Los Angeles Galaxy vs. C.S. Cartagines: Live Blog

Bruce Arena’s Los Angeles Galaxy begin their 2013-14 CONCACAF Champions League run against Javier Delgado’s Club Sport Cartagines of Cartago, Costa Rica. The Galaxy are coming off a massive 4-2 victory over Real Salt Lake and face an Azules side that is also feeling good after opening up their campaign by the same score against Isidro Metapan.

Aug 17, 2013; Carson, CA, USA; Los Angeles Galaxy forward Robbie Keane (7) and Real Salt Lake defender Tony Beltran (2) battle for the ball in the first half at the StubHub Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Kickoff for this important CCL encounter at StubHub Center in Carson, Calif is scheduled for 7 p.m. PT/10 p.m. ET and will be televised by Fox Soccer Plus. The Live Blog will begin at approximately 5:35 p.m. PT/8:35 p.m. ET.

Keep it right here on the View from Avalon, part of the FanSided Network for continuing coverage of the 2013 Los Angeles Galaxy season.

T-85: Welcome to the Live Blog between the Los Angeles Galaxy and C.S. Cartagines on the View from Avalon. My name is Jo-Ryan Salazar, the editor of the View on the FanSided Network. Glad to have you on board.

T-82: The Los Angeles Galaxy qualified for the CONCACAF Champions League this year after winning the 2012 MLS Cup over the Houston Dynamo. Meanwhile, Cartagines qualified for the CCL by finishing runner-up at the 2013 Verano tournament of the Costa Rica Primera Division.

T-75: Let’s give you a round-up of the action from the CCL.

First off, in Group 1, Arabe Unido defeated W Connection 3-1 thanks to goals from Humberto Ward in the 21st and 33rd minute and Jose Gonzalez in the 53rd minute of play. Neil Benjamin scored in the 76th minute for W Connection, who will face the Houston Dynamo tonight.

In Group 2, Sporting Kansas City shut out Real Esteli 2 thanks to goals from Ike Opara in the 31st minute and Dom Dwyer in the 76th minute.

In Group 3, goals from Ismael Gomez (39′), Yendrick Ruiz (44′), Victor Nunez (55′), Jose Sanchez (70′), Anliel Porran (81′) and an own goal from Makendy Duverger in the 84th minute paced Herediano to a 6-1 victory over Valencia. Roody Joseph scored in the 67th minute for the Haitian outfit.

T-70: In Group 4, a 24th minute strike from Christian Bermudez paced Club America to a 1-0 win over Sporting San Miguelito in Panama City, Panama.

In Group 5, Hassoun Camara scored in the 15th minute to give the Montreal Impact a 1-0 victory over the San Jose Earthquakes at Stade Saputo in Montreal, Que.

In Group 6, Toluca defeated Caledonia AIA at Estadio Nemesio Diez thanks to goals from Edgar Benitez (24′), Miguel Alamazan (30′) and Raul Nava Lopez (61′).

In Group 7, Luis Angel Firpo and Tijuana played to a scoreless draw. The Xolos will hope for a more inspired performance tonight against Honduran side Victoria.

T-65: Finally, we have Group 8, and Cartagines went off to a flying start on Aug. 8 against Isidro Metapan in San Salvador, thrashing the Caleros 4-2.

Pablo Herrera is one of the players that Los Angeles will need to key on tonight, with goals in the 40th, 68th and 79th minute of play. Also one to watch is Andres Flores, who made it 2-1 Azules in first-half injury time. Esteban Sirias scored an own goal in the 43rd minute and Nicolas Munoz scored in the 56th minute for Metapan.

Odds from oddschecker…

Los Angeles Galaxy 3/1
Draw 53/10
C.S. Cartagines 16

T-60: We are an hour away from the show here at the Hub.

Winning the highest honors in the region is nothing new for Los Azules. One of the highest points for Cartagines was in 1994, when they won the CONCACAF Champions Cup over Atlante F.C. at Spartan Stadium in San Jose, Calif. Heriberto Quiros, a legend for his club, was the man of the match, with a brace in the 20th and 32nd minutes of play.

T-40: Both teams are going through warmups.  W Connection and Houston Dynamo are scoreless in the second half. Victoria and Tijuana will be kicking off at the same time as this match between LA and Cartagines.

T-29: Lineups.

