MORELIA, Mexico — Monarcas Morelia manager Tomás Boy was delighted with his team's late comeback against the LA Galaxy in a 2-1 win on Tuesday evening and is relishing future clashes against teams from north of the border.'“There is an important sporting rivalry,” said Boy in his postgame press conference. “For us, it´s motivating to play against Americans. Their league gets better every day. It's great that American teams are improving.”
Morelia have had their fair share of encounters against MLS teams. Last year, Monarcas conquered the SuperLiga 2010 title, edging the New England Revolution 2-1 in the final.
Boy, a former Mexican international midfielder who played for the San Jose Earthquakes in the 1987-88 season in the Western Soccer Alliance, admits there is extra motivation for Mexican teams when they play teams from el norte, and was pleased to end the Galaxy´s six-game unbeaten run in all competitions.
“We know Galaxy hadn't lost in a long time and that strengthens us,” he emphasized.
While Monarcas have struggled at home during Primera División play, amassing two defeats and one tie in three games, they've been impressive at Estadio Morelos in CCL action this year, stringing together a perfect 4-0-0, including the preliminary round.
Their perfect march in the international tournament, however, was nearly ruined by the Galaxy when forward Robbie Keane struck to give LA the lead in the second half.
“We know that when [teams] come to Morelos, they make it difficult for us because we are incapable of being patient in important moments," explained Boy. "They can surprise us with counterattacks. That's what [the Galaxy] came to do and almost managed it.”
However, the biggest test for Morelia on the night may have simply been finding a way to beat Galaxy ‘keeper Josh Saunders, who despite bobbling the ball that gave the home side their first goal, repeatedly thwarted chance after chance.
“I'm not going to blame their goalkeeper for the defeat because he kept out four or five good efforts that would've given us the lead earlier,” said Boy.
Looking forward, Boy believes the game on Sept. 28 in Los Angeles, which could potentially go a long way in deciding Group A of the CONCACAF Champions League, will be another close match.
“We know that when we go there, the game is going to be just as difficult,” he said.
Tom Marshall can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter: @mexicoworldcup