Bruce Arena’s Los Angeles Galaxy return to CONCACAF Champions League action today when they face Cesar Farias’s Club Tijuana at the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. This is Leg 1 of the 2013-14 CCL quarterfinals. The Galaxy are coming off a 1-0 defeated to Real Salt Lake in MLS play, while Tijuana dusted off Chivas de Guadalajara 2-0 on Mar. 7 at Estadio Caliente in Tijuana, Baja California.
This tie takes on a number of names, from the “Battle for San Diego” to “El Clasico de Las Californias.” One thing’s for sure: the winner of this match gets closer to playing in Morocco in the FIFA Club World Cup.
Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. PT/10 p.m. ET and will be televised by Fox Soccer Plus and Galavision. The Live Blog is scheduled for 6 p.m. PT/9 p.m. ET. Keep it right here on the MLS Multiplex for continuing coverage of MLS at the CONCACAF Champions League and all things Major League Soccer.
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T-60: Welcome to the Live Blog between the Los Angeles Galaxy and Club Tijuana from the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. I am Jo-Ryan Salazar, the editor of the MLS Multiplex, here with the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals.
Some call this the Battle for San Diego. Others call it “El Clasico de Las Californias.” One thing’s for sure: this is the live blogger’s dream match. I’ll be honest with you: Tijuana is my team in Liga MX, and while they have been disappointing in the Apertura, they have returned to doing work in the Clausura with a record of 4-2-4 (14 points). As for the Galaxy, they have work to do after dropping a 1-0 defeat to Real Salt Lake on Saturday.
T-48: From MLSSoccer.com…
The Opponent – What you need to know about Tijuana
Coach: César Farías (Venezuela)
Current Position: 8th in Liga MX (4-2-4; 14 pts, 10 GF/13 GA)
Best CCL/Champions’ Cup finish: First participation
Star Player: Cristian Pellerano
T-45: In other CCL action, Sporting Kansas City is leading Cruz Azul 1-0, while San Jose and Toluca drew 0-0 yesterday. Finally, Alajualense and Arabe Unido drew scoreless.
LOS ANGELES GALAXY
Manager: Bruce Arena
18 Jaime Penedo
4 Omar Gonzalez
7 Robbie Keane (C)
8 Marcelo Sarvas
10 Landon Donovan
11 Gyasi Zardes
20 A.J. DeLaGarza
26 James RIley
1 Brian Perk
2 Todd Dunivant
6 Baggio Husidic
16 Rob Friend
21 Tommy Meyer
24 Stefan Ishizaki
30 Chandler Hoffman
Manager: Cesar Farias
13 Cirilo Saucedo
3 Javier Gandolfi (C)
4 Hernan Pellerano
10 Fidel Martinez
15 Joe Corona
16 Cristian Pellerano
17 Jaimen Ayovi
22 Juan Carlos Nunez
24 Greg Garza
42 Javier Guemez
54 Elio Castro
2 Edgar Castillo
9 Herculez Gomez
11 Juan de Dios Hernandez
18 Dario Benedetto
19 Adrian Zermeno
23 Richard Ruiz
38 Oliver Ortiz
T-25: “If they come back here and sit back and defend then it’ll be different, but my guess is that they’re designed to play a certain way and they don’t vary from that too often,” said Landon Donovan to LAGalaxy.com’s Adam Serrano. “They like to attack, they like to go forward and they have good players that can make players offensively. If we’re going to have success, we need to exploit the spaces when they’re there.”
T- 20: “The Galaxy is near and dear to my heart, because they opened the doors to me in my professional career and they gave me a chance when I wanted to continue or when I wanted to start this career of mine,” said Herculez Gomez to MLSSoccer.com’s Scott French. “I was there for, wow, 2002 all the way to 2006, and I spent quite a bit of time either on the bench or the playing field and getting familiar with the locker rooms, got to experience finals and championships. … I have so many great memories.
“I was fortunate enough to score a lot of goals in that stadium, and I have a lot of great memories in that stadium, and one of the best years of my life was spent in that stadium. It’s going to be special, it’s gonna be fun, but even more [it's about] where I am today, and that plays a huge role.”
