LA Galaxy vs. Monterrey preview: Will Rayados go full strength?

Lintao Zhang

Monterrey has one of five remaining Liga MX matches sandwiched in between their CONCACAF Champions League tilts. Will the Rayados go full strength against the LA Galaxy?

The LA Galaxy continue their trek toward the 2013 FIFA Club World Cup in Morocco with this semi-final tilt against Monterrey in the 2012-13 edition of the CONCACAF Champions League. At home against Mexican sides, MLS teams have gone 15-16-9 (including last night's Seattle Sounder loss) with a -5 goal differential. In Mexico MLS sides are just 2-23-4 and have been outscored 83-28.

It's worth noting that Monterrey is at sea level, and is the location US Soccer has been trying to convince Mexico to host USA vs. Mexico matches at. It should be an even battle of talent on talent in both sides of the tie, as Los Angeles is the place Mexico would like US Soccer to host USA vs. Mexico tilts.

INFOGRAPHIC: Get to know the other #CCL semifinalists. @LAGal... on Twitpic

MLS and the Seattle Sounders have come up with infographics with information on the final four CONCACAF Champions League contestants. Their are errors, for instance the use of the Galaxy's old away kit instead of the new one and listing one-cap-Sean-Franklin as a national team player.

INFOGRAPHIC: Get to know the other #CCL semifinalists. Monter... on Twitpic

For Monterrey the infographic list Aldo de Nigris, Humberto Sauzo, and Jose Maria Basanta as players to watch. Sauzo and de Nigris have spent time with the Mexican national team, though Severo Meza and Jesus Zavala are the ones called up to the recent World Cup Qualifiers starting against the US.

Aldo de Nigris currently leads the team in goals with six in the Torneo Clasura; Sauzo has two. The Rayados last match, a 3-0 victory over Pumas had de Nigris and Sauzo playing up top, Basanta on the backline with Meza and Zavala in the midfield. Sauzo was one of the goalscorers, along with Delgado and Madrigal.

Their 5-2-5 record has them barely in the playoffs, and it's the road matches that have been their downfall. Monterrey is 0-2-4 on the road in the Clasura. After playing the Galaxy on the road with their backup in goal, they travel to Toluca this weekend sandwiched in between the two CONCACAF Champions League tilts.

It'll be interesting to see what starting lineup Monterrey goes with, considering they have just five matches left to earn points and their playoff spot isn't locked up yet. Their seventh seed in the league is only by virtue of tie-breakers, with three clubs including Monterrey with 17 points.

A Monterrey lineup lacking more than one of the players mentioned thus far shows that they aren't going with their A-squad. Meanwhile, MLS moved the Galaxy's weekend match so they could concentrate fully on CCL. The odds are such that, so long as the Galaxy perform, a CCL final is within reach.

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