The new-look LA Galaxy struggled to create lots of chances and had to settle for a 0-0 tie with Santos of Mexico in the first leg of their Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League quarterfinal series in
front of 18,922 fans at StubHub Center.
The result left MLS without a win in the four games against Liga MX clubs. Still, the Galaxy is in perhaps the best shape of the four MLS teams in
the quarterfinals, though. It needs no more than a draw of 1-1 or more in Tuesday's second leg in Laguna to advance.
Jelle Van Damme, one of five starters who made their Galaxy
debut, had best chance for the Galaxy in the first minute when his close-range header was parried by Argentine keeper Agustin Marchesin.
Dan Kennedy, Ashley Cole,
Emmanuel Boateng and Nigel de Jong also made their competitive debuts for the LA Galaxy, which also welcomed back Mike Magee off the bench.
Boateng and Giovani dos
Santos, making his debut in the CCL, also had good chances for the Galaxy in the first half.
Kennedy kept the game deadlocked when he stopped Bryan Rabello's shot in the 65th
minute with a diving save. The Galaxy attack failed to put a shot on target in the second half as it sputtered in its first competitive match of the year.
"It's the first time our team
played 90 minutes together this year," said LA Galaxy coach Bruce Arena, "so I was pleased with that obviously. I think defensively we did a good job. Both teams had a couple of chances. We
could've gotten a goal early in the game; the keeper made a great save. I thought, for the most part, it was solid for the first time out."
TRIVIA. Despite the scoreless draw,
the Galaxy continues to hold the record for most Concacaf Champions League wins (15) and goals (52) by a U.S. team.
Feb. 24 in Carson,
California LA Galaxy 0 Santos 0. LA Galaxy -- Kennedy; Rogers, DeLaGarza, Van Damme, Cole; dos Santos (Magee 86), Gerrard, de Jong, Boateng (Lletget 67); Zardes,
Keane. Santos -- Marchesin; Abella, Molina, Gonzalez, Mendoza (de Buen 90+3), Rabello (Davila 87), Calderon, Araujo, Villafana, Bravo (Orozco 69), Izquierdoz.