Bruce Arena’s Los Angeles Galaxy will be thankful that Monterrey is not in this year’s CONCACAF Champions League. However, they have to deal with the likes of Isidro Metapan and Club Sport Cartagines, the first opponent for the Galaxy. Los Azules hail from Cartago, Costa Rica and were runners-up in the 2013 Verano season of the Costa Rican Primera Division.
Cartagines opened up their Champions League campaign with a 4-2 victory over Isidro Metapan and will not be an easy opponent for the Galaxy to down. However, they have been successful against the likes of Alajuelense and Herediano, so expect Arena to send the house.
Kickoff at StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. is scheduled for 7 p.m. PT/10 p.m. ET and will be televised by Fox Sports 1. Here are 10 Bold Predictions for Tuesday’s tilt at the Hub.
1. Pablo Herrera to score for Los Azules
Pablo Herrera has had a second coming of some sorts, scoring a hat trick in Cartagines’s 4-2 romp of Metapan. Herrera has had stints at Alajuelense and Aalesund of the Norwegian Tippeligaen. Look for Herrera to score for Cartagines in the first half.
2. Robbie Keane with a brace
Robbie Keane will look to light a fire in the belly of the Galaxy on Tuesday. He currently has 10 goals this season in league play for LA and is the Galaxy’s leading goal scorer.
3. Juninho with two assists
Juninho is getting on the stat sheet…not as a scorer, but as a assists man. Juninho had two assists in the Galaxy’s 4-2 victory over Real Salt Lake on Saturday and will get a couple more assists against Cartagines.
4. Omar Comin’!
When there is a set piece, you can expect Omar Gonzalez to put his best head forward in it. With Gonzalez signed on as a designated player, the burden is on this USA Men’s National Team Defender to deliver. He will ean a goal, 10 interceptions and 10 clearances in this match.
5. Landon Donovan plays the Blues like B.B. King
Landon Donovan is finding his form this season. A hat trick against FC Dallas and an assist against Real Salt Lake can only mean one thing: LD is catching fire. And he will earn a goal and an assist on Tuesday against Cartagines.
6. Wardy Alfaro with at least five saves
Goalkeeper Wardy Alfaro made 16 appearances in goal last season for Cartagines. A familiar face to face of Alajuelense, Alfaro also made 144 appearances for LDA from 2004-10. Alfaro will make at least five saves on Tuesday.
7. Jaime Penedo with under five saves
The hope here is that goalkeeper Jaime Penedo will not have to do much work on Tuesday, but he will still have to make saves nonetheless. Penedo will make under five saves against Cartagines.
8. Andres Flores will score for Cartagines
Another player to watch out for is Andres Flores, who scored in injury time against Metapan on Aug. 8. He will also score, but in the second half, against Los Angeles.
9. At least 25 fouls and three cards
Knowing the tendencies of CONCACAF’s referees, there will be fouls and there will be cards in this one. At least 25 fouls will be called and three cards of any color will be issued.
10. Los Angeles double-up on Cartagines
This will not be an easy match for the Los Angeles Galaxy, so it’s a matter of what side Bruce Arena decides to bring out there. The View from Avalon is calling for Arena to bring the house on the Costa Ricans, yielding this result.
Los Angeles Galaxy 4, Club Sport Cartagines 2