Let’s be honest: Bruce Arena’s Los Angeles Galaxy have had a great run in the 2012-13 CONCACAF Champions League.
However, they know that they are up for an almost-impossible challenge in the form of the defending champions of the region, Victor Vucinich’s Club de Futbol Monterrey. This week, the Galaxy are taking on Los Rayados at the Estadio Tecnologico in the second leg of the 2012-13 CCL semifinals.
Down 2-1 on agreegate, a 2-0/3-2 victory or better will be enough for LA, but the View from Avalon knows that if you can’t finish the job at home, it will be a true suicide mission on the road. And the Galaxy have been unable to win on the road, despite this being just their second road trip of the calendar year. With that said, the View from Avalon brings you its 10 Bold Predictions for the Apr. 10 contest between the Los Angeles Galaxy and CF Monterrey.
1. Not a lot of saves from Juan de Dios Ibarra
Monterrey goalkeeper Juan de Dios Ibarra didn’t have to make a lot of saves last week against Los Angeles—he only made three—and he won’t have to do a lot either because this Monterrey team is ready to maintain the advantage. Under four saves will need to be made from Ibarra on Wednesday.
2. Here comes Humberto Suazo again
El Chupete has been a goalscoring machine throughout his career at Monterrey, and this time he will get on goal much earlier in the contest, as to later in the first leg. Humberto Suazo will score within the first 30 minutes of the match.
3. Also on goal…Aldo de Nigris
If Suazo catches fire, so does Aldo de Nigris, who put the icing on the cake in second-half stoppage time last week against the Galaxy. de Nigris will score late in the first half and effectively put this game out of reach for the Galaxy.
4. Carlo Cudicini with at least five saves
Los Angeles Galaxy goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini had a shoddy performance against Los Rayados and it’s going to happen again this week at Estadio Tecnologico. With the match expected to sell out, Cudicini will have to make at least five saves to pace the visitors.
5. No goals for the Galaxy in the first half
It’s going to be very tough for the Galaxy to find their rhythm offensively in the first half. The changes in speed of this Monterrey team will force LA to chase the aggregate early and often. There will be no goals for Los Angeles in the first half.
6. Robbie Keane gets Los Angeles on the board
Early in the second half, Los Angeles will finally be able to get on the scoresheet thanks to Robbie Keane, who had some chances of his own to give the Galaxy an advantage in the first leg. The goal will come too little, too late, however.
7. Poor finishes all around from Los Angeles
The Galaxy, at this point in the season, are stil a work in progress. They are just a few games into their MLS season and are not in midseason form just yet. The poor finishing that haunted them in the first leg will haunt them again in the second leg.
8. Walter Ayovi with a goal for Monterrey
Midfielder Walter Ayovi was another player that missed a sitter for Los Rayados in the contest. This time, he will be able to bury the chance given to him in the second half and secure Monterrey’s place in the final.
9. At least 25 fouls and four yellows
It’s going to be another tough, physical encounter between two teams that love to play free-flowing football. At least 25 fould will be whistled and at least four yellow cards will be issued. No one will be sent off.
10. Monterrey is back for another shot at the Club World Cup
This is a two-part bold prediction right here. CF Monterrey will win the second leg and book their place in the CONCACAF Champions League Final, and they will face Santos Laguna, as was the case in the previous edition. History repeating itself? Why not?
CF Monterrey 3, Los Angeles Galaxy 1
CF Monterrey wins on aggregate 5-2