LOS ANGELES GALAXY
Manager: Bruce Arena
League: Major League Soccer
2013 MLS Record: 11-9-4
Colors: White tops with blue sashes, white shorts, white socks

18 Jaime Penedo

5 Sean Franklin —– 4 Omar Gonzalez —- 28 Kofi Opare —- 2 Todd Dunivant

26 Michael Stephens —- 8 Marcelo Sarvas —- 6 Pablo Mastroeni —- 14 Robbie Rogers

33 Jose Villareal —- 7 Robbie Keane (C)

Substitutes:

12 Brian Rowe GK
20 A.J. DeLaGarza DEF
19 Juninho MID
16 Hector Jimenez MID
10 Landon Donovan FWD
29 Gyasi Zardes FWD
32 Jack McBean FWD

CLUB SPORT CARTAGINES
Manager: Javier Delgado
League: Primera Division de Costa Rica
2013-14 Invierno Record: 0-1-0
Colors: Blue tops with white chevrons, black shorts, black socks

18 Wardy Alfaro

27 Carlos Johnson —- 14 Jose Villalobos Chan (C) —- 19 Andres Flores —- 22 Esteban Sirias

8 Danny Fonseca —- 20 Randall Alvarado —- 9 Pablo Herrera

7 Paolo Jimenez —- 10 Randall Brenes —- 24 Neto De Olveira

Substitutes:

1 Luis Torres GK
3 Ricardo Duarte DEF
5 Andres Sanabria DEF
26 Kevin Vega Garro MID
30 Nestor Monge MID
21 Paolo Cardozo MID
25 Felix Montoya MID

T-25: Hector Rodriguez of Honduras is our match referee tonight. William Torres of El Salvadrs and Oscar Velasquez of Honduras are the assistants, and Joel Aguilar of El Salvador is the fourth official.

T-20: Only a few fans from Costa Rica coming out for this. It’s midweek, and it’s Cartagines. Not Alajuelense or Herediano.

T-15: Three Points from Adam Serrano, as the players wrap up warmups.

MIX AND MATCH LINEUPS?

Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena has traditionally rotated his squad in the Champions League, but the stakes are high in the first game with Cartaginés being the team that is most likely to test the Galaxy for Group 8 supremacy. Despite playing a league match just three days earlier, Arena is expected to mix several of his first team regulars with a few of his youngsters, who saw considerable action during the Guinness International Champions Cup earlier this month.

STOP PABLO HERRERA AND THE CARTAGINES ATTACK

Whoever lines up in defense for the LA Galaxy will be in for a test from a Cartaginés attack that will be led by in form midfielder Pablo Herrera. What makes Herrera dangerous has been his ability on and off the ball to get into dangerous positions behind opposing defenses.

START STRONG

Winning the CONCACAF Champions League is a major goal for the LA Galaxy as a club, but before they can entertain the prospect of continental dominance, they’ll need to start the tournament off well against Cartaginés

Unlike most Central American teams, who opt to bunker and move forward on the counter, Costa Rican clubs traditionally attempt to play an attacking style that may benefit the Galaxy. With Cartaginés likely to attack from the start, the fast pace of the match should benefit an LA team that sliced apart league leading RSL days earlier.

T-14: I can come to this conclusion that W Connection aren’t too bad of an outfit. At the Manny Ramjohn Stadium in Mirabella, Trinidad and Tobago…it’s still scoreless between the Savonetta Boys and Houston Dynamo.

T-11: “I expect a team that’s going to come with a lot of energy. It was the same for me two years ago when I came here,” midfielder Marcelo Sarvas told LAGalaxy.com’s Larry Morgan. “You want to show yourself to the Galaxy and look for new options.

“I expect a good game.”

T-10: We are 10 minutes away from kickoff here at the StubHub Center. One more thing: Norris Ferguson is the match commissioner for this one.

T-8: Both teams completed warmups.

T-4: You can tell that it’s a sparse crowd when the chanting of the names is rather quiet.

T-3: Hopefully when the crowd gets bigger, and the goals start to come, there will be more fan involvement. We’ll just have to wait and see.

T-2: Final score from Mirabella…Houston Dynamo 0, W Connection 0.

T-0: And both teams enter the pitch to the strains of the CONCACAF Anthem.

Since this is a CCL match, there will be no national anthem played.

FIRST HALF START: 7:06 P.M. PT/10:06 P.M. ET

1′ – So let’s see how this fares: a battle of former CONCACAF Champions dueling it out here in the 2013-14 CONCACAF Champions League Group Stage at Victoria Street.

