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Galaxy advances, Dynamo also wins
by Ridge Mahoney, September 26th, 2013 1:06AM

TAGS:  concacaf champions league


[CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Week 5] The  Los Angeles Galaxy is in the Concacaf Champions League quarterfinals; the Houston Dynamo is nearly there.

Both MLS teams recorded solid victories Wednesday night in their third of four group matches. The Galaxy (3-0-0) qualified from Group 8 with a game to spare by thumping Costa Rican club Cartagines, 3-0, in San Jose; the Dynamo (2-0-1) held serve at home to down DirecTV W Connection FC of Trinidad & Tobago, 2-0, and take over the leadership in Group 1.

Jason Johnson and Bobby Boswell scored for the Dynamo, which can clinch a quarterfinal spot next month by getting at least a tie against Arabe Unido (2-1-0) in Panama.

Coach Bruce Arena picked a starting lineup consisting entirely of backups, and still the Galaxy dismantled Cartagines with three goals in the first half hour. Jack McBean, Chandler Hoffman and Laurent Courtois scored in rapid succession and though Cartagines controlled possession for long periods it seldom tested keeper Brian Rowe.

Former Galaxy attacker Paolo Cardozo started for Cartagines but neither he nor Costa Rican international Randall Brenes found much space in the Galaxy defensive third until fairly late in the match. Center backs Pablo Mastroeni and Tommy Meyer were usually on hand to snuff out any danger, and Rowe thwarted those few attempts that did trouble his goal.

Landon Donovan, bothered by a sprained ankle, traveled with the team to Costa Rica but didn’t make the game-day roster. McBean and Hoffman were paired up front and each scored in the first 18 minutes.

After earning a free kick just outside the penalty area in the fifth minute, McBean got his head to a Rafael Garcia cross and powered it past keeper Luis Torres. Hoffman scored in the 18th minute by touching home Michael Stephens' driven ball, and Courtois latched onto a loose ball in the penalty area to smash home the third goal in the 29th.

A few nice saves by Rowe in the final 20 minutes preserved the Galaxy’s third straight shutout in CCL play. It finishes out the schedule next month against Isidro Metapan in El Salvador.

Johnson broke open a rather quiet game for Houston in the 39th minute with a spectacular shot; after intercepting goalkeeper Alejandro Figueroa’s weak goal kick, he ran the ball right back into the W Connection penalty area and fired inside the far post. Boswell doubled the lead early in the second half when his header from an Alexander Lopez corner kick bounced into the net off WCFC’s Joao Jordan.

Houston controlled play for most of the match and could have scored more. In the first half, Cam Weaver hit the crossbar with a shot and Jordao cleared a Kofi Sarkodie shot off the goal line. Shortly after halftime, prior to Boswell’s clincher, Omar Cummings could have marked his first start of the season with a goal but steered his shot wide from close range.

Sept. 25 in San Jose
Cartagines 0 Los Angeles Galaxy 3
LA: Jack McBean (Rafael Garcia) 5.
LA: Chandler Hoffman (Michael Stephens) 18.
LA: Laurent Courtois 29.

Sept. 25 in Houston
Houston Dynamo 2 DIRECTV W Connection FC 0.
HOU: Jason Johnson 39.
HOU: Bobby Boswell (Alexander Lopez) 51.

CCL WEEK 5: Results
Wednesday, September 25
Houston Dynamo 2 DirecTV W Connection 0
Cartagines (CRC) 0 LA Galaxy 3
Comunicaciones (GUA) 2 Caledonia AIA (TRI) 0
Tuesday, September 24
Cruz Azul (MEX) 3 Valencia (HAI) 0
Montreal Impact 2 Heredia (GUA) 0
Olimpia (HON) 1 Real Esteli (NCA) 0

