Bruce Arena’s Los Angeles Galaxy know that a draw will do on Wednesday, Sept. 25 against Club Sport Cartagines of Cartago, Costa Rica in CONCACAF Champions League play. But don’t tell that to the players on the Galaxy first team…they will tell you that they want all three points.
Will they do it? You’ll have to tune in to FOX Sports 2 to find out. Kickoff at the Estadio Nacional de Costa Rica in San Jose, Costa Rica is scheduled for 7 p.m. PT/10 p.m. ET. Here are 10 Bold Predictions for Wednesday night’s match between the Los Angeles Galaxy and Club Sport Cartagines.
1. Los Angeles will field a mixed squad
A mix of reserve players and first-teamers will start for the Galaxy on Wednesday night in Costa Rica. A smart decision by Arena is to start Marcelo Sarvas and Juninho in the midfielder to establish some order. The young guys of Gyasi Zardes and Jose Villareal will need to be on the game to give LA a shot at three points.
2. Robbie Keane will come off the bench
Robbie Keane wasn’t effective on Saturday night against the Seattle Sounders, but his fortunes will change when he faces a less talented opponent in Cartagines. Keane’s scored a brace against Los Azules in the first meeting and will score again.
3. At least five saves from Jaime Penedo
This is a game where Jaime Penedo is needed to at least give LA a chance at a point split. Penedo only made save against Seattle, but with a reserve backline expected on Wednesday, the onus is on Penedo to come up big. Jimmy P with five stops against Cartagines.
4. No goals in the first half
This is going to be a low-scoring game, with both teams itching for an advantage. There will be no goals in the first half, as both backlines come up big.
5. Landon Donovan will not play
As much as some people will be hoping that Landon Donovan gets his personal revenge for falling short in Costa Rica as part of the USA Men’s National Team, it’s just not going to happen. His ankle issues are still bothering him, and it would be wise to have Donovan rested for at least the match against Portland this Sunday.
6. At least four saves from Wardy Alfaro
Los Angeles will be the team that throws everything and the kitchen sink at Cartagines. The Galaxy want to shut Los Azules out of the running for Group 8 honors, meaning Alfaro will have to come up big in goal. And he will, making at least four saves.
7. Juninho comes up big again
When Juninho is able to get the trajectory and accuracy right, it’s pretty much game over if you are the opponent. After breaking through against Seattle, the young Brazilian is going to score one more time for the Galaxy and open his CCL scoring account in the second half.
8. No goals or assists for Jose Villareal
While Jose Villareal did earn an assist last week against Isidro Metapan, Cartagines is a different animal in itself. JV will have it tough getting a goal or assist this time around.
9. At least 25 fouls and four cards
The fouls will be whistled and the cards will be issued in a match that will most likely determine who wins Group 8. At least 25 fouls will be whistles and four cards will be issued.
10. #DosACero sends LA to quarters
This will be another familiar scoreline to Los Angeles, a “more of the same” scoreline. No Landon Donovan will be needed here, but some Keane magic will be mandatory in this instance. More of the same, indeed.
Los Angeles Galaxy 2, Club Sport Cartagines 0