CCL Preview: Galaxy visit Santos Laguna; D.C. United hosts Queretaro

CCL Preview: Galaxy visit Santos Laguna; D.C. United hosts Queretaro

CONCACAF Champions League

CCL Preview: Galaxy visit Santos Laguna; D.C. United hosts Queretaro

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Photo by Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports

Photo by Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports

Two CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals will come to a close on Tuesday.

D.C. United will host Mexican club Queretaro in its second leg, while the LA Galaxy travel to Mexico to play Santos Laguna at Estadio Corona.

The Eastern Conference side enters Tuesday’s leg down, 2-0. D.C. United proved to be a formidable opponent for a majority of the game on the road but seemingly ran out of gas, and the Liga MX club converted the opportunities that came its way.

South of the U.S. border, the Galaxy are neither trailing nor ahead of its Liga MX opposition, so everything is still up for grabs in the evening’s final CCL contest.

Here’s a closer look at Tuesday’s CCL action:

QUERETARO vs. D.C. UNITED (8 p.m., FOX Sports 2, Univision Deportes) 

D.C. United played well for approximately 70 minutes in the first leg at Estadio La Corregidora, but the results of the last 20 minutes have put the MLS side in a deep hole entering Tuesday’s second leg.

Queretaro enters RFK Stadium in the nation’s capital with a 2-0 advantage. D.C. United will need at least two goals and a shutout to force extra time. If Queretaro scores a road goal, the task becomes much more difficult for the MLS club.

New D.C. United midfielder Luciano Acosta showed flashes of superb play for the club, but it was the team’s defenders who had the best chances for D.C. in Mexico.

D.C. United did outshoot Queretaro 17-6. However, if the Eastern Conference club wants to avoid being the latest victim to a Liga MX opponent in CCL play, it will need more than Taylor Kemp and Steven Birnbaum to provide the best scoring chances.

On the other side of the ball, Emanuel Villa left the first leg with a hamstring injury, and is unlikely to feature for Queretaro. That means the club could be looking at Yerson Candelo to replace him in the starting lineup. Candelo netted an incredible strike in the first leg the series.

SANTOS LAGUNA vs. LA GALAXY (10 p.m., FOX Sports 2)

Of all the MLS teams in the CCL quarterfinals, the Galaxy are in the best position to advance after first-leg action.

The five-time MLS Cup champions tied Santos Laguna, 0-0, at the StubHub Center, making an away goal that much more desirable for the Galaxy.

The MLS side performed well with a handful of new players in Bruce Arena’s starting lineup. Nigel De Jong held the fort down in the middle of the field, while centerback Jelle Van Damme proved to be an asset in defense and in attack.

Ghanaian forward Emmanuel Boateng also provided a spark, and plenty of pace, alongside Robbie Keane up front. At times, though, it was clear the Galaxy were still in the midst of their preseason, especially when Robbie Keane missed a header in front of goal.

However, Santos has not played its best soccer as of late too. In Liga MX and CCL play, the Mexican side has not won a game in its previous five outings. Santos will be without forward Andres Renteria, while Djanny remains a question mark to play.

What CCL matchup are you most excited for? Who do you think will win Tuesday’s games?

Share your thoughts below.

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