CCL Match Preview: LA Galaxy vs. Monterrey

LA GALAXY vs MONTERREY
The Home Depot Center, Carson, Calif.
April 3, 2013 (CONCACAF Champions League semifinals, Leg 1)
10 pm ET/7 pm PT (Fox Soccer, live chat on MLSsoccer.com)

The LA Galaxy are in the CONCACAF Champions League semifinals for the first time since the competition was restructured in 2008, and face no less than two-time defending champions Monterrey for the coveted berth in the final and a shot at the Club World Cup. Kickoff is set for 10 pm ET at the Home Depot Center. Wednesday’s match is the first of a two-game, aggregate-goal series. The second leg will be played on April 10 at the Estadio Tecnológico in Monterrey, Mexico.

Seattle fell to Santos Laguna in their first-leg encounter on Tuesday evening, with US international scoring the lone goal of the game in a 1-0 win for the Mexican side. The return leg is set for April 9, in Torreón, Mexico. The semifinal winners will advance to the two-leg final, to be played on April 24 and May 1. The winner of the 2012-13 CONCACAF Champions League will earn a berth to the 2013 FIFA Club World Cup in Morocco.

Referee: Hugo Cruz (CRC); Assistants: Osvaldo Luna (CRC), Warner Castro (CRC); 4th: Walter Quesada (CRC)

How they got here

The LA Galaxy went 3-0-1 to finish at the top of a group containing El Salvador's Isdrio Metapán and Caribbean representatives Puerto Rico Islanders. In the quarterfinals, the Galaxy were matched up against Costa Rican outfit Herediano. After drawing the first leg in Costa Rica 0-0, the Galaxy cruised to a 4-1 win in Southern California, with Omar Gonzalez, Jose Villarreal, Robbie Keane and Jack McBean all finding the net.

Monterrey cruised through the group stage, going 4-0-0, scoring 15 goals and conceding none in a group containing Guatemala's Municipal and Panamanian side Chorrillo. Los Rayados were paired up with another Guatemalan side Xelajú in the quarterfinal round and picked up a 3-1 win in Guatemala before playing to a 1-1 draw in Monterrey, sending the Mexican side through by a comfortable 4-2 aggregate scoreline.

For more information on Wednesday's game, check out all the related content on MLSsoccer.com...

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  • Just what exactly is at stake for MLS teams in the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals? Nicholas Rosano explains the significance of the CCL to MLS and its clubs. Read more...
  • The LA Galaxy were the last team to raise the trophy, back in 2001 when they won the old CONCACAF Champions' Cup, but that now seems a world way. Jeff Bradley explains. Read more...
  • The LA Galaxy know it would better to get out of the home leg of their CONCACAF Champions League semifinal against Monterrey with an advantage, but they're confident that they can advance to the final regardless of what occurs Wednesday night at the Home Depot Center. Read more...
  • Robbie Keane says he's ready to go. And so the LA Galaxy will send their first-choice attack – or as close to a first-choice attack as they can muster until Landon Donovan is fully integrated – against two-time defending champion Monterrey in Wednesday night's first leg of CONCACAF Champions League semifinals. Read more...
  • LA Galaxy forward Jose Villarreal grew up watching Mexican soccer. Every weekend, he’d sit with his family in Inglewood, just a few miles up the interstate from the Home Depot Center, and watched games transmitted in from Mexico City, Guadalajara, Pachuca, and Monterrey. Read more...
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  • Here’s a classic rhetorical bait-and-switch from Landon Donovan. “For me, Suazo might be the best pure player in this region," the LA Galaxy star said on Monday about Monterrey’s Humberto Suazo, before adding, "aside from maybe a guy on our team.” Although Donovan didn’t mention him by name, Robbie Keane is that “guy.” Read more...
  • The mission for the LA Galaxy defense on Wednesday night is simple: Stop Humberto Suazo and Aldo de Nigris, Monterrey’s attacking dynamic duo. Read more...
  • To be the best, you have to beat the best. It's an easy sports cliché and it very much applies in the case of the LA Galaxy's ambitions as they prepare to take on Liga MX outfit Monterrey in the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals. Read more...