Bruce Arena’s Los Angeles Galaxy continue their 2013-14 CONCACAF Champions League campaign with a match against Jorge Rodriguez’s Isidro Metapan of Metapan, El Salvador on Wednesday, Sept. 18. The Galaxy are 1-0-0 and are coming off a 2-2 draw with D.C. United in Major League Soccer action. As for Metapan, they are reeling after a 4-2 defeat to C.S. Cartagines.
A victory by the Galaxy will give LA the shot in the arm that they need ahead of a major weekend for the defending MLS Cup champions. 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 2.
The Live Blog on the View from Avalon will begin at about 5:45 p.m. PT/8:45 p.m. ET. Keep it right here on the View from Avalon and the FanSided Network for continuing coverage of the Los Angeles Galaxy and all things world football.
T-75: Welcome to the Live Blog between the Los Angeles Galaxy and Isidro Metapan, live from the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. My name is Jo-Ryan Salazar, the editor of the View from Avalon here on FanSided.
The Galaxy are coming off a 2-0 shutout victory over C.S. Cartagines a few weeks ago, and will look to build on their result tonight. A win over Metapan will be crucial to LA’s chances winning the group. However, the Galaxy are most likely going to play shorthanded, due to injuries to A.J. DeLaGarza and Landon Donovan. In addition, there is the possibility that the reserves will play this game, due to the match with Seattle this Saturday.
“It makes it a little awkward,” Galaxy manager Bruce Arena told LAGalaxy.com’s Larry Morgan. “But Metapan’s playing games, we’re playing games. It makes it no different for us than it is for our opponent.”
ARENA SEARCHING FOR DEPTH AGAINST METAPAN
The LA Galaxy have logged heavy minutes and heavy miles in recent weeks, so if they’re going to succeed during Wednesday’s CONCACAF Champions League date, then rotation is likely.
DON’T GET FRUSTRATED BY THE BUNKER
Whomever lines up for the LA Galaxy will likely be dealing with a lesson in patience as they’ll attempt to break down a compact Metapan side that is expected to bunker and search for goals on the counter.
Central American teams typically opt for a defensive posture in CONCACAF Champions League when facing their MLS or Mexican opponents, but Isidro Metapán will bring a several dangerous attacking option to StubHub Center on Wednesday.
T-60: An hour to go to kickoff. Isidro Metapan is in the CCL after winning the Apertura 2012 title in the Salvadoran Primera División de Fútbol Profesional.
T-54: Could Chandler Hoffman and Charlie Rugg be called upon to play up top or at least get a look off the bench tonight against Metapan?
“We’ve done this before, so we’ll find the right kind of balance,” Arena told LAGalaxy.com’s Adam Serrano. “The exercise this week is use the roster in a way that we can position ourselves to win two games.”
T-50: There is a strong Salvadoran community in Los Angeles, and they will be coming down here tonight to cheer on Metapan, despite playing shorthanded due to match-fixing issues regarding a couple of its players.
T-48: One player that could be in the mix tonight is Jose Villareal, who was highlighted among the top 24 players in MLS under 24. Check it out.
T-45: We are 45 minutes to kickoff here at the Hub.
T-44: Odds from Oddschecker…
Los Angeles Galaxy 2/11
Isidro Metapan 14
T-38: On Aug. 23, 2012, the Galaxy defeated Metapan 5-2. Ricardo Alvarado scored an own goal in the 20th minute to give the Galaxy an equalizer before goals from Robbie Keane [22'], David Beckham [45' + 1'] and Juninho on a brace [82', 90+3'] saw Los Caleros off. Nicolas Munoz scored a brace in the 17th and 87th minutes of play.
On Oct. 25, a brace from Jack McBean in the 38th and 62nd minute paced LA to a 3-2 win over Metapan. Michael Stephens’s 79th minute game winner was the difference in that match. Paolo Suarez [55'] and Munoz [67'] were on goal from Metapan.