2′ – Throw-in for Sean Franklin.  A little too heavy from Robbie Keane. Can Robbie Rogers finally break through this season? It has been a touch year. Here is Wardy Alfaro. How many saves will he have to make tonight? Throw-in, LA. Omar Gonzalez plays it forward. Cautious football from the visitors.

3′  - Well, the Galaxy are winning the restart battle, but it’s all about the scoreline tonight. Andres Flores for Cartagines.

4′ – Little bit of a tug from Randall Alvarado. Gonzalez now. Jose Villareal walks the tightrope. That sequence is broken up by the Azules.

5′ – A poor touch from Esteban Sirias. Danny Fonseca with the dispossession. Jaime Penedo to collect.

6′ – Pablo Mastroeni should have done better. Here’s some direct football from Cartagines. Paolo Jimenez, Flores, and offsides. Tense opening.

7′ – Cartagines’s 4-3-3 is forcing LA to adjust, as Kofi Opare collects. Throw-in, Azules.

8′ – Sirias, Fonseca, and this is some good football that is forcing a clearance from Gonzalez. That’s what happens when you are not that scouted on.

9′ – And here’s the first corner of the night, to Los Angeles. Jose Villareal will take this one. Good spill right there by Cartagines, and an even better punchout from Alfaro. That’s one.

10′ – And a collection from Alfaro. That’s two. Well, I did say in the Bold Predictions that Alfaro would have a big night. The verdict: he is off to a good start.

11′  - Robbie Rogers, beaten off the ball again. Mastroeni is getting some touches but I expect him to be subbed later.

12′ – Another corner won by LA. Same result? Sort-of, just poorly headed.

13′ – The early prognostication suggests that this will be another of those poor finishing night for LA, one that Cartagines will feast off of. Another cross is picked off by Alfaro.

14′ – Offsides, Neto. Now here is Sean Franklin. Some controlled passing is in order. Marcelo Sarvas now. Franklin again. Bad touch from Keane.

15′  - First big chance from Randall Brenes, and I think he pull a muscle. Penedo knows that’s wide left and lets it go.

16′ – Now with the match past the 15-minute mark, there is no other option but to break this wide open to get more looks on goal. Throw-in to Franklin. And a bad shot from Robbie Rogers. Soft. With a capital S.

17′ – LA are winning possession, but Jose Villareal isn’t making the grade tonight. Bloopers on the pitch. More bloopers from Michael Stephens.

18′ – Villareal is offsides. A lot of offsides calls early. That is an indicator that both teams are feeling each other out.

19′ – Good containment from Cartagines. Marcelo Sarvas with the challenge.

20′ – You talk about a team that has done its homework, and you have to talk about Cartagines. They saw how LA stretched RSL and made adjustments to their plan.

21′ – Rogers wins another challenge. Restart won by the Galaxy. Flores with the clearance. And that nearly got through for LA.

22′ – The plan now for Cartagines, as Penedo collects, is to weather the storm, then counter. That has worked for a number of teams against LA this year.

23′ – Gonzalez, Sarvas, Opare, and Mastroeni just whiffed on that. He seems to be quite the old-timer here among the two XIs. Villareal gets closed down. A delivery from Gonzalez is snuffed out.

24′ – Throw-in now for Sirias. Visitors will win a restart.

25′ – Good defending again from Andres Flores to stop Jose Villareal from finding Robbie Keane. Gonzalez plays it forward.

26′ – Offsides again, LA. Maybe I should have put a bold prediction on the number of offsides calls. My apologies, readers. Brenes now. And there is Penedo to collect. Carlos Johnson closes down Keane.

27′  - Alfaro again. Flores and Alfaro have impressed me tonight, that’s for sure.

28′ – That was a questionable pass from Villareal. Here’s a throw-in for Cartagines.  Handball, visitors.

29′ – And now, here’s Mastroeni. And Michael Stephens really needed to do better there. This surface, I tells ya!

30′ – We’re now at the half-hour mark, and it’s been a bothersome one to watch tonight. Still scoreless, but the Galaxy look really, really rusty and this could be costly for them.

31′ – Robbie Rogers couldn’t find anyone. If he found somebody, he/they would be offsides. No-win situation. Hector Rodriguez calls a foul. Good game he’s calling so far, but we have a long ways yet to go.

32′  - Gonzalez to Penedo, who hoofs it forward.

33′ – In the CONCACAF Champions League, teams must come in with a fearless mentality, and that shot from Flores is sign that Cartagines fits the mold.

34′ – Gonzalez again, and the Galaxy walk the tightrope. Offsides yet again for Los Angeles.

