soccer hotbed for sure. that is no surprise. it’s constantly in the top soccer TV ratings, especially for USMNT games. kind of crazy given SD has such an issue with it being a small NFL media market.

        but yeah, it’s not surprising. i’d just like to know how many on Xolos, specifically, are SD-born.

      • Yup. It has been a soccer hotbed for a long time. Unfortunately one that has been completely ignored by MLS, and perhaps a great opportunity lost as Xolos filled the vacuum and now have a pretty strong foothold.

  9. Club Tijuana manager Jorge Almiron must be pleased with the progress of rookie forward Paul Arriola. The American midfielder found the back of the net for the second consecutive game…

    In the first sentence you call him a forward. The very next sentence you call him a midfielder. Which is he?

      • True. Here, how’s this, I added a 3rd sentence:

        “Club Tijuana manager Jorge Almiron must be pleased with the progress of rookie forward Paul Arriola. The American midfielder found the back of the net for the second consecutive game. The San Diego-born winger is currently applying for Mexican citizenship.

    • He had a brief uptick of form with 2 goals in 2 weeks but those were his only 2 goals in 2 years in MLS also. He has had some CCL success, particularly against short teams like FAS for obvious reasons, but most nights all he and Ching produce is frustration….like last night. People think I’m complaining to complain but if these guys see the field this is what usually happens.

      I would have liked to see Jason Johnson deployed up front instead of midfield. Kinnear’s offense works better with big/fast than big/big, when it tends to bog down. I think Kinnear could have done that without impacting squad rotation because JJ is already a B teamer and he would have just needed to use another M.


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