T-35: In other CCL action earlier this week, Sporting Kansas City and Real Esteli played to a 1-1 draw, while the San Jose Earthquakes shut out the Montreal Impact 3-0.
LOS ANGELES GALAXY
Manager: Bruce Arena
League: Major League Soccer
2013 Record: 13-10-5
Colors: White tops with blue sashed, white shorts, white socks
12 Brian Rowe
25 Rafael Garcia —- 21 Tommy Meyer —- 28 Kofi Opare —- 35 Greg Cochrane
26 Michael Stephens —- 6 Pablo Mastroeni (C) —- 15 Laurent Courtois
33 Jose Villareal —- 32 Jack McBean —- 30 Chandler Hoffman
24 Brian Perk GK
5 Sean Franklin DEF
22 Leonardo DEF
8 Marcelo Sarvas MID
19 Juninho MID
7 Robbie Keane FWD
29 Gyasi Zardes FWD
A.D. ISIDRO METAPAN
Manager: Jorge Humberto Rodriguez
League: Salvadoran Primera División
Clausura 2013 Record: 6-8-4
Colors: Blue shorts, blue shorts, blue socks
1 Henry Hernandez
2 Milton Molina (C) —- 20 Hector Mejia —- 21 Jonathan Barrios
23 Melvin Orantes —- 6 Derlin Romero —- 7 Marvin Monterroza —- 12 Christian Sanchez —- 16 Jose Peraza
9 Hector Ramos —- 19 Nicolas Munoz
24 Fidel Mondragon GK
5 Ernesto Aquino DEF
3 Francisco Alvarez MID
13 Luis Perla MID
54 Narcisco Orellana MID
17 Pericles Pinto FWD
26 Raul Quijada FWD
T-11: Hugo Cruz of Costa Rica is the match referee tonight. The referee’s assistants are Warner Castro and Osvaldo Luna of Costa Rica, and the fourth official is Henry Bejarano, also of Costa Rica. Both teams wrap up warmups.
T-10: 10 minutes to kickoff.
T-3: It’s a school day here at California State University, Dominguez Hills, so the crowd is small once again. If this was Chivas USA, this would be a normal attendance day.
T-0: Both teams enter the pitch to the strains of the CONCACAF Anthem. Lineups have been changed.
No national anthem tonight, since this is regional action. May be the last one for this cycle for LA if they don’t win Group 8.
FIRST HALF START: 7:06 P.M. PT/10:06 P.M. ET
1′ – The drums and percussion are banging from the Metapan supporters as we get the first half started.
2′ — LA threatening, but Laurent Courtois is whistled. Courtois is theacquisition from Chivas USA. A big question is whether or not Nicolas Munoz will deliver early and often tonight. Metapan push. Big chance from Munoz there.
3′ – Throw-in, Caleros. Collected by Brian Rowe, who will need to put on a more inspired performance this time around.
4′ – Milton Molina with the touch. Back to Henry Hernandez. Throw-in LA, who are fielding the reserves. It’s the Colorado game from a few days ago all over again.
5′ – Michael Stephens, Greg Cochrane, and now Courtois. A shot from Jack McBean goes high. Should have been 1-0 there.
6′ – LA again. Cochrane. Courtois is double-marked. Throw-in, Pablo Mastroeni.
GOAL! Los Angeles Galaxy 15 Laurent Courtois
What an introduction, eh Monsieur?
7′ – And suddenly, as the drums pound once again, Metapan are under the microscope. LA push once more.
8′ – Oh my, that should have been an equalizer, but the communication was missing. This has all the makings of a fun Big Wednesday match.
9′ – Kofi Opare needs to know that Metapan are not Colorado, and Nicolas Munoz is no Edson Buddle. Big difference. Step your game up, rookie.
10′ – Courtois again. He’s going to get a lot of touches tonight. Galaxy play it back. They need to build on this lead. No wings are on the line. McBean now. He’s stripped.
11′ – Rowe with the swoop and grab. Long ball. That is taken by the Caleros. Now it’s Courtois again. Back to Cochrane and Opare.
