Club Tijuana roll past Galaxy, book place in CCL semifinals

Landon Donovan

By MARK EDWARD HORNISH

From the moment last week’s first leg ended, the LA Galaxy’s one-goal advantage against Club Tijuana felt like it wouldn’t be enough to help the Galaxy survive a second leg trip to Tijuana.

Just 56 seconds into Tuesday night’s second leg, that one-goal advantage was gone and the Galaxy were well on their way to becoming the latest MLS team to have their CONCACAF Champions League hopes ended south of the border.

Club Tijuana jumped out to a 3-0 lead after just 26 minutes, eviscerating a Galaxy defense that had few answers for the Xolos’ dynamic attack.

“Our first half play was awful right from the start” said LA Galaxy coach Bruce Arena.  “We conceded a goal in the first minute, very disappointing, and it took our team thirty minutes to get into the game.”

The Xolos erased the Galaxy’s hard-won 1st leg 1-0 advantage in less than a minute, taking the opening kickoff straight down the pitch and rifling off two quick shots before a desperate Jaime Penedo spilled a ball wide onto the foot of a lurking Jaimen Ayovi, who punched the ball home for a shocking lead.

Ayovi doubled the lead just eight minutes later, beating the Galaxy offside trap, then Penedo, who had come well off his line, again.

“This game was over in the first ten minutes, simple as that,” Keane told media after the match. “The individual mistakes that we made cost us.  You can’t come to Mexico and play a team like this and expect an easy road.”

With two goals quickly in hand, the Xolos flashed quality in ample supply and began to enjoy lengthy stretches of possession.  The scoreline could easily have been worse, as Christian Pellerano and Ayovi put two additional balls off the crossbar in the first half.

The Galaxy failed to produce much offense early.  Landon Donovan found little joy with his occasional runs into the attacking end, and worse for the Galaxy, captain Robbie Keane was almost entirely absent, with only three touches in the first half.  Their only serious threat came when Samuel beat Tijuana right back and native Texan Greg Garza in the corner, raced in on the end line, and found Sarvas alone at the top of the area.  Sarvas’ hard strike was parried away by Tijuana keeper Cirilo Saucedo.

The Galaxy back line faired even worse,  looked utterly befuddled throughout the first half, and it showed in the 26th minute, when a lazy attempted clearance by Leonardo was stolen by an alert Dario Benedetto, who beat an abandoned Penedo easily to give the Liga MX side a handsome 3-0 advantage heading into halftime.

The second half was torrid.  The Galaxy attempted to make a game of it quickly out of the locker room, when their three DP’s combined on a perfectly-executed set piece play to give the Galaxy a vital road goal and pull them within a goal.  In the 47th minute, Donovan served a direct kick across the penalty area to a charging Omar Gonzalez, who headed the ball back across the goal mouth onto the foot of an onrushing Robbie Keane to finish.

The next half hour was a lively back-and-forth affair, with both sides finding opportunities to test the opposing goalkeepers.  Christian Pellerano continued to be a persistent problem for the Galaxy.  He controlled midfield play all night, and stretched the Tijuana lead late with a clever chip over the head of Leonardo to spring second half sub Richard Ruiz behind the Galaxy defense.  Ruiz beat Penedo low and wide to make it 4-1 and put the tie seemingly out of reach.

The Galaxy were not done, however, and in the 84th minute Donovan gained possession and raced with the ball straight down the Tijuana gut, sending Keane in with a perfectly-timed pass.  Keane converted, and once again, the Galaxy had a pulse.

The Galaxy applied pressure in the closing minutes, but never could find the vital goal to win the series.

“I think that you see the difference in the leagues in nights like tonight,” Donovan said. “We’ve got about eight who are mature and know how these games are while they’ve got 20 guys who know how these games go.”

For the Galaxy, it is a bitter pill to swallow, as it is the second consecutive year that they’ve gone into a Champion’s League second leg in Mexico with a lead they could not hold.

“When you start a game like that, you know, you don’t deserve it,” continued Donovan, “we lost the game in the first twenty five minutes.  We know that.

“It’s disappointing because we know what we’re capable of, we showed what we’re capable of,” Donovan said. “But we were a little naive. The game is 90 minutes long, not 45.”

Club Tijuana will await the winner of Wednesday night’s clash between MLS Cup Champions Sporting KC and Liga MX foes Cruz Azul. Sporting KC posted a 1-0 first-leg victory at home, with the second leg set for Estadio Azul in Mexico City.

This entry was posted in CONCACAF Champions League, Featured, Mexican Soccer, MLS- LA Galaxy, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

126 Responses to Club Tijuana roll past Galaxy, book place in CCL semifinals

  1. james says:

    How pathetic.

    nothing says “please take our league seriously” like losing to random mexican teams in your continental competition every year

    • Rob Jones says:

      Yeah, Liga MX doesn’t take MLS seriously at all.

      • Stan says:

        Nor should they until MLS allows their clubs to build squads with some depth.

        • Eurosnob says:

          MLS needs to scrap its poorly functioning business model, get rid of its single entity structure and allow the clubs to compete with promotion/relegation, free agency and scrap the salary cap.

