Los Angeles Galaxy vs. C.S. Cartagines: 6 Things We Learned

Bruce Arena’s Los Angeles Galaxy wanted to get their CONCACAF Champions League campaign off on the right track, and they did. The Galaxy put on a workmanlike 2-0 performance over Javier Delgado’s Club Sport Cartagines at the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif.

Aug 20, 2013; Carson, CA, USA; Los Angeles Galaxy players Kofi Opare (28), Sean Franklin (5), Gyasi Zardes (29), Omar Gonzalez (4) and Mitch Stephens (26) salute the crowd after a 2-0 victory over Cartagines in a Champions League match at the StubHub Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Galaxy will continue their CCL campaign on Sept. 18 against Isidro Metapan at StubHub Center. Here are six things we learned from the match between the Los Angeles Galaxy and C.S. Cartagines.

1. Robbie Keane. Need we say more?

This will be touched on in his player rating article later this week, but Robbie Keane was dynamic. He scored goals in the 66th minute and in the final minute of second half stoppage time. But it wasn’t just Keane that helped decide this match…

2. Landon Donovan was all LA needed

Landon Donovan came into the match in the 61st minute after the Galaxy were being manhandled for an hour or some. Bruce Arena realized, we’re gonna to have to go all in on this one. And Donovan dealt the gamebreaker with the match-winning assist five minutes later. Donovan also forced Cartagines to challenge him and Keane in the attack.

Donovan did in again in the final minute of stoppage time with another assist to Keane, and the match was effectively put on ice.

3. Wardy Alfaro…the next big thing?

The CONCACAF Champions League is a big opportunity for players not playing in MLS and Liga MX to prove themselves. You all know what happened to Marcelo Sarvas after he impressed LA while playing for Alajuelense. He signed with the Galaxy, won an MLS Cup, and the beat goes on.

Cartagines goalkeeper Wardy Alfaro could be under consideration to make a move stateside as well. Despite giving up two goals, Alfaro also made three saves and frustrated the Galaxy attack at times.

4. Kofi Opare could see more minutes

Aug 20, 2013; Carson, CA, USA; Los Angeles Galaxy coach Bruce Arena gestures during a Champions League match against Cartagines at the StubHub Center. The Galaxy defeated Cartagines 2-0. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Watch out Leonardo, you have competition in the back. Defender Kofi Opare had a solid performance. Whenever Omar Gonzalez missed his marker, Opare was there to clean up. Despite earning a yellow, Opare put in a solid shift and could be seeing more time in league play. Don’t be surprised if he starts on Saturday against Vancouver.

5. Not a good outing for Robbie Rogers

It’s pretty clear that Robbie Rogers just isn’t cut out to be on the Los Angeles Galaxy. It has turned out to be a trade that immensely backfired. After 44 minutes, Rogers had to be subbed out for Gyasi Zardes, who fared much better, but not by much.

6. The match was more one-sided than you think

If you take a look at the match statistics right here on the View, the Galaxy dominated a number of key categories, including attempts on goal, passing accuracy, shots on target and possession.

You have to keep in mind that Cartagines have never seen a team as talented as the Galaxy, and they did get some shots. But LA reacted quicker, passed better, and were many steps ahead for longer periods of time. This was a dominating performance from the Group 8 favorites in the CONCACAF Champions League.

LA Galaxy C.S. Cartagines
14 Attempts on Goal 7
6 Shots on Target 1
6 Shots off Target 4
2 Blocked Shots 2
5 Corner Kicks 0
13 Fouls 15
23 Open Play Crosses 11
3 Offsides 5
1 First Yellow Cards 1
0 Second Yellow Cards 0
0 Red Cards 0
41 Duels Won 46
47% Duels Won % 52%
511 Total Pass 350
81% Passing Accuracy % 70%
59.4% Possession 40.6%

Topics: Club Sport Cartagines, Concacaf Champions League, Los Angeles Galaxy, Major League Soccer, Mls

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