12′ – Nice slide tackle on McBean. Metapan win it back. Pablo Mastroeni swings it around. Restart awarded to the G’s.
13′ – Free kick. Deflected for a throw. Seems to me that Jose Villareal will be trying his set pieces in this proving ground.
14′ – McBean’s hold-up play still isn’t making the grade. Jonathan Barrios now for Metapan. Now it’s Opare. Mastroeni with a bad giveaway, but good tracking. Free kick, Isidro Metapan.
15′ - From about 23 yards away, here is a chance for Los Caleros to even things up.
16′ – Blocked. Not the greatest of free kicks. Jose Villareal with the touch and recovery.
17′ – Good shot there, but it’s right where Brian Rowe can make a save. Hugo Cruz issues a warning. Good match refereeing so far, but it’s still early.
18′ – They will need to take this free kick again. Taken too quickly. And there is the world-famous vanishing spray. Villareal to take. High and out. The early free kick before that was also high and out. Placement, JV, placement.
19′ – Stephens now. Good movement here from LA’s midfield, who are keeping the ball low. What a save from Hernandez.
20′ – Villareal to take this corner. Missed. And we have our first card of the night.
Yellow card 12 Christian Sanchez
21′ – Metapan play it back . Numbers for the visitors in black are clashing the with blue, so the names may be few and far between.
22′ – The Caleros are keying in on Villareal and will need to do so all game if they want to stay alive. Mejia moves it around. Hernandez plays it forward.’
23′ - Chandler Hoffman loses that duel. Now it’s Mastroeni to Rafael Garcia, who can’t reel that pass in.
24′ – Good push here from Metapan. They’re winning the possession battle so far. Excellent marking from Cochrane.
25′ – I am so far impressed with Metapan finally figuring out Courtois, forcing the Galaxy to look at other options. Free kick, Caleros.
26′ – Good clearance on that free kick. It’s just like facing the Colorado Rapids Reserves all over again. Now it’s Mastroeni.
27′ – That looked dangerous, except that it was a routine clearance for Metapan, who seem to be content dropping back. Hector Ramos nearly broke loose but was met by Opare.
28′ – Brian Rowe walks the tightrope. Fingertip save. Corner for Metapan. Cleared, but it will be another corner.
29′ - Opare with the extension…Jose Peraza with the poor volley.
30′ – Well, if this is the halftime scoreline, Bruce Arena has a big decision to make. Do you send in Robbie Keane at halftime or midway through the second half?
31′ – Or, do you trust in the reserves doing the work? Cochrane wins the corner, so the latter option is the way to go for now. Too wide. Villareal, Courtois, and another save from Hernandez.
32′ – Just headed over the bar by Kofi Opare. He wants these three points.
33′ – Now it’s LA taking command. Cochrane with speed, and he wins another corner. He’s on a roll.
34′ – That won’t work, so we’ll try it again, from the northeast side. Punched out by Hernandez, but Cruz whistles that back anyway.
35′ – Courtois is getting worked here by the passing of Metapan’s midfielders.
36′ - Rash challenge by Garcia, so it will be Metapan restart. No one reaches that, so it will be a goal kick to Brian Rowe.
37′ - Cochrane again, but that pass to Stephens is snuffed out. Offsides, Metapan. Good work by the Galaxy backline to draw them offsides.
38′ - Cochrane, and that was not the greatest of attempts on goal.
39′ – Offsides, Metapan. This might be a recurring theme for the visitors. Villareal takes a shot to the gut. That’s gotta hurt.
40′ – Isidro Metapan win another corner. Speculative clearance from Opare. What a mess in the box.
41′ - And somehow, after that mess, the Galaxy come home scot-free. Oh my. Yep, seems that Keane substitution might sound like a good idea in the second half.
42′ – This is Tommy Meyer. Cochrane again. Villareal. Courtois. Mastroeni, and that pass to the right side has too much pace. Hernandez with the goal kick.