35′ – What a poor touch from Pablo Mastroeni, and that was nearly a goal for Neto De Oliveira.

36′  - Cartagines have gotten the better of the shots so far through 36 minutes.

37′ – Looks like we now have a decent crowd for a CCL game. Best since the first leg with Monterrey last year.

38′ – Yellow card 28 Kofi Opare
Los Angeles Galaxy

Welcome to the CCL, Kofi. Here, have a yellow.

39′ – This looks like a situation where some big-name subs will have to come in, as Robbie Keane is called for offsides. Goal kick to Wardy Alfaro, who is as advertised tonight.

40′  - Sarvas, and Rodriguez plays advantage to Los Azules. No Juninho to start, maybe we will see him in the second half.

41′ – That’s a nice first touch from Robbie Keane, but a bad shot from close distance. Yes, it has been that kind of a first half for both teams.

42′ – Credit to the Cartagines supporters who came out tonight. A small group, but still, very vocal. Free kick now for the visitors. Headed out by Omar then cleared.

43′ – Paolo Jimenez is offsides. Looks like we may have a scoreless first half.

44′ – Substitution Los Angeles Galaxy
IN 29 Gyasi Zardes
OUT 14 Robbie Rogers 

Another average shift for Rogers. He may be on his way out at the end of the season. Stay tuned.

45′ – Now here is Zardes, and he plays it back, just to be safe. One minute, says Joel Aguilar.

45′  + 1′ – Another chance goes missing for LA. That may be it for this half.

HALFTIME
Los Angeles Galaxy 0
Club Sport Cartagines 0

LA Galaxy C.S. Cartagines
5 Attempts on Goal 3
2 Shots on Target 1
2 Shots off Target 2
1 Blocked Shots 0
2 Corner Kicks 0
6 Fouls 7
12 Open Play Crosses 4
2 Offsides 4
1 First Yellow Cards 0
0 Second Yellow Cards 0
0 Red Cards 0
18 Duels Won 21
46% Duels Won % 53%
245 Total Pass 177
81% Passing Accuracy % 70%
58.7% Possession 41.3%

Well, that was not an interesting first half of football. The finishing was nonexistent, and this is what happens when Landon Donovan and Juninho are not in the lineup. Will those two be subbed in to start this second half?

As for Cartagines, they are simply biding their time. Sometimes, that is the smart thing to do so that you can exploit a hole and counter. I expect some goals this second half.

SECOND HALF START: 8:08 P.M. PT/11:08 P.M. ET

46′  - The second half is underway. Now let’s see some more inspired football from either side for once, please?

This IS the Live Blog between the Los Angeles Galaxy and Club Sport Cartagines, live from the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. on the View from Avalon and the FanSided Network.

47′ – A throw-in for Carlos Johnson. Now Cartagines attack. A cross is deflected. No one to receive that pass on the right side.

48′ – Gonzalez once again. That pass is too long for Gyasi Zardes, who is looking to get into form. There’s a collision and Marcelo Sarvas is shaken up.

49′ – Sarvas gets up but he is going to be feeling that for a bit. He hit his head on the turf. Might be bleeding, too.

50′ – That’s too bad for Sean Franklin, he was wide open to send a cross inside the key. Pablo Mastoeni is on an island. There’s a shot from Villareal, saved by Wardy Alfaro.

51′ – Back comes Sarvas on the pitch. Now here’s Villareal again, And Keane is denied by Alfaro. What a stop. May be the stop of the match right there.

52′ – Offsides, Robbie Keane. Johnson with the throw. Danny Fonseca can’t manage.

53′ – Both teams are doing well with the recoveries tonight. More stats for the Opta Chalkboard, methinks. Todd Dunivant heads it out.

54′ – A poor clearance from Jaime Penedo. First mistake of the night. Shot from Jose Villalobos Chan is wide left.

55′ – And here is another offsides call to Keane. At some point, the Irishman’s just going to have to come to terms with all this.

56′ – A bad cross from Sean Franklin. End-to-end action, here’s Penedo. And Alfaro wins that duel with Zardes.

57′ – Kofi Opare clears. First big stop from him tonight. Now here’s Villareal. A corner for JV.

58′ – Cleared for a throw to Todd Dunivant. Take two.  Mastroeni with the “don’t argue”, and Opare whiffs.

59′ – Alfaro well off his line. Zardes plays it back. And that looked like a handball, but Rodriguez calls advantage.

