It was the Nicolas Munoz show as Bruce Arena’s Los Angeles Galaxy Reserves were thoroughly outclassed in deserving fashion, 4-0, at the Estadio Cuscatlan in San Salvador, El Salvador. Even though the Galaxy have already qualified for the quarterfinals, this is the type of performance that will not help them heading into their quarterfinal match with Tijuana.
Here are six things we learned from one of the worst performances in CCL play from the Los Angeles Galaxy since their 4-1 blowout defeat to the Puerto Rico Islanders on July 27, 2010 at StubHub Center.
1. A slow first half
Early on in the first half, the Galaxy Reserves wanted to establish the tempo and put themselves in a good position to potentially face an MLS side in the quarterfinals. A chance within seconds for Jose Villareal missed just wide left. Isidro Metapan responded by playing the long ball, gaining possession as they went along. Metapan’s Nicolas Munoz was getting some touches early and it was important for the Caleros to send the ball his direction.
In the eighth minute, a corner from Villareal was volleyed over and out by Rafael Garcia. The next several minutes were a ball possession battle with neither team gaining much of a collective edge. In short, a slow start for both sides.
2. Nicolas Munoz delivers for Los Caleros
A chance for Metapan in the 17th minute was sent wide left of the mark. Garcia earned a yellow in the 18th minute for delaying a restart. Leonardo attempted to finish a set piece in the 20th minute from Juninho but was well off on the redirect. Munoz had a chance in the 21st minute but was denied by Rowe. While Metapan was allowing the Galaxy to play a direct game, they had numbers in the back that put Jack McBean on notice.
Munoz opened the goalscoring in the 29th minute of play for Metapan on a set piece that was poorly defended by Hector Jemenez. In the 31st minute, the Galaxy let Munoz score another on the run of play thanks to Narciso Orellana. And in the 33rd minute, Munoz made it a hat trick thanks to Marvin Monterrosa to make it 3-0 Metapan.
3. Forget a hattie, it’s a sombrero for Nicolas!
Even though this match didn’t matter much for the Galaxy Reserves in terms of making it through, the Reserves needed to figure things out in terms of actually putting up a fight. A shot from Jack McBean in the 39th minute hit the side netting. Munoz scored again in the 41st minute, eluding A.J. DeLaGarza to make it 4-0 Metapan.
Isidro Metapán LA Galaxy
7 Attempts on Goal 4
5 Shots on Target 0
2 Shots off Target 4
0 Blocked Shots 0
3 Corner Kicks 1
6 Fouls 11
7 Open Play Crosses 2
2 Offsides 2
0 First Yellow Cards 1
0 Second Yellow Cards 0
0 Red Cards 0
20 Duels Won 16
55% Duels Won % 44%
194 Total Pass 129
77% Passing Accuracy % 69%
60.1% Possession 39.9%
4. Caleros slow it down in the second half
With the match slipping away from the Galaxy, Bruce Arena elected to bring in Robbie Rogers and Chandler Hoffman for the rest of the game to give Los Angeles something to work on. A chance for Metapan in the 48th minute was snuffed out by Rowe. A long ball from Laurent Courtois in the 50th minute went wide right.
With the lead, Metapan were able to dominate possession in the second half, frustrating LA with their defending. In the 54th minute, a free kick from Juninho was cleared. Some scufflings too place in the 56th minute, exacerbating what had been a terrible night for the visitors. A shot from Milton Molina in the 60th minute hit the woodwork.
5. Metapan close out the game with a flourish
In the 64th minute, a free kick for Metapan was called back for offsides. Later in the second half, a shot from VIllareal in the 68th minute was saved by Metapan goalkeeper Fidel Mondragon. Another long ball in the 69th minute from LA was cleared. Leonardo had to clear another cross in the 70th minute as Charlie Rugg was brought in to perhaps pull one back for the Galaxy.
The last several minutes for both teams was essentially a scrimmage/ball possession battle as neither team was able to add more goals to the scoreline. Munoz was subbed out in the 80th minute for Samuel Maldonado to a standing ovation. Monterrosa fancied his chances in the 87th minute but was denied by Rowe. A chance for Robbie Rogers in the first minute of second half stoppage time hit the post and that summed up the night for the Galaxy.
6. One-side match yields one-sided stats for Metapan
Isidro Metapan dominated a number of categories, to go with their performance tonight in San Salvador. The Galaxy go on to the quarterfinals as the best-performing American-based MLS club against Club Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles de Caliente, which is sure to be a fun tie in March.
|Isidro Metapán||LA Galaxy|
|10||Attempts on Goal||7|
|6||Shots on Target||2|
|4||Shots off Target||5|
|14||Open Play Crosses||16|
|1||First Yellow Cards||1|
|0||Second Yellow Cards||0|
|52%||Duels Won %||48%|
|79%||Passing Accuracy %||80%|
|6||Los Angeles Galaxy||4||3||0||1||6||4||+2||9|
|7||Sporting Kansas City||4||2||2||0||5||1||+4||8|
|8||San Jose Earthquakes||4||2||0||2||4||2||+2||6|