The LA Galaxy drew 0-0 at Puerto Rico Islanders last night, failing to acquire all three points for the first time in the 2012-13 CONCACAF Champions League competition. Last year in the competition the Galaxy were defeated in their first two road matches, forcing them to win their final two to qualify for the next round of the competition. This year, the Galaxy will simply need to win or draw at Isidro Metapan in October, depending upon the result Metapan gets in Puerto Rico.
With Josh Saunders staying stateside, Brian Perk had to step in at keeper making six saves on the day. The Galaxy were nowhere near prolific, with only Jose Villarreal managing a shot on goal even though the Galaxy managed to have the lions share of possession. The group of youngsters who defeated Puerto Rico 4-0 at home didn't have that same spark last night.
Quotes from last night haven't surfaced as of yet, but there's little to say after the reserves play to a scoreless draw on the road. Fatigue and travel certainly played a role, and with the Galaxy locking horns in the more lucrative MLS season at the moment there's little else that could be done. The Galaxy's final match day will take place between a road trip to San Jose and hosting Seattle in the season finale.
Which is to say, don't be surprised if Bruce Arena has to trot out the youth group again in Isidro Metapan. Making the MLS playoffs in a top three finish is more important than CONCACAF Champions League. Not that MLS Cup is a greater accomplishment than Champions League, but as of now it holds more prestige and is more lucrative. So Champions League will continue to get thrust to the wall.
The motivation for the Galaxy to move out of the group is the possibility of hosting a Mexican League team under the new format. The Galaxy's match against Morelia last year had a great atmosphere and created a lasting memory for friends. However, those final two matches against San Jose and Seattle are more important.