          • bb says:

            you may be a soccer eurosnob, but are you at all familiar with the sports market in the United States? That’ll never work, well, if it does then it’ll take a lot of years and gradual implementation. You cant just change everything overnight to the Premier League model and expect MLS to be successful. Might as well change your name to NaïveEurosnob if you believe that.

      • Vic says:

        What they say when they’re trash talking and what they mean are two different things. Did you see how excited and relieved Tijuana players were after the final whistle blew? It certainly wasn’t a cake walk for them.

        • Stan says:

          The first half was a total cakewalk. The semi-pro American club got a little feisty in the second half.

    • JayAre says:

      No blame the night on Leonardo! That guy was awful. Why would Bruce sign such a player … If his DPs are cash strapping his pockets he needs to get rid of one balance the team kudos to Delagarza thou and who ever thinks joe Corona isn’t making the World Cup is high on cheap crack.

      • White Kix says:

        The Galaxy defense was always great with Dunivant, Delegarza, Gonzalez and Franklin. Whenever Bruce pushed Franklin to midfield, Delegarza wide, and put anyone else in the middle, They would make mistakes. That is why I was surprised they let Franklin go. Delegarza has all of the attributes that would make you think he would be a great outside back, but his best atttribute is his mind, and that is the mind of a center back. He is always there to clean plays up that slip past Gonzalez, and the two of them play great together.

        All of that to say, Leonardo (Who I never had a problem with before, he made some mistakes, but seemed to make some good plays too), was awful. I think every goal came right down his lane. Bruce needs to pair Gonzalez and Delagarza together in the middle. very year he tries to pus Aj wide, and evry time it is proved that he is best in the middle.

        • chuck says:

          Yeah letting Franklin go was a crucial mistake. And it will show for years to come.

        • Eric B says:

          Bruce’s admiration of Leonardo is one of the more puzzling things I’ve seen. Like White Kix said, Omar & AJ in the middle covered it all, while Leo is a green & gold traffic.

    • Hogatroge says:

      Way to be hyperbolic.

      Let’s be honest. The Galaxy played like crap yesterday, BUT came within a goal of winning the series. PLUS, they forced Tijuana to play more or less their 1st choice 11 after resting many of their best players over the weekend.

      Yes, a goal in the 1st minute is humiliating. Yes, 3 goals in the first half hour are humiliating.

      BUT, considering the roster disadvantages, the poor timing for MLS clubs, the Galaxy were one horrible brain fart (TJ’s 4th goal) away from winning the series.

    • Sergio of SF says:

      Random? I’m pretty sure TJ won the league a couple of years ago. And they have a lot of talent, American at that.

  2. Arlington-MA says:

    Score and league implications aside, how did Corona and Gonzalez play?

    • Iggy says:

      Gonzo partially at fault on at least one goal, but Leonardo the true bum of the d. Omar had a few nice stops and how’d set up the goal. Overall he did not help his case for a starting cb spot with this performance.

      Corona did pretty well, not directly involved in the goals I don’t think but generate looked useful. He also had one good chance be maybe should have scores on.

      Garza was the big winner. He was strong both offensive and on d. Goin to be hard to call in Castillo when garza has him rooted to the bench.

    • @MLS_Biblical says:

      My opinion is that Corona played a great game. The kid has great ball control, skill and vision.

      Gonzales did OK… I personally don’t like Gonzales but in games like this I understand that the Galaxy needed to use him more in set pieces… There were times where Donovan could have sent a long free-kick into the box where Gonzales would have easily won the header, just like the first goal Galaxy scored, but Donovan would lay it off to someone else to send it into the box, in which Xolos quickly played the offside trap and the Galaxy would be offside.

      Bum of the match was Leonardo. That guy lacks Basic Soccer 101.

  3. Felix says:

    These kind of results embarrass me as an MLS fan.
    How pathetic, to go down 2-0 in the first 10 minutes – seriously?!?!?!?

    • Stan says:

      Yeah, somehow I allow myself to get suckered in a little by the MLS hype on CCL each year, only to get another harsh reality check like this.

      • Ali Dia says:

        I gotta say, there are moments in these games when I’m sure that guys like Arena and Donovan go home and laugh themselves to sleep about not having to wander around CONCACAF any more for at least 6 months. MLS has not had a team with an owner or coach ever who showed any interest in actually winning this tournament…. Winning the UEFA Champions League is an obsession for top European coaches. Being in the CONCACAF Champions League seems to be an utter nuisance to quite literally everybody in every stage of the competetion. Attendance and enthusiasm on these tragical Tuesday nights rivals a court-mandated AA meeting and a similar guarantee of anonymity.

        This will change never. Well it could, but you’d really just want to kick everybody out but Liga MX and MLS teams… The participation of the others makes the whole thing wothless. And the attendance of the crowds in those places suggest they are entirely on board with this.

        • Cosmosfan says:

          I find it funny that only MLS fans seem to hold this viewpoint. It is typical of their inner looking focus, saying no one cares about it and attendances suck, yet other leagues have good attendances, decent press and in Mexico at least, there is real pressure to advance to the final and take care of weak MLS sides.

          There have been several great CCL matches over the years, but if you are an MLS fan you only make a big deal about it if you win, then claim it isn’t important if you lose.

