Sometimes, you have to dig deep, and even deeper to eke out a positive result in the CONCACAF Champions League.
Such was the case of Bruce Arena’s Los Angeles Galaxy. Arena fielded the reserves and placed six of his starters on the bench as Los Angeles grinded out a 1-0 shutout win over Isidro Metapan on Wednesday night at the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. With the win, LA are 2-0-0 (six points) in Group 8 of the CCL and need just one point next week against Cartagines to go through.
Here are six things we learned from the match on Wednesday night between the Los Angeles Galaxy and Isidro Metapan.
1. The depth seems to be all right against Metapan
The Galaxy Reserves were used for this match. Notable players included placing Rafael Garcia at right back and Pablo Mastroeni in middle of a three-man midfield as part of their 4-3-3 formation. Chandler Hoffman earned his first-ever first-team start for the Galaxy. But the three most notable players are mentioned below.
2. Laurent Courtois delivers for the Galaxy
Laurent Courtois, formerly of Chivas USA, received a pass from Jose Villareal in the sixth minute and delivered a one-time volley that eluded Metapan goalkeeper Henry Hernandez. That would be the only goal of the match, as both teams proceeded to see their chances go wide or saved.
3. Brian Rowe with a gem of a performance
Backup goalkeeper Brian Rowe got the nod on Wednesday night and he was on point, making a number of key stops for the Galaxy. Overall, Rowe only made three saves but each stop was significant.
4. Kofi Opare atones for howler with consistent effort
Defender Kofi Opare did not have a solid effort in his match with Colorado and he wanted to make up for it by denying Nicolas Munoz a chance to put the match on level terms. In the 83rd minute, Opare tracked down Munoz on the transition and made a stop that potentially iced the match.
Then again, Opare wasn’t the only issue for Munoz.
5. Stop Munoz and you stop Metapan
Nicolas Munoz has had a history of scoring on the Los Angeles Galaxy, and the reserves knew that they needed to hold the fort. The white shirts were all over the No. 19 of the visitors. Metapan’s biggest opportunity to level the match came before halftime, when a couple of goalmouth scrambles forced Tommy Meyer and Rowe to deny Munoz his equalizer.
Metapan could not get going if Munoz was held in check. As a result, they capitulated by the end of the match.
6. Stats also tell the story
If you take a look at the match stats below, you can also see that Los Angeles dominated a number of categories. And this is their reserve team. You can only imagine what the outcome would have been if the first team took on Isidro Metapan. The hope here is that fielding the starters in the road leg in October will be unnecessary, but with Cartagines coming up next week, that may as well be a possibility.
|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%|