T-14: “I think in both those games [against Monterrey last year] we played very well, much like this past weekend, but we didn’t finish chances, and it gets magnified in these series,” Landon Donovan said on the eve of Wednesday’s showdown with the Xolos at StubHub Center. “During the season, you miss a few chances, you might get out of it with a tie or win, 1-0, and you still get the points. But in a series like this, every goal is important.
“That was our only fault in both of those [games], and we just have to do better in front of goal. It’s simple as that.”
T-10: La Masacr3 is Tijuana’s supporters group, and they are in attendance tonight. As this is a school day, only the lower bowl is filled.
T-6: Players have been introduced and are going through warmups.
T-4 : Here is a final score from Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kan.: Sporting Kansas City 1, Cruz Azul 0. Will Los Cementeros get a breath of fresh air in the second leg?
T-0: Both teams enter the pitch to the CONCACAF theme.
First Half State: 7:05 p.m. PT/10:05 p.m. ET
1′ – And we’re underway.
2′ – Both teams are electing to be a bit cautious with the ball, trying to feel each other out.
3′ – I will have to do all this blogging via delay due to Internet connection problems.
4′ – Cobi Jones on the FOX Sports broadcast talking up the region. Internet connection resolved.
5′ – A shot from Tijuana’s Jaimen Ayovi missed wide right.
6′ – Juninho, and the Xolos are there to collect.
7′ – Juninho is getting involved in this match early, but he is not getting any help from the others. Bruce Arena looks on, aware of the big picture.
8′ – Joe Corona loses that one, and Robbie Keane’s pass to Samuel is picked off. Now here come Tijuana. No dice. Jaime Penedo takes that.
9′ – James Riley with a touch, Xolos close space again. A.J. DeLaGarza is forced to play that back.
10′ – Galaxy and Tijuana are exchanging blows on the defensive side of the ball. Greg Garza, a U.S.-born player, with a touch. Here is Juan Carlos Nunez.
11′ – GOAL! Los Angeles Galaxy 9 Samuel
There is the first goal of the year for LA. Brazilliance defined. Need I say more?
12′ – There goes one of my Bold Predictions…allegedly the Galaxy came to play tonight. Game on.
13′ – Robbie Keane was there with the touch to send it to the new guy from Fluminense.
14′ – Cesar Farias is not pleased about that throwaway but the Xolos regain possession.
15′ – Suriname’s Enrico Wijngaarde is our man in the middle tonight. He’s calling a good game so far.
16′ – Juninho plays it forward. LA have the intention of stretching space to get more chances. Cirilo Saucedo collects.
17′ – Nunez plays it back. And we have a foul. Marcelo Sarvas gets challenged. He knows this all too well, from his days at Alajuelense.
18′ – Now here come Tijuana with their next chance. Nunez misses wide.
19′ – Corner now for Landon Donovan. Right in front of La Masacr3. A foul, by Leonardo negates that chance.
20′ – We are 20 minutes in, and it’s 1-0 Los Angeles over Club Tijuana.
21′ – Hernan Pellarano sees that go out for a throw. Long ball. Too long for Keane.
22′ – Jaime Penedo collects. No dice for you, Joe Benny Corona. Back come the Xolos on the attack. Tijuana, looking to attack all aggregate.
23′ – Counter, and the visitors eventually get to that one.
24′ – Looks like Samuel will be kept an eye on for the rest of this first leg. Or at least until he gets subbed.
25′ – This has been a game of long balls, long balls, long balls. Jaime Penedo, after a collection, hoofs that one long. The team that passes better will get the advantage.
Yellow card 54 Elio Castro
26′ – I don’t think that had much on it, but a shirt tug is a shirt tug. A chance for Tijuana is cleared. And a second. And we have a player shaken up; it’s the aforementioned Ayovi.
27′ – It was just a duel that Ayovi went all in on, and he hurt himself a bit. But he gets up and play continues.
28′ – There’s another collection for Penedo. Los Angeles are not winning the possession battle and need to do so to win this one.
29′ – A.J. DeLaGarza on the run for the Galaxy, but no dice.
30′ – A chance for Cristian Pellerano, another player to watch. Wide left.
31′ – And Landon Donovan is all smug about this one as there are some extracurriculars. Free kick. What will Donovan do here? Straight to the Tijuana defense. That’s the set piece defending I was talking about in the Bold Predictions.