          • Ali Dia says:

            You may have the stats to prove me wrong…. I hope you do because it would be a pity if this really is that boring in these places. My opinion is based on a rather unsophisticated perspective, but it has been striking to me the sheer number of unfilled seats I see in these places, particularly the unglamourous group stage games in Carribean and Central American countries. Liga MX I did not mention as “weak” because frankly they are the country with the biggest incentive to care. MLS teams have the luxury of assigning importance to the title once they have won it. Mexican soccer has a problem in that the neighbor kid up north keeps getting bigger and they have zero growth opportunity. A win over an MLS team is relief worth celebrating. The divorced girl turned 39 again.

            But everywhere else is the real problem, because I don’t see any people or passion in the stadium. Like worse than watching Serie A, which also depresses me terribly.

            Like I said, if you can show me an attendance based argument why I am wrong, please do– I freely admit I have not looked at this and if there is a case to be made, please do.

            • Ian says:

              “Mexican soccer has a problem in that the neighbor kid up north keeps getting bigger and they have zero growth opportunity”
              zero growth opportunity? are you serious?

              • Increase0 says:

                I think he is saying they have total market share in Mexico as they have no competitor sports. Selling your league internationally is very very hard to do.

              • Ali Dia says:

                Well yes. I had been. What am I missing? Where does Mexican soccer see growth? I am always happy to be educated if I’m wrong.

          • Stan says:

            I generally dislike the Cosmos, but if you guys get in there through the Open Cup and do some damage eventually – more power to you.

          • Hogatroge says:

            While I’m admittedly biased, I thought the Dynamo-Santos 1st leg (in Houston) from last season was a great match.

            Houston actually had (by a small margin) the better of the game and got the win and shutout, even if it was clear that a missed open net near the end (with failure to make it 2-0) meant their chances of advancing were practically nil.

            The 2nd leg, however, wasn’t so pretty.

        • Gary Page says:

          The Galaxy could have played last weekend, but told the league they wanted to have it off in preparation for this game. The problem was that the defense was crap and a couple of players on D just aren’t ready for international play (specifically Leonardo and Riley). My question is where was Todd Dunivant who is usually one of their most dependable defensive backs. I think a lot of the blame has to go on Arena as well as the defensive players. They should have been ready to face the Xolos onslaught at the beginning. They said they were going to come out attacking and they did.

          • Ali Dia says:

            Yeah I hear you…. Those are good observations and the stated reasons seem good(ish) but no follow through, no fouc. Doesn’t it all just seem really confusing? All the decisions surrounding CCL just make me feel like I am missing something.

      • Micronesia Justin says:

        Yeah the MLS twitter account tweeted “Meh.” after the first goal…didn’t say much thereafter.

      • @MLS_Biblical says:

        Same here… I love MLS and try to watch as much games as I can, BUT when it comes to CCL I just lose interest. I gave it another chance yesterday, but I was just getting high-blood pressure watching the Galaxy.

        I will be tuning into tonight’s match and hopefully things go better for SKC.

  4. Daniel says:

    It’s unfortunate for Gonzalez that 90% of a soccer game is (should be?) played on the ground… his immense physical attributes and his ability in the air for that odd 10% of a game does little when he is utterly awful for the balance of a contest (both with the ball at his feet and in reading the game)… if he is one of our starting central defenders in Brazil, methinks we’re in a bit of trouble…

    Having said that, Leonardo & Riley were useless last night as well…

    • beachbum says:

      Gonzo was fine…Leonardo and Riley SUCKED!!! Those two compromised the rest of the team and were solely responsible for blowing this game like some kids making mistakes in an AYSO game. They were both that bad

      • Alex H says:

        As a long time Galaxy fan I think it is pointless to point fingers at individuals, because the problem is that the team as a whole has taken a huge dip since Magee and Becks left. Losing their talents was bad enough BUT to make it worse they were repalced by absolutely nobody, so in addition to a loss in quality the team also took a loss in depth. The villain here is Arena and Klein because they have wasted resources on some utter failures like Rogers and Cuddicini and a whole lot of lower profile ones as well.

        • beachbum says:

          as a long time fan I think it’s quite valid to point out the AYSO level defending that both Riley and Leonardo displayed. They looked so scared out there, so unable.

          I agree that Arena and Klein are culpable too

        • Gary Page says:

          I had very serious doubts about their decision to let Sean Franklin go and their off season acquisitions. Unfortunately, as a Galaxy fan I see my doubts turning into reality. There were some times last year, especially against tougher opposition, where Leonardo was seriously exposed, so his flop last night wasn’t a real surprise. The surprise is why they continue to play him and why they rely on Riley. Ever since they traded Magee for Rogers this team has been seriously going downhill.

  5. Maykol says:

    What a shame, and that was people’s best hope for an mls team advancing? Lol well at least next year everyone is gonna give the annual “i got a feeling an mls team is gonna win this year”, that never gets boring. Goodluck to SKC tonight, and especially sj, they will need it

    • Kosh says:

      Thanks for that never-before angle/analysis on this topic, without which we would still be in that wilderness.

      This is sports and the “well get them next year” thing is part and parcel of it. MLS teams are struggling in this event, yes – even longer than we like. But you’re right, let’s just write the whole future off and give up on EVER winning this thing and stick to whatever your vision of MLS is right now.

