Leagues Cup - 2019 - LA vs CAZ

LA Galaxy vs. Cruz Azul | 2019 Leagues Cup Preview

2019 Leagues Cup - Semifinals
LA Galaxy vs. Cruz Azul
Dignity Health Sports Complex - Carson
August 20 - 10:30 PM ET

TV: ESPN2, TUDN, TSN 1/4

The inaugural Leagues Cup, which features teams in Major League Soccer and Liga MX, heats up Tuesday night with the LA Galaxy hosting Cruz Azul in the semifinals at Dignity Health Sports Complex. The winner faces either Club America or Tigres UANL in the final Sept. 18 at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas.

The LA Galaxy outlasted Club Tijuana on penalty kicks in the quarterfinals July 23 in Carson after the teams played to a 2-2 draw. Matt Lampson made three saves and Giancarlo Gonzalez blasted in the winner for the Galaxy, which won the shootout, 3-1. Ariel Nahuelpan leveled for Xolos in the 33rd minute, six minutes after Emmanuel Boateng put the Galaxy in front. Washington Camacho put Tijuana in front just before halftime, but Dave Romney latched onto Efra Alvarez's corner kick to equalize nine minutes after the restart.

The Galaxy are coming off a wild 2-2 draw with the Seattle Sounders Saturday night. Despite playing with 10 men for nearly the entire match after Daniel Steres was sent off in the sixth minute, a Zlatan Ibrahimovic brace gave the Galaxy a 2-1 lead in the 65th minute after Raul Ruidiaz gave the Sounders the lead in the 42nd minute. Seattle leveled on a Jorgen Skjelvik own goal in the 82nd minute. 

By defeating the Chicago Fire, 2-0, Cruz Azul were the only team to reach the semifinals with a margin greater than one goal. The first of those goals was a beauty from Roberto Alvarado, which was also the tournament’s first ever. La Maquina’s debut in Leagues Cup coincided with a spectacular start of the season, which saw them demolish Necaxa in the Supercopa MX title match.

In contrast, Cruz Azul had a slow start in league action as they were winless in the first three match weeks. However, they’ve recovered since with back-to-back victories. The most recent was a 3-1 away win in Guadalajara against Atlas Friday night. Milton Caraglio’s brace and another one netted by Orbelin Pineda, gave La Maquina an irreversible lead.

Cruz Azul’s coach Pedro Caixinha will be also looking to even his personal record against Galaxy coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto. Back in Copa Libertadores 2014, Caixinha’s Santos Laguna was knocked out by Schelotto’s Lanus. Five years later, the Portuguese manager has the chance for revenge against the Argentine in the Leagues Cup semifinals.

LA Galaxy

Project Starting XI
  • Injury Report:
    • OUT: Romain Alessandrini (M) - knee surgery
    • QUESTIONABLE: Perry Kitchen (M) - groin injury
  • Suspended: Julian Araujo (M)
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty:  None

Cruz Azul

Project Starting XI
  • Injury Report:
    • OUT: Stephen Eustáquio (M) - ACL injury
    • OUT: Jonathan Rodríguez (F) - fibrillary edema in left femoral biceps
    • QUESTIONABLE: Javier Salas (M) - Achilles tendon injury
  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution:  None
  • International duty:  None

Series Matchup

  • Galaxy: 0 wins, 3 goals
  • Cruz Azul: 1 win, 5 goals
  • 0 draws:

Officials

  • Referee: Mario Escobar (Guatemala)
  • Assistant Referees: Christian Ramirez (Honduras), Gerson Lopez (Guatemala)
  • 4th Official: Said Martinez (Honduras)
  • VAR: Jose Carlos Rivero (MLS)
Series: 

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