60′ – A lot of action in Cartagines’s half. What a stop from Alfaro on Gonzalez. And we have a player shaken up for Cartagines.

61′ – Substitution Los Angeles Galaxy
IN 10 Landon Donovan
OUT  33 Jose Villareal

62′ – 30 and stoppage should be a good shift for Landon, given that the team has to travel to Vancouver later this week.

63′ – Substitution C.S. Cartagines
IN 21 Paolo Cardozo
OUT 24 Neto De Oliveira

64′ – Here is a player in Paolo Cardozo that was with the Galaxy before and knows this team inside out because he won an MLS Cup with them. Then he went to Chivas USA, and now he’s with Cartagines.

Kofi Opare plays it back. Can Los Angeles break through at this point?

65′ – Los Azules on the attack. Mastroeni with the foul.

66′ – Jaime Penedo collects.

GOAL! Los Angeles Galaxy 7 Robbie Keane
A poor save attempt from Alfaro. First mistake all match.

67′ – Game on here at the Hub. Can Los Azules respond?

68′ – Sarvas with the recovery. Some decent possession this minute from LA.

69′ – Sirias clears. That would have been trouble. Corner for Landon Donovan.

70′ – Too low and Omar Gonzalez was out of position there. Goal kick, Alfaro. I have been calling his name all night. Would you have guessed? Penedo with the long clearance.

71′ – Good recovery from Carlos Johnson.

72′ – We may be seeing one of those bread-and-butter games where the Galaxy battle to a 1-0 shutout win. Still a long ways to go. Cardozo with the attempt.

73′ – Substitution C.S. Cartagines
IN 7 Paolo Jimenez
OUT 26 Kevin Vega Garro

74′ – This seems to be a good shift for Pablo Mastroeni, and it IS Cartagines, but it’s a average shift at that. Omar Gonzalez plays it forward.

75′ – Set piece time for the Los Angeles Galaxy. This is from 20 yards out. Donovan to take. Opare heads it high.

76′ – Uh oh. That looks troublesome, but there is Kofi Opare to bail Omar Gonzalez out and Jaime Penedo to collect.

77′ – That had to be frustrating for Robbie Keane. He didn’t deliver that key pass with precision and accuracy to Donovan.

78′ – Still anyone’s game. Los Angeles will need to play smart football this stretch. Long ball to no one. That’s not smart.

79′ – Keane really needed to do better there.

80′ – Substitution C.S. Cartagines
IN 28 Bryan Lopez
OUT 8 Danny Fonseca

81′ – This is turning out to be an average night for Robbie Keane.

82′ – Omar Gonzalez to collect and the Galaxy are on the offensive. Gyasi Zardes butchers another one.

83′ – Substitution Los Angeles Galaxy
IN 16 Hector Jimenez
OUT 26 Michael Stephens

84′ – Bad pass there from Hector Jimenez. And Jaime Penedo collects. Penedo had to do his share tonight. The other Hector, Hector Rodriguez, calls a foul on the visitors.

85′ – Zardes is double-teamed. Los Azules win a throw. Danger here for LA…averted by Penedo.

86′ – 9,474 in attendance tonight, and Cartagines have a great opportunity here with this set piece.

87′ – Blocked, then collected by Penedo.

Yellow card 28 Bryan Lopez
Club Sport Cartagines 

88′ – Now it’s Paolo Cardozo with the “don’t argue.” Back come LA and Keane didn’t do well there.

89′ – Almost for Zardes from Donovan but that was cleared. Galaxy applying pressure. They know the situation.

90′ – Offsides, Cartagines. What a game this has shaped up to be. Three minutes.

90′ + 1′ – Some more chaos in the attacking third of the Galaxy, but Cartagines fare well.

90′ + 2′ – This is where LA need to clamp down. Jimenez can’t be bal-lwatching. Goal kick for Jaime Penedo.

90′ + 3′ – GOAL! Los Angeles Galaxy 7 Robbie Keane
Game, set, match there. What a breakaway. That is it!

FINAL
LOS ANGELES GALAXY 2
Robbie Keane 66′, 90′ + 3′

CLUB SPORT CARTAGINES 0 

LA Galaxy C.S. Cartagines
13 Attempts on Goal 7
5 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 45
47% Duels Won % 52%
510 Total Pass 347
81% Passing Accuracy % 70%
59.5% Possession 40.5%

And the Los Angeles Galaxy start the CCL run on the wings of Robbie Keane. Thank you for following this Live Blog on the View from Avalon and the FanSided Network.

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

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