      • Maykol says:

        Ok you can keep waiting for your MLS CCL, but from the looks of it, you wont be getting it very soon. And im a realist so i never expect an mls team to win, if you want to criticize me for that? Then go ahead. I dont see MLS winning it for at least another two years. I remember last year, how many people said it was the best chances ever for an mls team to win…

        • Kosh says:

          I agree with the 2 – 3 year wait on MLS having a real decent chance. The evidence shows that growth pattern is in place. This could all be turned on its head if the league gets really aggressive in making improvements in the upcoming CBA. No arguments with time lines here.

          I see myself as a realist as well expecting MLS to win it, eventually, and sooner than much expect. I mean how REAL is it to expect MLS to NEVER win this thing…EVER? I mean common! I guess I am an optimist like that.

          Many said something last year, yes. Guess what, many more will say things this year as well. It’s sports, it’s what fans do. Some stay on the hard optimistic side waiting for the sweet pay-off and others take the easier route. Both feel the sting and both enjoy the payoffs as well (in varying degrees). That’s fan business.

        • beachbum says:

          I’m a realist too but not into shadenfreude like you

    • Hogatroge says:

      It was a shame, and the Gals still came pretty darn close to advancing (despite the overall atrocity of their play).

      That said, I don’t get the hype about LA being the “best shot at advancing (TM).” It was clear from their 1st two showings (RSL, CCL 1st leg) that they’re overhyped this year. All of their offseason additions have been past-prime players (Friend, Riley, Ishizaki), even though Friend had some nice touches late last night.

      SKC is clearly the best MLS team in the tourney this year DESPITE their inability to score more than 1 goal per game AND the fact that Cruz Azul is in better form than Tijuana. Personally, I’d still put my money on the better MLS squad being the one to miraculously advance.

      Even though SJ is woefully outclassed by Toluca, even they have some magic that LA lacks.

    • Gary Page says:

      RSL came very close two years ago. Last season I predicted that MLS would catch up to Liga MX in 3-5 years. With acquisitions like Bradley and Defoe, I will stick with my prediction. Number 1 priority is for MLS to at least double the salary cap, then we will see parity a year or two after that.

  6. kyle says:

    Leonardo looked extraordinarily lousy last night

  7. Ali Dia says:

    Let’s face it. Good news at the back hasn’t happened in [x] years. Seriously, all across the back four, what was the last thing that happened that was good? I would say the emergence of Besler as a credible international defender (we think) is one good consensus thing. After that? Seriously… one thing… one… anybody? Beasley captained the team to the Gold Cup? Sure– good for Beasley… a well deserved feather in the cap but seriously if we can’t do better than that we’re going to resort to Brad Evans scoring the winner in Jamaica and now we’ve just lost the plot.

    Keep thinking– uh well Omar got a DP contract which does really nothing but encourage him to be complacent. Images from Hannover confirm Cherundolo is not deceased. Swish.. Timmy Chandler– I’ll pass on that. Goodson is in MLS and basically did not embarrass himself or anybody in 2013. No joke. Home run! Also we usually include Fabian Johnson as a defender in our worthless imaginary 23s so that pretty much counts. Also I’ve noted that Orozco/Castillo/Onyewu/Parkhurst/Ream/ are active soccer players. Excellent news. Eric Lichaj also exists.

    Almost forgot, perhaps the biggest headline of all. We cap tied a gigantic german guy who prowls the box like Marvell Wynne on a broken unicycle. Or at least we will with a little more experience.

    • Maykol says:

      Hearing that cherundolo retired today

      • Ali Dia says:

        Just seeing that myself, and it appears to be true thus far. Sad and I didn’t mean to belittle him in the above. A true tragedy that his participation ended so abruptly after such consistency, and right before a tournament that should have been his valediction. I don’t need 10 seconds to reflect -The personal memory of him that I will always have is now the reality we have to deal with. Rose Bowl. Gold Cup. 2011. Wind in our sails and already a goal up. Cherundolo goes down for a second time and exits. This was the story to a true USMNT fan. We credit Dos Santos and the Mexican attack, We murder Bornstein and his reign of error in relief. But that was the day when we really saw Cherundolo’s value in real terms. An understated contribution that was lade bare by his absence– cost us a Gold Cup and I will fight anybody who says otherwise once I am sure you are not already brain damaged.

        I had hoped to see him come back and leave with one more exceptional tournament. Admittedly, the comeback has started to feel less “real”in the past month or so. But sad. Very sad.

        A permanent place for his contribution. A legend.

    • Micronesia Justin says:

      nihilist…haha

  8. Juan Villatoro says:

    And Garber wants this league to be in the top five by 2022 LOL american stupidity at its best

    • Cosmosfan says:

      It is laughable, MLS touts itself and self hypes bigger than anyone out there. Yet time after time when they have to actually prove their league in competition they fail. Ive been watching these matches now for 14 years and not much has changed. Despite MLS trying to convince you the depth and talent in MLS is at an all-time high, fact is the overall talent level on the field has been pretty flat or slightly improved (but others are getting better too).

