Bruce Arena’s Los Angeles Galaxy take on CF Monterrey tomorrow in the 2012-13 CONCACAF Champions League semifinals at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. PT/10 p.m. ET and will be televised by FOX Soccer.
One player that is expected to show up for a full 90, at least according to the View, is midfielder Landon Donovan.
“Hopefully, we’ll see how it feels on Wednesday. We’ll see how I react this week during training, but Jack [McBean] and Jose [Villarreal] have done a great job, if Robbie [Keane] is fit and healthy then he’s obviously playing. Mike [Magee] has done well there,” said Donovan to LAGalaxy.com’s Adam Serrano on Monday. “I have to be respectful and wait my turn and I’ve got to produce. I don’t just get free minutes because I’m back. I have to earn them. I’m aware of that I’ll be ready to go whenever they need me.
“If we were playing a reserve game tomorrow then I’d be excited. I’m just excited to be back here and playing. But I want to contribute, it’s not just ‘oh, this is great, I get to play soccer again,’ I want to be a contributor. I had a chance [against Toronto] to contribute immediately and I didn’t take it so I want to get better at that and make sure that I’m helping my team win not just being on the field running around.”
Donovan is aware of Monterrey’s pedigree and status as defending champions but believes his Galaxy can pull off the upset.
“In my opinion, [Monterrey have] been the best team in this region for two or three or four years. It would seem like if you’re going to win the champions league then you have to go through them at some point. We’re really excited about the opportunity,” Donovan added. “We think that we will match up really well with them, we think that there will be two really good games and we think we have enough to get by. It’s on us to put it on the field.
“Obviously, when you compete against a team that’s got a payroll of two or three or four times more than you, there are some natural disadvantages, but we think that we’re good enough to compete against them.”
The Galaxy boss echoed the captain’s opinion.
“They’re a very good team,” Arena said to Serrano on Monday. “Obviously, it’s going to be a really good match as we all know, they’ve been arguably the best team in the region over the last couple of years. [They have] a number of talented and experienced players [with] a good mixture of young players and experienced, but all quality.
“It’s simply going to be a question, on the night, who is more opportunistic, who is playing well. It’s all it is. It’s that simple. We’re not going to change a whole lot of what we’ve done and hopefully, it’ll be good enough.”