43′ – A blatant push from Villareal. Restart to Metapan. Here’s a chance…no dice. Back to Rowe.
44′ – Looks like the Galaxy are getting a bit frustrated that they can’t solve Hernandez after 44 minutes. Passing and recoveries have been wasted.
45′ – Metapan are pushing, and Rowe comes up big once more. One minute of additional time, says Henry Bejarano.
45′ + 1′ – That seems to be a wasted opportunity, and so Hernandez will take the restart. Is there time for a final push from Los Caleros? Nope. That’s the half.
Los Angeles Galaxy 1
Isidro Metapan 0
|LA Galaxy||Isidro Metapán|
|8||Attempts on Goal||9|
|3||Shots on Target||1|
|4||Shots off Target||4|
|6||Open Play Crosses||6|
|0||First Yellow Cards||1|
|0||Second Yellow Cards||0|
|55%||Duels Won %||45%|
|80%||Passing Accuracy %||76%|
So what do you do if you’re Bruce Arena? Do you put your trust in the reserves to close out the match? Or, do you bring out some of your starters to deliver? My guess is that Marcelo Sarvas, Juninho and Robbie Keane will be the substitutes that Arena sends in. Arena could sub Keane in for Hoffman, Sarvas for Stephens, and Juninho for Mastroeni, for example.
Whatever the decision, the Galaxy should not be satisfied by this result and need to avoid another late meltdown that cost them two points against D.C. United.
SECOND HALF START: 8:07 P.M. PT/11:07 P.M. ET
46′ – The second half is underway.
47′ – Opare plays it back. Now here is Meyer. No halftime subs. Interesting. Seems Arena has trust in the young up-and-comers. Villareal. And that is a free kick. Call that with Braille. This is Michael Stephens to take. The finish was not there. And that poor finishing is going to keep Metapan in this.
Yellow card 28 Kofi Opare
Los Angeles Galaxy
48′ - Metapan push. But Cruz whistles for a foul and Mastroeni quickly restarts.
49′ – The Metapan fans can’t sing or chant, but they can play some interesting percussion cadences. Robbie Keane is warming up.
50′ – Squandered by Chandler Hoffman, whose night may be done soon. Villareal with the don’t argue. Corner.
51′ – Hugo Cruz whistled for a spill in the box. Goal kick to Henry Hernandez. 6,211 in attendance. Well, that’s slightly better than a Chivas USA MLS game turnout.
52′ – Nicolas Munoz is offsides. Another option is to bring in Gyasi Zardes, who has not been making the grade himself. Another big save from Hernandez on Villareal.
53′ – Too high and long on that Villareal corner. Jack McBean is slowed down.
54′ – Heavy touch from McBean again.
55′ - Substitution Isidro Metapan
IN 17 Pericles Pinto
OUT 6 Derlin Romero
56′ – Caleros turn the ball over again. Bad pass from Courtois. Goal kick, Henry Hernandez. Rafa Garcia with the clearance. Now it’s Opare. Meyer, and where was he passing that to?
57′ – A questionable clearance from Rowe. He knows he’s facing the Metapan firing squad tonight.
58′ – Garcia with the foul .Marvin Monterroza to restart. First time I called his name tonight. Woodwork, but that will be called back.
59′ – Two Metapan players already on Brian Rowe’s trail. Garcia to restart.
60′ – Greg Cochrane has been playing some lights-out football tonight, and there he goes again. Still no substitutions from Arena yet.
61′ – Good containment on that sequence from LA. But, can they capitalize? Throw-in, G’s.
62′ – Metapan are winning their duels this minute. Throw-in, LA. The reserves may be in need of a spark right now.
63′ – Garcia loses that one, and a chance for Munoz is collected by Rowe.
64′ – Garcia, to Stephens, and now Courtois. Ramos gets tugged. No call.
65′ – Pericles Pinto got denied. Incredible.