      MLS cant seem to develop talented players and get them into the clubs to form tactically and technically gifted players that can compete with teams in Mexico. By all accounts the USA should be cranking out stars annually and MLS should be reaping those rewards…but MLS and single entity force players to earn little and coaches earn less. Also, MLS actively works at suffocating the lower leagues when they try and grow, that kills soccer growing in other parts of the country.

      Its time to admit the truth, american soccer players are not very good on the whole, there is little incentive for an american player to choose a career in soccer, there are too few avenues for kids to get professional training, and MLS’s own single entity rules is a major contributor in my we are a stagnant soccer nation.

      • Kosh says:

        WHAT??

        OK I was with you earlier but you and the person you are responding to obviously have brought other agendas to the debate.

      • mouf says:

        The thought that there is a Russell Wilson out there that has to choose between playing professional soccer and pro football is hilarious and its a person/situation that doesn’t exist.

        MLS is currently loaning their players to lower leagues to improve them. How on Earth is SKC suffocating OKC or OCSC?

        Did you actually watch this CCL game you are commenting on?

        • Cosmosfan says:

          What about access to top level training and coaching? Do you dispute that the vast majority of young players have literally no access to the big teams in the USSF systems? We have been criticizing this set up for years, and MLS plays a part in it. What about kids who elect not to play or continue soccer, and pursue more lucaritive careers (sports or otherwise)? MLS teams just started doing this this year, with a reserve system…those players are making peanuts.

          MLS has poached several former USL/NASL markets and actively looks to supplant teams in ATL and MIn and SA with their own MLS franchises. This kills investment in the lower leagues, which is needed to expand opportunities across a huge nation.

          Contributing factors..but we’ve not yet really been able to get top level domestic players that can rival the domestic talent in other nations. Look at Holland, small nation yet their young players are worlds better than what we produce…why is that? You think my reasons are wrong..how do you explain it then?

        • Eurosnob says:

          Do you realize that the rest of the world has promotion/relegation system? Under that system smaller well-run clubs (e.g., Cardiff, Swansea) can advance to a top league and poorly run clubs (e.g., Chivas USA, if it were under that system) would get relegated? Do you really think that a potential to advance to the top league would not have the fans of a lower division team buzzing and attendance rising? MLS has a single entity system that rewards mediocrity of the incumbents. The USSF needs to mandate an open pyramid with promotion/relegation between the leagues and independently owned clubs.

      • John O'Donnell says:

        Here is the first Pro/Rel rant and nothing but an agenda. So you’ve watched for 14 years? Isn’t that convenient for your argument as it leaves out the two times that MLS teams have won in 2000 & 1998. The fact that teams from Mexico have an advantage being in mid season form is something you fail to mention. There is no doubt that Liga MX is much better than MLS but the gap is shrinking as we have caught up with the Costa Rican Primera División. Who use to have teams that won this tournament regularly before the format was changed. With more money coming into the league and players from Mexico not getting paid, let’s see how this gap closes in the next few years. And oh yea, it wouldn’t hurt to adjust the schedule to start in April.

        • chuck says:

          LigaMX will abolish relegation sooner than MLS would think of it as an option. They only have it semi-symbolically anyway.

          Relegation does not work in this side of the world. It’s used in Europe because clubs are ancient entities founded by, yes, club members. It’s rooted on tradition, not economical practicality; doesn’t work for clubs-in-name-only which are private companies in reality.

        • Cosmosfan says:

          Um, you realize in 98 that DC United played all their games at RFK and all the other teams had play away, right? Same in 2000 with LA. They won them under the rules at the time, but no one today would say it was remotely a fair format back then.

          Dude, i’ve heard all the excuses before, its the same thing every time MLS loses to Mexico. I’ve heard the gap is shrinking for years with no real proof it is.

          • Hogatroge says:

            I meant to clarify that point #2 (2 new teams) could directly influence point #4 (higher cap, more DPs) to happen sooner than later.

    • Hogatroge says:

      I’m usually pragmatic and probably agree with you, but I’ll play devil’s advocate. Allow me to lay out some facts.

      1. 2022 is EIGHT years away
      2. Two new MLS squads join next year, both with high ambitions and a willingness to spend.
      3. MLS rules change EVERY year, and sometimes on the fly.
      4. DP slots and/or salary cap could increase at a moment’s notice.
      5. Despite the Galaxy’s crap showing last night, they were ONE goal away from advancing and you could see by Tijuana’s players’ body language that they were relieved at full time.
      6. MLS is drawing better players to the league every year.
      7. MLS teams are continually incorporating homegrown players (who get actual PT) that are more likely to stay in the USA to be close to home despite lucrative opportunities in Scandinavia, etc.
      8. It’s been a hard couple of years in CCL, but let’s not forget RSL had the CCL championship on a platter for the 2010/11 season and basically shot themselves in the foot. They drew Monterrey 2-2 in Mexico and bossed the game in Salt Lake, even though they lost 0-1.

      Any and/or ALL of these factors make me hopeful that an MLS squad could win the CCL by 2022.

    • Alex H says:

      Well what is Garber supposed to say? “We are going to continue to be mediocre for the foreseeable so be sure you can get the EPL on cable if you want to watch good soccer?”

      MLS does fantastic for what it spends but quality will increase only when payroll does.

