Club Tijuana striker Herculez Gomez was understandably appalled after Club Tijuana fell 1-0 to the Los Angeles Galaxy in the first leg of the 2013-14 CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals. First, he did not start, which was a game-time decision by Xolos boss Cesar Farias. Secondly, the crowd at the match did not impress him. And thirdly, the talk of this being a rivalry was laughable, according to his take.
“I think it was disappointing for LA,” Gomez said of the crowd to MLSSoccer.com’s Dan Itel. “You can’t claim to be one of the best fan bases and the flagship team of the league and get shown up like this. I’m sure their players feel disappointed.
“I expected it. We’re really popular. People keep saying MLS should go to San Diego, but that’s maybe not such a good idea. A few thousand people shouting one way, a few thousand people another way, that’s not a good atmosphere.
“There’s a chip on my shoulder that I didn’t get more time today, that’s for sure. I think you should maybe know your players better. This is a tournament that I get up for. I’ve done a lot of things that have been positive in this tournament. I would have loved to have had more time. I was proactive, I was getting looks, it just wasn’t enough. I would have loved to have done more.”
Gomez believed that Tijuana had what it took to win the first leg by conceded that the football gods were only doing their job.
“That’s the way football goes,” Gomez said of the result. “You have to give [LA] credit for looking for it in the first half. Maybe in the second half they weren’t very proactive offensively, but they did enough to get the result. It’s maybe not the best result they would have hoped for, but it’s still a result.”
Galaxy manager Bruce Arena and midfielder Landon Donovan knows that the return leg will be a different story.
“It will be difficult,” Arena told reporters. “Obviously, another goal would have benefited our team, but it’s still nice going there with an advantage. Not giving up an away goal is important and we are well aware of the fact that Tuesday will be a difficult game. We will be ready.”
“They hardly ever lose at Estadio Caliente,” Donovan added. “It will be difficult for us but we have an advantage and we are going to give it our all in order to advance.”