Wednesday, March 08, 2006

New England and Los Angeles ready for CONCACAF glory

Both MLS teams failed to gain the upper hand during the home portion of their CONCACAF Champions Cup quarterfinal series, so they must make something happen on foreign soil. Both teams face difficult opponents, so the odds are very much against them.

New England Revolution play Costa Rica champions Liga Deportiva Alajuelense (9pm EST tonight). As during their home match, New England will take the pitch without a lot of players due to injury. Both Michael Parkhurst and Pat Noonan are out. Stave Ralston is available, but NE's coach is reluctant to use him as a started.

The midfield is going to be questionable for the Revs. Do to this, look for Clint Dempsey to come back more (he will probably be teamed up front with Twellman). The key for both teams will be defense, but look for the Revs to play on their heels more then Alajuelense. Look for the Revs to try to throw as many bodies behind the ball as possible while looking for a couple lucky counter attacks.

LA should have an easier time in their match against Deportivo Saprissa, but only by a little bit (9pm EST tonight). I say this because LA is in better shape then the Revs as far as injuries are concerned. The big return has got to be defender Chris Albright. Without Albright, LA looked a little confused during the first meeting. They might also get to use Brian Dunseth as a defender. Dunseth has got arrived in Galaxy land, but his international experience could be huge.

However, the main person that needs to step up and start creating chances is Landon Donovan. Donovan has been a little flat of late (both with LA and the USA). He needs to force the defense to come at him when he has the ball. This will open things up for Herculez Gomez and Cobi Jones. Saprissa will be watching Donovan, he needs to exploit that.

Both matches will be shown on Fox Soccer Channel, however, the New England match will be tape delayed.

LA Galaxy - Deportivo Saprissa
9pm EST
Fox Soccer Channel

New England Revolution - Deportiva Alajuelense
11pm EST
Fox Soccer Channel

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