    • Joamiq says:

      Taking PR statements as personal belief LOL soccer message board stupidity at its best

  9. Javier says:

    I haven’t seen the game yet. That said once the MLS teams are eliminated from the CONCACAF Champions League I lose interest in the tournament. Except for the Honduran teams, because I’m Honduran, I have no interest in watching the other teams once the MLS teams are out. Hopefully MLS will mature quickly enough and raise the salary cap enough for better players to come in the league and be competitive enough to win this tournament.

    • Ali Dia says:

      “Except for the Honduran teams, because I’m Honduran,” This might be the best comment ever.

      • Javier says:

        I’m Honduran so the Honduran teams do interest me. And the MLS teams interest me because I am a big supporter of MLS. Why should I be interested in the other CONCACAF teams playing in this tournament when my personal support as a fan is with the MLS teams and any Honduran teams that play in this tournament. Those are the teams that I as a fan want to see succeed in this tournament.

        I’m not disparaging other teams. There are some very good teams from other nations playing in this tournament. And those teams deserve respect for playing quality soccer.

        I am only expressing my support for these two (MLS and Honduran) leagues.

  10. Joe+G says:

    I recommend that you put the actual score (4-2) and aggregate (4-3) somewhere in the article, preferably in the 1st paragraph or two. It makes it really hard to skim or to get the full picture when it’s not even included.

  11. Yevgeniy says:

    Galaxy lost 3-4 on the aggregate coming into this straight from pre-season. Let’s not look at it as a complete doom and gloom. I doubt that this tie makes MLS look bad in the eyes of the Mexicans or anyone else. Tijuana had to play at 100% to win this.

    • Kosh says:

      + 1

      THIS. Folks around here are so deadlocked onto the immediate that they fail to see the big picture. This sucked, again, but there were gains considering the parameters. There were measurable signs of improvement that are now totally glossed over with the easy hyperbole and end of days scenarios.

    • Cosmosfan says:

      MLS fans have been making excuses for YEARS. Altitude, pre-season, and whatever other flavor of the week comes up. LA was down 4-1 on the night, lucky to not be down 7-1 in the 85th minute and got a late garbage time goal to make things mildly interesting. LA lost because they are clearly not a better team and were owned all night in Tijuana.

      Are we supposed to take pride in the fact that a Mexican team had to actually play hard to win? Isn’t that a bare minimum expectation we have of an opponent? Look at the difference in quality out there last night, the flow of the play, the off the ball movement and first touch of the Mexicans was noticeably better than LA outside of its 2 stars.

      MLS still has a long way to go to catch up with Mexico and i expect you will see the same scenario played out tonight.

      • Kosh says:

        I have anbsolutely no doubt whatsoever that when your Cosmos make it to the CCL this year after they dominate the Open Cup you guys will finally show us all how bad MLS REALLY is…I’m rootin’ for you, buddy. You guys are almost there.

      • batwact says:

        I don’t think you can dismiss the schedule so lightly, Cosmos. Not that LA deserved to win, but a week 2 team vs a week 28 team is going to struggle. Translate it to other sports…do you think a week 1 NFL team would match up well with a week 13 NFL team? Does an NCAA team in December match up well against one heading into March Madness?

        • Cosmosfan says:

          MLS made it a point to start season earlier than in past years, it used to be MLS teams were actually in preseason when these games started, now MLS has at least a couple weeks under them. But lets be clear, its an excuse, one could make the counter point that the MX side is fatigued from a bunch of league matches and now cup ties..MLS fans use this excuse all the time as to why to not take USOC seriously.

          The fact is staring us all in the face if out pride will let us see it. MX teams, players etc are simply much better than MLS teams, players etc. Its been that way for as long as I can remember and every year MLS fans start saying how they are getting “closer” or are “almost even” and its absurd.

          MLS as been mostly stagnant as a league since 2007 when they had a decent rise in quality. Since then MLS expansion and a cap figure that never really raised has diluted the talent pool again. I mean James Riley played last night for God’s sake. MLS academies have never really produced the talent needed to sustain domestic rosters, or what talent is there never gets a chance to play and leaves.

          Absent a major change in MLS and its salary/cost structure we will see MX dominance continue for the foreseeable future.

          • mouf says:

            More teams doesn’t dilute the talent pool, the pool is too big for it to matter. You cant say in previous post the overall quality is the same, then whine about talent dilution when a new team comes in and unprotected players (below average) are then taken by those new teams. That just doesn’t work.

          • beachbum says:

            the scheduling is more of an issue. But I excuse nothing. These results are not acceptable and I do not care what the reasons are

      • Robert Asher says:

        As a gringo Xolo fan from San Diego, totally agree with your analysis. Galaxy looked old and slow. Go Xolos!!

    • batwact says:

      I think Yevgeniy has got it right, here. I only saw the game from the 30th minute on, and it was a very back and forth affair, both clubs showing quality, and evenly matched. I would not have guessed it was week 2 in MLS and week 11 in the LMX clausura. Granted, Tijuana is a mid-table club and LA is expected to be a top table club, but we don’t really know what LA is yet.

