More CONCACAF Champions League football? You bet!
Mar 7, 2013; Heredia, COSTA RICA; Los Angeles Galaxy player Marcelo Sarvas (right) kicks the ball past Herediano player Esteban Granados during the match at Estadio Eladio Rosabal Cordero. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Arguedas/EFE via USA TODAY Sports
Bruce Arena’s Los Angeles Galaxy conclude the quarterfinal tie with Club Sport Herediano of Heredia, Costa Rica, on Wednesday, Mar. 13 at the Home Depot Center in beautiful Carson, Calif. The first leg ended in a scoreless draw, and for El Team, a regular draw will do, since CONCACAF uses the away goals rule.
Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. PT/10 p.m. ET and will be televised by Fox Soccer. Here are 10 Bold Predictions for the Los Angeles Galaxy and Herediano in the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Champions League.
1. No goals in the first half of play
This is a tense match between two evenly-matched sides. There will be no goals in the first half of play because Herediano will look to take control via the counterattack. But in the second half, the goals will start flying, and the aggregate will finally be the wide-open contest that fans are anticipating.
2. Elias Aguilar will play this match
In important encounters like these, you have to suck it up and leave everything out on the field. Herediano midfielder Elias Aguilar knows this and will go full steam ahead in the second leg. He will also have a 75 percent pass success rate or better.
3. A successful audition for Waylon Francis
Herediano defender Waylon Francis is one of those backs that should seriously consider playing in MLS. On the Opta Chalkboard, he had three tackles won, three interceptions, six clearances and three recoveries and should earn the same amounts on Wednesday. Scouts, pay attention…
4. Yendrick Ruiz scores early in second half for Herediano
In spite of a subdued performance from Yendrick Ruiz in the first leg, the Herediano forward will relish a much better surface and score in the second half against the Galaxy.
5. Marcelo Sarvas comes up big in the midfield
Mar 7, 2013; Heredia, COSTA RICA; Los Angeles Galaxy player Marcelo Sarvas (right) battles for the ball with Herediano player Elias Aguilar during the match at Estadio Eladio Rosabal Cordero. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Arguedas/EFE via USA TODAY Sports
Juninho was on top of his game in the first leg of the quarterfinals, but this time it’s Marcelo Sarvas getting it done for the Los Angeles Galaxy midfield. His knowledge of Herediano, given his playing experience against them, will come in handy as he creates a number of opportunities for a couple of players who will make it big for the home side.
6. Mike Magee on the score sheet for Los Angeles
Mike Magee was robbed of a goal in the 67th minute of play against Herediano on Mar. 7, but this time, he should be able to put on a much better performance. Magee gets on the score sheet in the second half.
7. Robbie Keane with a brace
Robbie Keane was left seething after going through a 90-minute ordeal on the plastic surface at El Rosabal. There won’t be such issues here at the Home Depot Center. Keano will score a brace and send the Galaxy home and dry.
8. Juninho with two assists
While Sarvas does his work creating sequences, it’s Juninho that is responsible for set piece opportunities. He has been successful against CCL opposition before (see: Morelia), and he will be at it again with two assists off set pieces.
9. No cards but over 20 fouls whistled
There will not be any cards in this contest, but there will be challenges. It will be a physical game, and over 20 fouls will be whistled.
10. Los Angeles is through to the next round
All signs point to a comfortable victory against Herediano, but it will not be easy for the MLS Cup champs because there is a good chance that the next opponents are the defending holders: Humberto Suazo and Monterrey.
Los Angeles Galaxy 3, Club Sport Herediano 1