Guest Blog by Max Colantoni (@MColantoni10)
LA Galaxy 0, Santos Laguna 0
Wednesday, February 24, 2016 – 7:00 p.m. PT
2015-16 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League Quarters – First Leg
StubHub Center – Carson, California
The LA Galaxy earned a hard-fought result on Wednesday night at the StubHub Center, playing Liga MX side Santos Laguna to a 0-0 draw in the first leg of the teams' CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal series.
Jelle Van Damme nearly had an amazing start in his first game for the Galaxy, as his header off a corner kick in the first minute forced an astonishing save from Santos goalkeeper Agustin Marchesin. Ashley Cole, also making his Galaxy debut, did well working with the four man back line. Robbie Rodgers was a non-factor, demonstrating a few very frustrating mistakes. As for A.J. De La Garza he seemed to already be in mid-season form. Steven Gerrard displayed a classic “European Style” of play with magisterial one touch passes throughout the 0-0 draw.
As for the attack corps of the Galaxy, much was left to be desired. There weren’t many opportunities for Robbie Keane as he lacked support from his wingers Giovani dos Santos and Gyasi Zardes. In the 80th minute, substitute Javier Orozco nearly put Santos ahead, but his header flew just wide of the far post. Teammate Jesus Molina, attempting to follow up on the ball, accidentally slammed into the post and needed attention from Santos' medical staff before continuing.
The teams will play the second leg next Tuesday in Torreon to determine which team will advance to the semi-final round in the CCL.
Substitutes not used: Brian Rowe, Oscar Sorto, Dave Romney, Baggio Husidic, Mike Magee, Alan Gordon.
SHOTS: 11; SHOTS ON GOAL: 3; CORNERS: 7; OFFSIDES: 0; SAVES: 5
Santos Laguna: Agustin Marchesin; Javier Abella, Jesus Molina, Diego Gonzalez, Luis Angel Mendoza (Diego de Buen 90’+3), Bryan Rabello (Ulises Davila 87’), Nestor Calderon, Nestor Araujo, Jorge Villafana, Martin Bravo (Javier Orozco 69’), Carlos Izquierdoz
Substitutes not used: Kristian Alvarez, Adrian Aldrete, Julio Gonzalez, Jorge Sanchez.
SHOTS: 9; SHOTS ON GOAL: 5; CORNERS: 5; OFFSIDES: 0; SAVES: 3
Referee: Armando Castro (Honduras)
Referee’s Assistants: Christian Ramirez, Walter Lopez (Honduras)
4th Official: Melvin Matamoros (Honduras)