      Personally, I thought that LA back line looked slow and was caught ball-watching A LOT (Omar G. needs to fix this recurring theme). My other concern was with Donovan. While he can still play that killer ball the unlocks the defense (see Keane’s 2nd goal), I think he’s lost the ability to take over a game (think WC2010 vs. Slovenia & Algeria).

      Obviously, the first 30 was atrocious, but again, week 2. Until MLS switches to a European schedule (and I know there are weather complications to this in the US), or the CCL moves their playoffs to later in the calendar year, LMX will always have the advantage.

      • Cosmosfan says:

        Um?!?! No kidding, after you score 3 goals in 20 minutes you tend to take fewer chances attacking and look to suffocate the game, limit opposition chances and penetration and shore up your defense to hold that huge advantage,

        • batwact says:

          Tijuana did not take fewer chances after 20 minutes. At no time did they “suffocate” the game except maybe the last 8 minutes with 9 players behind the ball. They were still playing back an forth, pressing well into the second half. That’s how they got the 4th goal. Greg Garza (American Abroad! playing left back for Tijuana) was pushing up and looked threatening throughout. Hope Klinsmann gets at him look at a camp eventually, maybe after the WC.

          I’m not sure you saw the game based on this comment. Other than a few time wasting tactics, Tijuana didn’t sit on the lead, nor did they bunker.

        • Quit whining about soccer in the US says:

          Like most whiners, you are probably correct batwact….he most likely didn’t watch the game.

          Where was he last week after the first leg games ? Invisible.
          Where will he be is KC wins tonight ? Invisible.

          Just shows up when the results for whining goes his way…then whines like there is no tomorrow. Someone who sits next to him at Cosmos games needs to do him a favor and tell him to shut his trap he is embarrassing their team.

    • Chuck says:

      so, a midtable mexican team with only 3 years of first division experience had to play at 100% to beat the “face” of the MLS, that’s like if PSG was outplayed by Southhampton, doubt the frenchies would be proud of it.

      • Paul6 says:

        or like Juventus being outplayed by fulham… that could never happen

      • Yevgeniy says:

        That makes no sense. There is no equivalent to PSG in MLS and luckily there will never be. I am not saying that we should be proud of losing. It just seemed to me that if I read the first 20 comments without knowing the score, I would have assumed that LA lost 2:0 at home and 4:0 away

      • Gary Page says:

        Xolos are in this competition because they won their league. And they got as far as the semi-final in the Copa Libertadores before losing to the eventual champion. And while this is not the same team as that one, it is still potentially a good team. When you play fast and loose with the facts by emphasizing how short a time Xolos have been in the first division, your argument loses credibility.

  12. Grunt says:

    The lack of quality and depth beyond “eight” players is a problem all MLS teams face and a product of ansurd salary cap and DP rules.

    LA spends what, roughly $8M annually? When three players get 75% of that, and the rest of the roster has to split the remaining $2M or so, scenes like last night should be expected. Imagine the quality MLS could have if an owner had to spread the same total payroll as they saw fit. What kind of teams would we see, if every player in the first 11 made at least $400K, and every player in the next 11 at least $300K?

    I get that a single entity league with limited resources needs to limit what they spend on salaries and share evenly, but there is no good reason to govern how owners spend their own funds.

    • Cosmosfan says:

      ^ I agree. MLS and the way it is set up and run does teams no favors when they have to play teams outside the safe little MLS bubble.

    • Gary Page says:

      Instead of a third DP, give teams the option of adding a couple of million to their salary cap. They could get 3 or 4 good to very good players that way instead of 1 DP and the quality of the team would improve, IMHO. I repeat this idea every month or so and guess I will have to continue until the bigwigs at MLS see the light.

  13. Kosh says:

    Well that sucked, AGAIN! The frustration continues and the fans, as is their right, will come out and take their shots. That’s the easy part.

    There was something there last night though – respect on the field and a Xolos team that fought like crazy for the result (I mean their guys fell over exhausted on the field as though they were the losing team). They put it all on the line. To me that’s the last step in this process.

    We can complain about salaries and depth and the timing of the tourney – all worth talking about, yes. But MLS teams MUST learn how to do what those guys did on their own home soil. They have to know by now 1 or 2 goals ain’t gonna cut it when you have the away leg in Mexico. Our guys should have pressed their cases at home more convincingly than they did this year. So maybe they are only good for a 1-nil win at this point, that’s OK but you need to fight more for it, claw more for it…want it as badly as they did last night.

    Then there’s The Bruce. Dude you know they are coming to git dat butt and they are coming early and you try to play with them in the first 20 min? Even top Euro teams know that on the road you have to manage the first 15 to 20 min regardless of who you are playing.

    Yes another year of disappointment, but it’s getting there. Not sure it’s next year but we’re heading in the right direction. I’ll take that…with the pain.

    • Cosmosfan says:

      they didn’t play with them the first 20 minutes, because they couldn’t. In MX there is real pressure on players and coaches to play hard and fight and protect the team’s honor..which is why they play their hearts out and fight to the whistle. They’ve done it for years, just look back at some of those classic CCL matches of years past when they overcame deficits late to score multiple times to eliminate US and Canadian teams.

