LA Advances to CCL Quarterfinals

Galaxy did not give Cartagines a break in 3-0 rout
by Jamie Pham   |   Friday, September 27, 2013

Galaxy of Angels – column on Los Angeles Galaxy (LA Galaxy) & the LA soccer scene.

The Los Angeles Galaxy needed only 1 point to advance to the CONCACAF Champions League’s quarterfinals. They went above and beyond and got 3 points instead Wednesday night in Costa Rica beating Cartagines 3-0.

LA manager Bruce Arena went with his reserves and homegrown players again making a few changes to the lineup starting youngster, Oscar Sorto, at rightback, Pablo Mastroeni at centerback, Colin Clark in left midfield, and Rafael Garcia at center midfield.

Landon Donovan did make the trip with the team to Costa Rica, but was not in the gameday 18. He still has not full trained with the team since he sprained his ankle in the loss against DC United a week and a half ago. Arena is probably just holding him out for precautionary reasons and to save him for the big MLS games coming up as the team makes their run for the playoffs.

The team did not seem like they needed him as they started the game off strong scoring 3 goals in the 1st 30 minutes. Michael Stephens and Jack McBean create a lot of the scoring chances early on in the game.

McBean headed in the opening goal when Garcia curled the ball into the box off of a free kick in the 6th minute. He is now tied with Robbie Keane with the most Galaxy goals in CCL play with 5.

Chandler Hoffman got his 1st goal of his professional career in the 18th minute off of an assist from Michael Stephens in the box. Hoffman played pretty well his last CCL game, even though he did not score. He’s also played in a handful of reserve league games so hopefully this will translate into more playing time for him.

Laurent Courtois also joined in as he blasted the ball with his left foot from way outside the box in the 29th minute that caught goalkeeper, Luis Torres, and everyone by surprise.

Cartagines’s coach, Javier Delgado, began throwing players forward trying to get back into the game but most of the Costa Rican strikers were caught offsides due to sloppy timing and runs. It didn’t seem like they were trying hard enough as they did not look around for the LA defenders most of the time. The team did not even attempt a shot on frame in the 1st half.

They had a handful of chances in the last 15 minutes of the game but could not get anything past LA keeper Brian Rowe.

The Galaxy could have pressed for a few more goals but decided to play it safe in the 2nd half and held Cartagines to a shut out.

With this win, the Galaxy have reached the quarterfinals for the 3rd straight year. It was a good thing for the team to advance on Wednesday night so they don’t have to worry about doing so next month.

Their next CCL game is on Oct. 24 in El Salvador against Isidro Metapan but I am sure Arena will be sending a reserves team again just so he can focus on the MLS playoffs at hand.

NEXT UP: September 29 – LA Galaxy vs. Portland Timbers, JELD-WEN Field, Portland, Ore. 10 p.m. EST, NBCSN.

Jamie PHAM

Pasadena City College
Club Domestic:
LA Galaxy
Club Foreign:
Former tour manager turned sports blogger, Jamie spends loads of time reviewing the Los Angeles sports scene and is a big MLS and USMNT supporter.