CCL: MLS clubs left with lots of work to do

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.
5 comments about "CCL: MLS clubs left with lots of work to do".
  1. beautiful game, February 25, 2016 at 10:26 a.m.

    LA et al are in preseason form, so how can anyone expect the squad to perform at a high level. It was a tough physical game. The referee should be sanctioned for some obvious brutal tackles that were not cautioned. As for the TV commentary, elementary and suffering to limitless debts.

  2. Ric Fonseca replied, February 25, 2016 at 3:14 p.m.

    Hola and buenos dias I w Nowozeniuk, well said, though if you think the ref needs to be sanctioned, oh well, wishful thinking. TV commentary? oh is that what it was?

  3. Daniel Clifton, February 25, 2016 at 12:19 p.m.

    I don't see how the MLS teams have a chance in this competition when they are playing their first games of the season in the Quarterfinals. Santos Laguna is in mid-season form I assume.

  4. Al Gebra, February 26, 2016 at 11:09 a.m.

    Not being in mid-season form is a lousy excuse. Player for player, The MLS players don't come close to the technical skills of the younger Liga MX players. It's obvious to see that in the first 20 minutes of play before fatigue has set in.

  5. Nick Prodanovich, February 28, 2016 at 8:30 a.m.

    @Al,

    You must have been watching a different game. The technical skill of most of the MLS players for LA was very good and comparable to many of the Santos players. Age of some players, preseason form and team depth make enough of a difference to handicap LA. I find it laughable that someone is arguing that Keene, Gerrard, Cole, Dos Santos and De Jong et al are inferior technical players.

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