      • mouf says:

        “teams honor”

        *Team gets relegated, owner buys new team still in first division, then proceeds to move them to where the relegated team plays*

        Team honor is newly promoted and relegated teams being traded willy-nilly at the whims of their owners. Right on dude

  14. Alexandria says:

    Omg, the whining on here, if one person has a better game Leonardo, then the gals go thru, 1 person. The Galacy’s problem is they have no depth, you can blame whatever you want, but to have depth you need to create it and they dont. Who replaces Juninho or Sarvas? I just for the life of me after the first leg will never understand why Bruce went with Leonardo over Opare or Meyer.

    • Quit whining about soccer in the US says:

      To be fair most people on this site don’t whine non-stop like Cosmosboy does.

      You are correct about player selection. Hindsite of course, but I think I make the Opare selection before too.

      • Cosmosfan says:

        Unlike the rest of you i don’t wear rose colored MLS goggles and have no interest defending that league out of some sense of pride. Facts are facts. Liga MX is miles better than MLS and its teams consistently prove this year in and year out.

        If MLS wants to compete in these matches the answer is much bigger than start someone else over Leonardo. Otherwise, you will all just have to recycle the same excuses year after year.

  15. Scott e Dio93 says:

    Ahhh….Another pathetic year!

    MLS needs increase salary cap and change calendar for it’s own good. These results won’t attract soccer fans to watch on T.V. or get more T.V. renueve.

  16. milbo says:

    Musta been the turf that did them in..

  17. pk-tackle says:

    It was a tough game, but the early part of 20 minutes was LAs undoing. It was 4-3 on aggregate, and that’s a really close call. Anyone see how some of the Tijuana players fell to the ground at the end of the game? Seems they were just exhausted and glad the game was over.

    Now it’s up to SKC and SJ. Going to be some good games tonight!

  18. beachbum says:

    Galaxy showed scared and got hammered for it. By the time they found their family jewels it was too late. No excuses, they blew it

  19. A.S.A. says:

    OMG EVERYONE CALM DOWN!! Like people are acting like it’s the end of the world. There are still two other MLS teams playing today. If they both bounce out then you can whine like little girls. And I’m sure if they both go through you’ll start to boast about two MLS teams being int the semifinal. Just calm down and wait and see man. SHEEESH. I swear people on here are like so quick to jump to conclusions. Even remember people talking about how Cameron was on a Stoke side that would get relegated because of a couple of bad games. Now people heap praise onto Cameron. If people would just calm down first and stop jumping into conclusions. .

    • bakunin says:

      They will suffer the same fate.

    • beachbum says:

      I’m a Galaxy fan. This is not whining. This is frustration at the lack of quality, again, in CL games vs. Mexican competition…and well earned frustration it is.

      simple reality

  20. bakunin says:

    MLS = Icelandic 1st Division
    In the words of Alice Cooper: “We still got a long way to go”
    Moreover, get ready for a 3 and out summer for the US National team this summer.
    I will be surprised if we get a draw.
    When I see soccer pick up games on the west and south sides of Chicago, I will get optimistic about the sport in the USandA. Our “elite” pay to play suburban traveling youth teams and college soccer continue to hinder our development.

  21. Ivan says:

    MLS is still a 2nd or 3rd rate league, quality wise. Increasing the number of “franchises” at this rate certainly doesn’t help the quality.

    MLS is not as bad as, say, the Icelandic league, but it’s probably on par w/ Czech, Polish, etc. Although, Victoria Plzen would probably demolish each and every MLS team at the moment.

    It will take decades for the league to be taken seriously by the rest of the footballing world, Beckham or not…

    And, yes, it will be the shock of the WC if US can get past their group stage. The talent is simply not there. I expect a draw and 2 losses.

  22. Patrick2 says:

    Jeez…relax people. Folks need to realize that losing to a Liga MX team doesn’t mean MLS is not improving. It clearly has. However, it’s not like the folks south of the border are just sitting around being static. FMF and Liga MX have been working hard to develop U-20s…and in the case of the Xolos identifying American talent. I bet some of the younger Galaxy players learned a thing or two last night. No shame in losing 4-3 on aggregate to “mexiacan-AMERICA’s” Team.

  23. Patrick2 says:

    Furthermore, losing Paul Arriola to Los Xolos was a driving factor behind the Galaxy developing their Galaxy II US PRO team. This Xolos-Galaxy Rivalry is nothing but Gold for S. California/Northwestern Mexico soccer.

  24. KC says:

    It will be interesting to see how SKC does… They seem to be built from the back more than most teams. Of course, they are capable of collecting a ton of red cards, but if they can play disciplined defense they could do something. Big if…

  25. John says:

    Since we do it after every Seattle match, it is worth saying that turf feild Tijuana is playing on is pretty awful.

  26. TBone says:

    Arena made a huge mistake in letting Sean Franklin go. Tijuana has shown every team is MLS how the beat the Galaxy. Go straight direct right up the middle. Their midfield was static and out of position at that, Gonzalez is slow of foot, Leonardo is simply not good. I can see Kofi Opare starting after a few more nightmares like Leo had last night.

    If Riley is on the pitch, teams can work him all day too. He changes teams like people change socks for a reason. He’s a below average NASL player and hack on top of that.

    The bottomline, fast teams that play on turf, like Portland and Vancouver will give the Galaxy fits.