Bruce Arena’s Los Angeles Galaxy were in Monterrey, Mexico, to prepare for their CONCACAF Champions League semifinal second leg with Victor Vucinich’s CF Monterrey at the Estadio Tecnologico. The Galaxy come into tomorrow’s contest down 2-1 on agggregate and must prevail by a score of 2-0/3-2 or better.
With Landon Donovan nearing match fitness and Robbie Keane also available, it will be all in for the only MLS team remaining in the competition. The Seattle Sounders fell to Santos Laguna 2-1 on aggregate on Tuesday, so in order to avoid a replay of last year’s final, the Galaxy must finish and run for a full 90 against a Monterrey side that is skilled at playing a fast technical game.
One player for the Galaxy that is ready to contribute is midfielder Juninho, who suffered a knock in the first leg but will be keep to avoid another one tomorrow.
“It was my first day back, I feel okay. I need a little bit more with the guys; my headache has no pain any more. I’m available for the next game,” Juninho told LAGalaxy.com’s Adam Serrano. “I want to help. It’s a very tough game [on Wednesday] and everyone knows that. Monterrey has a very good team, but we’re prepared.
“We played at home last game and it was very good in the first half, but we slept late in the game and they scored two goals. Next game is going to be the same, we’re going to press them and the guys have to be ready for a big game.”
“Juni is an important player for us and he’s important to have in our first XI, but as I’ve said that we have a very good squad,” said goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini. “We have a lot of good players that unfortunately sit on the bench, but every time that they’ve been called in, they do their job.”
“When you’ve played in Champions League or UEFA Cup, there are always two legs and sometimes going away from home is good because it puts more pressure on you,” said Keane to Serrano. “We know on Wednesday, it’s going to be a good atmosphere and we have to keep the crowd very quiet and if we can get an early goal then great. We’ve got a chance, it’s certainly not over.”
“It’s certainly a competition we believe is important for our club,” Arena told LAGalaxy.com’s Larry Morgan. “We’re playing the two-time defending champion. To get a result and move on in the competition would be a fantastic result.
“Obviously we should have been thinking a little bit more that way the last 10 minutes the other night. There’s a challenge ahead, and our team is certainly capable of leaving Monterrey as winners. That’s our objective and we’re going to get after it.”
Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. PT/10 p.m. ET and will be televised by FOX Soccer and Galavision.