Galaxy trounce Herediano to book CCL semifinal date vs. Monterrey

LAGalaxyCelebrate (Getty)

BY DAN KARELL

Los Angeles Galaxy defeated Costa Rican side Herediano 4-1 (4-1 agg) on Wednesday evening at the Home Depot Center, advancing to the semi-finals of the CONCACAF Champions League where they’ll face defending champions Monterrey.

Four different players scored for the Galaxy, and there were many different bright stars for Los Angeles on the night. Robbie Keane’s incredible form has continued, helping set up teammates Jose Villarreal, Mike Magee, and Sean Franklin on many occations.

Los Angeles scored their first goal from the head of Omar Gonzales, finishing unmarked at the far post with a textbook header in the 19th minute. Following the halftime break, it was a moment of inspiration that gave the Galacticos an important second.

The 19-year-old Villarreal, who has been in fine form recently, took on his defender in the 69th minute, spun around his right shoulder, and finished with a curling left footed strike from 25 yards into the far post. Herediano goalkeeper Daniel Cambronero had no chance.

Keane added a third in the 83rd minute, again finding his way through the defense of Herediano, and finishing low and hard past Cambronero. A fourth goal, in the 93rd minute of the match, came from a quickly taken free kick by Michael Stephens, passing to substitute Jack McBean, whose curling strike found the far side-netting.

Herediano’s Elias Aguilar scored one back in the 85th minute following Keane’s goal, but it was too little too late for the Costa Rica squad, who had been outplayed by the hosts all night.

The Galaxy will play the first leg of their semi-final tie with Monterrey at the Home Depot Center, between April 2-4. Midfielder Landon Donovan is supposed to return by then, and could feature in either of the legs against the defending champions.

Here are the match highlights:

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37 Responses to Galaxy trounce Herediano to book CCL semifinal date vs. Monterrey

  1. Old School says:

    For me, Donovan is the x-factor.

    How tuned in is he mentally?
    How fit is he?
    How in form will he be?

    Keane, Villarreal and Magee continue to look impressive in the attack and the backline looks to be improving by the week with Leonardo.

    On the negative side, Juninho hasn’t really shown anything yet and I’m not so sure about Cudicini.

    LA have their work cut out of them but anyone saying LA doesn’t have a chance to advance, especially with a potential Donovan return looming, had their mind made up a long time ago.

    • Gnarls says:

      Well said.

      Cudicini: It’s still too early to draw conclusions given the length of time he road pine in London, but he’s made me nervous in all three games so far. His veteran experience should be his biggest asset, but he keeps finding himself in awkward/dangerous situations. Hopefully he tightens things up sooner than later.

      • Brian says:

        I thought he looked better on his feet tonight and he looked very quick on the PK down in CR. That said, he hasn’t faced many tough shots yet but still I think he’ll be fine.

        • Gnarls says:

          Hard to say on the PK in CR because the shooter missed (Cudicini didn’t block it), but I’m sure he’ll improve game by game. I still think he’s a big improvement over Saunders due to his experience and leadership, but he’s been in some questionable positions so far.

      • The Imperative Voice says:

        It bears reminding on Cudicini that though he was an upgrade from Ed de Goey, he was pushed aside when Mourinho came in favor of Cech, and then basically forgotten. The glory years of CFC were after he was benched.

        And then the odd thing about his CV is that stint in Chelsea is when he played, he didn’t see the field much before or after. 39 years old and only had 19 appearances in 4 seasons with Spurs post-CFC. He could quite easily be rusty or past it.

        • limey says:

          So Cech at the time was probably the best goalkeeper in the world, he would have replaced anyone.

          39 too old? He’s a goalkeeper so he’s just hitting his prime.

          So that leaves rusty, sounds reasonable.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      Domestically, I don’t even think LA has competition. Under some of the other managers LA struggled to find salary balance and pick a strong side, but under Arena they’re a strong assessor of talent, sign smart DP choices (which they have the money to afford that some teams don’t), and then use the combined squad to throttle everyone.

      Mind you, the squad is susceptible to some trouble depthwise, it’s not as good a team if you get down to tier 2. Then it’s an ordinary MLS side or worse, as last spring showed. But if they get Landon and keep everyone healthy, head and shoulders above the rest.

      I think LA will beat a weakened Monterrey that is losing games right and left in league play. The test will be Santos, which I think beats Seattle.

      If Landon is coming in cold I doubt he’s ready for leg 1 of the semis and he might be a week or two into training by leg 2. Realistically you’re talking fitness for the final.

  2. gritz says:

    soo are people even watching the CCL? How are the ratings in the US or Mexico or Costa Rica? Is the tournament just a fight between US and Mexican pride? Could a MLS team win it this year?

    • g-dub says:

      Where you been bro?

    • Chupacabra says:

      Apparently even the directors of the broadcasts aren’t even watching. They’re too busy showing endless replays of minor ticky-tacky fouls from every angle imaginable, missing key moments like when goals are scored.