CCL WEEK 5: Schedule
Thursday, September 26
Alajuelense (CRC) vs. Sporting San Miguelito (PAN)
Tijuana (MEX) vs. Victoria (HON)
Group 1: Houston Dynamo 7 points; Arabe Unido 6; DirecTV W Connection 1.
Group 2: Sporting Kansas City 7 points; Olimpia 6; Real Esteli 1.
Group 3: Cruz Azul 9 points; Herediano 6; Valencia 0.
Group 4: Club America 6 points; Sporting San Miguelito, Alajuelense 3.
Group 5: Heredia, Montreal Impact 6 points; San Jose Earthquakes 3.
Group 6: Toluca 9 points, Comunicaciones 6; Caledonia AIA 0.
Group 7: *Tijuana 7 points; Luis Angel Firpo 4; Victoria 0.
Group 8: *LA Galaxy 9 points; Cartagines 4; Isidro Metapan 1.
*Clinched berth in quarterfinals.
CCL WEEK 4: Results
Thursday, September 19
DIRECTV W Connection (TRI) 0 Arabe Unido (PAN) 2
Luis Angel Firpo (SLV) vs. Victoria (HON)
Wednesday, September 18
LA Galaxy 1 Isidro Metapan (SLV) 0
Caledonia AIA (TRI) 1 Toluca (MEX) 5
Herediano (CRC) 4 Valencia FC (HAI) 2
Tuesday, September 17
Sporting Kansas City 1 Real Esteli (NCA) 1
San Jose Earthquakes 3 Montreal Impact 0
Club America (MEX) 3 Sporting San Miguelito (PAN) 0

CCL WEEK 3, Results:
Thursday, August 29
Caledonia AIA (TRI) 0 Comunicaciones (GUA) 3
Alajuelense (CRC) 1 Club America (MEX) 0
Wednesday, August 28
Valencia (HAI) 1 Cruz Azul (MEX) 2
Heredia (GUA) 1 San Jose Earthquakes 0
Tijuana (MEX) 1 Luis Angel Firpo (SLV) 0
Tuesday, August 27
Houston Dynamo 2 Arabe Unido (PAN) 1
Olimpia (HON) 0 Sporting Kansas City 2
Cartagines (CRC) 0 Isidro Metapan (SLV) 0

CCL WEEK 2: Results
Thursday, August 22
Cruz Azul (MEX) 3 Herediano (CRC) 0
Comunicaciones (GUA) 1 Toluca (MEX) 2
Sporting San Miguelito (PAN) 1 Alajuelense (CRC) 0
Wednesday, August 21
Heredia (GUA) 1 Montreal Impact 0
Real Esteli (NCA) 0 Olimpia (HON) 1
Tuesday, August 20
DIRECTV W Connection (TRI) 0 Houston Dynamo 0
LA Galaxy 2 Cartagines (CRC) 0
Victoria (HON)  2 Tijuana (MEX) 3

CCL WEEK 1: Results
Thursday, August 8
Valencia FC (HAI) 1 Herediano (CRC) 6
Isidro Metapan (SLV) 2 Cartagines (CRC) 4
Arabe Unido (PAN) 3 DIRECTV W Connection (TRI) 1
Wednesday, August 7
Montreal Impact 1 San Jose Earthquakes 0
Sporting San Miguelito (PAN) 0 Club America (MEX) 1
Real Esteli (NCA) 0 Sporting Kansas City 2
Tuesday, August 6
Toluca (MEX) 3 Caledonia AIA (TRI) 1
Luis Angel Firpo (SLV) 0 Tijuana (MEX) 0
CCL WEEK 6: Schedule
Tuesday, October 22
Club America (MEX) vs. Alajuelense (CRC)
Herediano (CRC) vs. Cruz Azul (MEX)
Wednesday, October 23
Sporting Kansas City vs. Olimpia (HON)
Toluca (MEX) vs. Comunicaciones (GUA)
San Jose Earthquakes vs. Heredia (GUA)
Victoria (HON) vs. Luis Angel Firpo (SLV)
Thursday, October 24
Arabe Unido (PAN) vs. Houston Dynamo
Isidro Metapan (SLV) vs. LA Galaxy<

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