Bruce Arena’s Los Angeles Galaxy were lucky to escape Heredia, Costa Rica with a scoreless draw against Club Sport Herediano. Sean Franklin could have been the goat late in the second half, but the ensuing penalty missed the crossbar. It was justice well served, to say the least, as the penalty was a very dubious decision by Courtney Campbell. Baron de Montesquieu, the philospher of checks and balances, thou are a genius.
Still, in spite of being exonerated for his concerns, Franklin will need to be careful next week against El Team’s forwards.
“I know I’ve kind of got to be a little bit smarter. It’s late in the game, the ref is maybe looking to make a call and I maybe pulled him a little bit but he kind of dove a lot,” Franklin told LAGalaxy.com’s Adam Serrano. “It is what it is, but I’ve just got to be a little bit smarter in that situation.
“I was happy, I was relieved. I was just glad that they didn’t score and we weren’t going back home with a 1-0 loss. It bothered me once the penalty was called but once he missed, I let that go and I was just focused on making sure I was sharp the last five minutes of the game.”
Midfielder Marcelo Sarvas received a sort of nasty homecoming by the Herediano fans, as well as a bit of welcoming from others, on Thursday. Sarvas played for rival club Alajuelense before winning an MLS Cup for the Galaxy. He also remembers the time when he defeated Herediano in his final game with Alajuelense, when he was the center of atte4ntion.
“I have very good moments coming back here. With football, outside football, with friends, it is very beautiful,” Sarvas told Serrano. “I think that I did something good here and it’s something that is recognized and for me, that’s very important.
“I knew the fans of Herediano that they didn’t have any good memories of the final where I scored the goal. This is how they run soccer in this country with that type of passion. I did not expect it at the airport; I thought that it would happen in the stadium.”
Goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini earned his first taste of CONCACAF Champions League experience to go with his time in the UEFA Champions League and FA Cup.
“Crowd wasn’t too bad. It was okay. In my opinion, with the turf and the wind, it’s already difficult to play on turf, but with the wind, it was even worse,” Cudicini told Serrano. “That was probably the worst and the fact that we came away with a good result is a positive. Now we have the second leg at home, and we need to win. It’s as simple as that.
“It wasn’t the best conditions to play in and the turf doesn’t help to put on a nice show out there. At the end, the team did very well and we didn’t concede much so this was good. We will be able to play more football [at The HDC], which was difficult [in Costa Rica] because of the wind at the turf. Hopefully, we can play more our game and it will be the difference.”
The second leg between the Los Angeles Galaxy and Club Sport Herediano is scheduled for Mar. 13 at the soon-to-be-renamed Home Depot Center. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. PT/10 p.m. ET and will be televised by Fox Soccer. Check out the 10 Bold Predictions for this match on The View from Avalon.