  3. Lil' Zeke says:

    Do I see two-time defending champion Monterrey stopping the Galaxy? Maybe a bit. What looks to help though is that Omar clearly learned a lesson from his MNT debut, took nothing for granted and took his eyes off no one. That’s going to pay dividends if he has any role defending… That Guy.

    • Gnarls says:

      Suazo: The Scourge of CONCACAF. He’s a bald little monster, but if any CB in MLS can handle him, it’s OG.

  4. Old School says:

    Lol is used far to often but I literally laughed out loud at this.

  5. Bobb says:

    Does anyone have a link to video of McBean’s goal? It’s not included in the highlights posted above. Thanks in advance.

  6. AzTeXan says:

    Well, I guess I forgive the Galaxy for losing to TFC last year. They might have a chance to win the thing if Donovan ever recovers from his sandy box.

    • AzTeXan says:

      *Whoops, meant Landy Cakes.

      • Riggity says:

        Lol sandy box

      • Chupacabra says:

        Why is this OK, but making fun of Yedlin’s girlieboy looks is off limits here?

        • AzTeXan says:

          I didn’t realize Yedlin was off limits. Probably b/c I just found out who he was yesterday.

          PS It doesn’t help that Sandy Box Donovan (h/t Old School) ripped Beckham for years and is now every bit the diva Becks was.

    • Old School says:

      Considering Landon’s vacation hiatus, I think we just found his new and applicable nickname:

      Sandy Box Donovan.

  7. Usa1 says:

    Ives-please google Dallas cup 2000. Magee, et al (Chicago), won this tournament by beating Monterrey in the semis and santos Laguna in the final. I’m a native Texan and was at the final. If memory serves me, Magee scored four goals in the FIRST HALF. Wonder if any of the Mexican players remain.

  8. g-dub says:

    Fantastic, crackin’ matches for these semis. Two of the best clubs in MLS vs two of the best in MX. Get to watch Herc. Big DPs involved: including Martins. Suazo the monster.

    The MX teams are selling out stadiums for these now. Should be big crowds in Sea and LA.

    I just hope at least one MLS side makes the final or it will be a little disappointing.

    • Gnarls says:

      The HDC will only sell out if LA advertises the sh!t out of it. And then we’ll see half the stadium there to support Monterrey.

      • shake says:

        People are still this ignorant? We are under contract to limit seating for midweek games. They are all sellouts because LA can’t sell any more seats.

        • Gnarls says:

          Dude, I’m a STH.

          LA gets good crowds, but rarely sells out games. You should know this. And if LA does sell out a CCL match, it will be because of massive Monterrey fan support.

        • TommyOC says:

          The home leg of the Semifinals is held during Spring Break. It is anticipated that there will be no attendance cap at the HDC.

  9. beachbum says:

    Villarreal’s goal was top shelf. Herediano had trouble with him all night. His holdup play was also strong. Kid plays with a ton of confidence

    Robbie is a treat to watch and it’s good to see AJ doing his thing out there again, he’s a difference maker

    Juninho will get it going, it’s still early. He and Marcelo work great together

  10. Tony in Quakeland says:

    Here is the single most awesome thing about this week in the CCL: Never before have we had players so young playing so well in such a pressure filled domestic club situation as we have seen Yedlin and Villarreal. The confidence they are gaining will return huge dvividends in their development.

    Donovan, Beasley et al played in big national and youth national games, but this is new, this is different and this will be remembered as a signficant step in US soccer.

  11. dan varney says:

    Was in the HDC last night and had a wonderful time. Normally sit with the Riot Squad but found myself in the delightful position of sitting with ACB and may move my season seats to that section of the stadium. Cudos ACB… Anyways, to the person who cracked on Juninho, dude was all over the field defensively handleing those duties, his opportunties on the ball were limited because everytime he got near the ball Herediano players swarmed him. He’ll be fine. Omar was his normal dominating self and that backline is just so poised and polished. Sarvas looks to me like he learned a lot of things about playing in the mid from Becks as a lot of his defensive challenges look a lot like the way Becks would track back and attack the ball. All that said, the most impressive player of the game from my point of view was Villareal. Dude was fearless, strong on the ball, deftly passing to the right places, and that goal was magnificent. Finally, when McBean came on he also impressed with his strength on the ball, his quickness to the ball, and his nose for the goal… Two solid shots on goal in 9 minutes… plus the goal… Hard to argue with that… Well done, Gals, lets take to Monterrey… Too many of my Mexican students are haters of MLS… Gotta show them that this league, and the gaLAxy are for real…

    • Mickey L Ray says:

      I thought EXACTLY the same thing watching Sarvas last night. He looks like Becks in almost every single challenge he makes.

  12. Chupacabra says:

    Unlike Seattle, the Galaxy did not make history by earning a spot in the CCL semifinals. Why? Because the Galaxy winning is just history repeating.

    • Tony in Quakeland says:

      Because they didn’t eliminate the team that sits top of the table in Mexico…

  13. a says:

    I mean some team has rep. who better than us. Gs all the way.