66′ – We are seeing some fast, wide-open football now, and it looks like it’s going to be Gyasi Zardes to come in first. Midfielders seem to be all right for the time being.
67′ - Juninho will also come in as well.
68′ - Substitutions Los Angeles Galaxy
29 Gyasi Zardes
33 Jose Villareal
6 Pablo Mastroeni
69′ – There’s Juninho, and Zardes is denied by Hernandez. Zardes will play a big role in this match, as he can also defend and finish.
70′ – And it looks like McBean is a bit shaken up and frustrated. Ease up, kid…
71′ – Substitution Isidro Metapan
IN 54 Narcisco Orellana
OUT 12 Christian Sanchez
72′ – Now I don’t understand that from Courtois. You have Hoffman down the the middle, you can have just gone for the assist.
73′ – So this will be a corner to Metapan. They will need to finish here. They don’t, it’s cleared. Bad throw. First bad throw I’ve seen all night from Metapan.
74′ – Yellow card 23 Melvin Orantes
Frustration setting in. That was not a good finish on the free kick. Hernandez pooches it forward.
75′ – Only three in the back for Los Angeles. A big gamble.
76′ – Good recovery for Juninho, but the finish was missing once again. I don’t see Robbie Keane taking his training top off, so he may not need to be in action tonight.
77′ – Juninho really is taking the bull by the horns tonight. He wants to close this game out. Free kick to Milton Molina. Not a good free kick, and this has been the story of the night for Metapan.
78′ - Hoffman will need to work on his lay off technique. Brian Rowe with the collection.
79′ – Garcia now. Bad pass. But that is cleared and Zardes takes it. Melting seconds off the clock.
80′ – Zardes runs out of space.
Substitution Los Angeles Galaxy
IN 8 Marcelo Sarvas
OUT 15 Laurent Courtois
81′ – No Robbie Keane tonight. Looks like it will be up to Marcelo and Juninho to close out this defensive struggle. Metapan with the push.
82′ – Los Caleros will need to bring numbers forward to summon the Late Show. Rowe hoofs it. Marcelo, Zardes, and that is snuffed out.
83′ – McBean, out of position once again. That was not a penalty. That was a dive by Munoz. 50-50 ball. Sigh of relief, for the time being.
84′ – That could have been the nail in the coffin. Corner, LA Galaxy. Juninho to take. Headed to Zardes, and it goes back to him again and it will be another corner.
85′ – That was cleared and collected. Galaxy anticipate transition and react.
Substitution Isidro Metapan
IN 3 Francisco Alvarez
OUT 20 Hector Mejia
86′ – I think the Galaxy are content with the double catenaccio technique at this point.
87′ – Zardes nearly broke loose there. Great tenacity. Hernandez collects.
88′ – Quick restart now by Metapan. Hernandez now. Sarvas will need to be in lockdown mode at this point.
89′ – Jack McBean’s next volley, wide left. I think he was offsides on that chance.
90′ – Wide left for Hector Ramos, wide left. A lot of chance have gone wide tonight. Shows a lot about the quality of both teams out there. Three minutes.
90′ + 1′ – Free kick to the Galaxy. They’ll be wise to take it short and melt some clock.
90′ + 2′ – Rafael Garcia, Tommy Meyer and a bad giveaway. A lot of Salvadoran fans out here tonight.
90′ + 3′ – And this will be the Last Chance Saloon here for Metapan. Zardes forces a throw. Good clearance right there. Throw-in, LA. Garcia to take. That’s it.
LOS ANGELES GALAXY 1
Laurent Courtois 7′
ISIDRO METAPAN 0
|LA Galaxy||Isidro Metapán|
|15||Attempts on Goal||12|
|6||Shots on Target||3|
|7||Shots off Target||5|
|24||Open Play Crosses||8|
|1||First Yellow Cards||2|
|0||Second Yellow Cards||0|
|53%||Duels Won %||46%|
|81%||Passing Accuracy %||75%|
A full recap of this game will be posted later this week. Thank you for following this live blog on the View from Avalon.