32′ – Yellow card 11 Gyasi Zardes
Los Angeles Galaxy
Yeah, not watching your feet won’t impress Enrico Wijngaarde much. Get on with it. The ensuing free is whistled back.
33′ – Here comes Tijuana on the attack. Good passing. Xolos win a throw.
34′ – Penedo is there to collect. Los Angeles need to start up a sequence right now to extend their advantage. That will be a corner that Samuel won.
35′ – Long corner, not a good touch from Zardes, and Marcelo makes a meal of that later.
36′ – Saucedo plays it forward. Gyasi Zardes plays it back, and a restart.
37′ – La Masacr3 pulling off their inner San Jose and taking off their shirts.
38′ – Keane and Samuel need to do a better job communicating. Every mistake adds up against Liga MX’s best.
39′ – Now here come Tijuana with a chance. More solid passing, not-so-solid shooting.
40′ – LA are desperate to gain an advantage here, but Tijuana are picking their poison, like RSL did a few days ago.
41′ – Nunez with a long ball. Won’t work. Galaxy transition and that is a corner.
42′ – No one was there to receive that. Indeed, the crossing is preseason form for LA. Keane whiffs again.
43′ – Tijuana will be happy at quarter time of this tie that the margin isn’t worse. LA have had their chances, but in terms of the final cross and pass, preseason form.
44′ – The flags of the Angel City Brigade stand tall.
45′ – Look for the second half to have a little bit of Herculez magic to give Tijuana fans something to cheer about. One minute.
45′ + 1′ – Fidel Martinez sees that one miss wide left of the mark. Halftime, then.
Los Angeles Galaxy 1
Club Tijuana 0
|LA Galaxy||Club Tijuana|
|4||Attempts on Goal||4|
|1||Shots on Target||0|
|1||Shots off Target||3|
|11||Open Play Crosses||7|
|1||First Yellow Cards||1|
|0||Second Yellow Cards||0|
|46%||Duels Won %||54%|
|77%||Passing Accuracy %||82%|
So, it turns out Samuel is a somebody after all. But, he needs to try to get at least one more, because the big guns for the Xolos are rolling in at the start of the second half. Or, second quarter if you want to be precise.
The winner of this tie faces either Sporting Kansas City or Cruz Azul. Unless Cruz Azul and Tijuana turn the tide, this is looking like an all-MLS semifinal. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, through: there’s a lot more football to go.
Second Half Start: 8:08 p.m. PT/11:08 p.m. ET
46′ – Second half begins.
47′ – Tijuana on the attack. Throw-in, LA. Xolos on the defensive for some strange reason I am not familiar with. Omar Gonzalez with a meal of a clearance.
48′ – Chance for LA is swept. Advantage played to the visitors. Almost a breakaway there.
49′ – LA on the loose, but Gyasi Zardes loses that ball.
50′ – Arena looks a bit impatient after that failed dribble from the second-year player out of Cal State Bakersfield. Offsides, Fidel Martinez.
51′ – Breakaway now for TJ. LA are there to counter. Now here comes the next sequences. Free kick, the visitors. Juninho gets called.
52′ – There’s a big-time save from Jaime Penedo. However, there is a foul that negates the opportunity. Actually, an offsides. At least eight Xolos players were guilty. Guilt by association. Football.
53′ – And now a free for Donovan. Cleared. Bad cross from Zardes. Zardes being Zardes, sad to say.
54′ – Leonardo get called. So here is another set piece for Tijuana. 20 yards out, let’s say. Straight down the alley. Collected by Penedo.
55′ – Yellow card 4 Omar Gonzalez
Los Angeles Galaxy
56′ – Cristian Pellerano continues to make a statement with a rocket. Saved by Penedo.
57′ – Joe Corona ran out of space there. Goal kick, Penedo.
58′ – Offsides, Ayovi. And he’s calling for a foul. Not gonna get it. Good call, Wijngaarde.
59′ – A corner for the Galaxy is denief.
60′ – Substitution Club Tijuana
IN 18 Dario Benedetto
OUT 10 Fidel Martinez
61′ – Miss of the century right there from Tijuana. It’s saved by Penedo, though. May be a footnote later on.
62′ – James Riley plays it forward. A foul on DeLaGarza by the super sub, Dario Benedetto.
63′ – And that’s a speculative pass from Riley. Leonardo watched that go by him.
64′ – Here’s a corner for Tijuana in the 64th minute.
65′ – A whistle in the box. Low scoring barnburner here at the Hub.
66′ – Set pieces are piling up for both teams. Corner now for LA. Missed for Omar Gonzalez. Every missed finish adds up in this tie.
67′ – Kept the play alive and now it will be a corner for the Xolos. Another clearance.
68′ – Cirilo Saucedo hasn’t had to do a lot of work tonight in goal for Tijuana, which is a testament to the visitors’ attacking mentality.
69′ – Man down for Tijuana. Pellarono continues to have a war of words.
70′ – Substitution Los Angeles Galaxy
IN 16 Stefan Ishizaki
OUT 9 Samuel
71′ – Another set piece is whistled back. Tijuana have been killing themselves with this
Substitution Club Tijuana
IN 23 Richard Ruiz
OUT 15 Joe Corona
There’s another pass that is too long for LA.
72′ – Long pass picked off, Zardes can’t find anyone up top. Pellerano’s next chance goes wide right.
73′ – Will we see Herculez Gomez in these last 15 minutes?
74′ – Good ball from Richard Ruiz, but just doesn’t find anyone. Collections have come at a premium for Saucedo. That’s a good thing…if you’re Saucedo.
75′ – Man down for Tijuana. A.J. DeLaGarza with the challenge on Greg Garza.
76′ – Winning the last 15 minutes has come at a premium for Los Angeles last year. Can they turn the tide this time around? Advantage, Tijuana, now here come LA. Too slow for Hernan Pellerano, the brother of Cristian Pellerano.
77′ – Corner, Galaxy. Chalk another clearance for the Xolos. Garza gets back on the pitch. he’s had a bit of a buzz this time around.
78′ – Now if I’m Cesar Farias, I play for at least the draw. So that means one word: Attack.
79′ – A free kick conceded by Garza. What will Donovan do here?
80′ – A punch from Saucedo after a poor header by Zardes.
81′ – Substitution Los Angeles Galaxy
IN 9 Herculez Gomez
17 Jaimen Ayovi
Let’s see what Herc does in these last 10 and stoppage.
82′ – Advantage, Galaxy. Gomez is getting double-teamed here. Now Tijuana press.
Yellow card 4 Hernan Pellerano
83′ – Speculative clearance from Penedo there. He’s been on his game. Here’s a corner for Tijuana. Cleanred.
84′ – Counter, and Landon Donovan is met. Really wide-open football at this point. James Riley gets whistled for the challenge.
85′ – Xolos slow it down a little. There’s Herculez Gonez, but he’s wide left.
Substitution Los Angeles Galaxy
IN 6 Baggio Husidic
OUT 19 Juninho
86′ – A sweeping clearance from Tijuana. Throw-in. That’s Dario Benedetto again.
87′ – Now here comes Richard Ruiz. Whoops…
Yellow card 9 Herculez Gomez
88′ – Well, Herc, if that’s your way of saying, “Hey guys, I’m back,” I give you a 0/10 for that one. Here come LA again. Keane, and that’s a throw.
89′ – Goal kick, Cirilo Saucedo.
90′ – Some whiff that was. Another clumsy challenge, another card.
Yellow card 8 Marcelo Sarvas
Los Angeles Galaxy
At least I got the cards right. Three minutes.
90′ + 1′ – A cross from Donovan, and he tried to be cute there.
90′ + 2′ – Baggio Husidic with an attempt. Won’t work. Tijuana will just have to settle for the draw here, if they can do it. Nope. Benedetto goes wide, but it’s a corner.
90′ + 3′ – Cleared. Omar Gonzalez was there. One last push…that was terrible. That’s it.
Los Angeles Galaxy 1
Club Tijuana 0
Los Angeles Galaxy lead 1-0
|LA Galaxy||Club Tijuana|
|6||Attempts on Goal||10|
|2||Shots on Target||2|
|2||Shots off Target||6|
|19||Open Play Crosses||14|
|3||First Yellow Cards||3|
|0||Second Yellow Cards||0|
|42%||Duels Won %||57%|
|75%||Passing Accuracy %||80%|
Stay tuned for a recap of the action on MLS Multiplex and FanSided.