Only Bruce Arena could say if there was a little something more behind his frustrated comments late last minutes to long after after watching his team unravel in 10 awful minutes against a Monterrey side that was there for the taking.
The Galaxy led by a goal but conceded twice in the final 10 minutes, and now find themselves dragging a heavy weight, a 2-1 deficit they will carry into Mexico for next week’s second leg of the CONCACAF Champions League semifinal series.
What Arena said:
A little bit more experience, a little bit more quality, we win this game by a couple goals. But we end up losing.
“There are clear lessons for our team: the kind of concentration you need, the experience, the tactical understanding. So what if we don’t get the second goal? You win the game 1-0. That’s so obvious, and we didn’t do the job we needed to do. If we don’t concede, we walk away with a win tonight and position ourselves better to go into Monterrey. Now going into Monterrey is obviously going to be very difficult.”
You wonder if Arena was frustrated just because. Or …
Was he frustrated because the team is still essentially missing two of its money men? The team has yet to replace David Beckham on the roster, whether that is Frank Lampard or someone else? This was always the danger as the club elected to wait until the summer transfer window (when there will surely be more movement and therefore greater options) to identify a willing third DP.
And then there’s Landon Donovan.
Donovan did come in after 63 minutes Tuesday. But he wasn’t around when the Galaxy had its first chances to go up 2-0.
Donovan admitted that Arena wasn’t exactly thrilled by his choice to go on four-month sabbatical. No sabbatical, and Donovan surely would have started and been far more a factor Tuesday.
Sixteen teams remain in the battle to clinch the Premier League’s first European place of next season’s tournament, and we have some tremendous battles on tap for Tuesday and Wednesday in the EFL Cup (formerly the League Cup).
Today we focus on the 24 hours ahead of us, focusing on Tuesday’s five matches and allowing the Manchester Derby, West Ham-Chelsea, and Southampton-Sunderland to percolate a bit.
[ MORE: Finland’s “Leicester” gets it done ]
That’s not to say we don’t have a pair of giants dueling on Tuesday. Liverpool is three wins away from a return to the final, where the Reds fell in penalties last season. Standing in their way is Tottenham Hotspur, a deep squad which won’t have to worry much about a quick turnaround from Saturday.
That said, the Reds didn’t have to play at all last week, while this will be Spurs third match in a week. Spurs have been to the EFL Cup final thrice since 2008, and one of two teams (Chelsea) to make three finals this decade. Liverpool will start Simon Mignolet between the sticks.
The remaining four EFL Cup matches include at least one team outside the Premier League.
— Arsenal will host USMNT midfielder Danny Williams and Reading.
— Hull City is off to Ashton Gate to face Bristol City.
— Newcastle United is leading the Championship, and will get a visit from Preston North End in the first of two matches between the two sides this week.
— Norwich City will pay a visit to Elland Road and Garry Monk‘s Leeds United.
FC Dallas has two jewels of its triple crown all set, having claimed the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup and the Supporters’ Shield.
One of the key reasons the club was able to sustain its pace this season was Mauro Diaz, 25, who shone even as Fabian Castillo shockingly left the club before the stretch run.
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A River Plate product, Diaz gave FCD seven goals and 15 assists over 32 appearances before tearing an achilles tendon last week.
Diaz underwent season-ending surgery, but his teammates made sure he was a part of the champagne celebration by heading to his very nice-looking house for an early morning visit.
[ MORE: Pre-playoff power rankings ]
There was some eye-popping moments in the Premier League this weekend, yet still very little debate who shone brightest.
Stoke City’s Xherdan Shaqiri scored a pair of Goal of the Month competitors in the same day in the Potters’ 2-0 win at Hull City on Monday.
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The first was a curling wonder from distance, while the second came from a bit closer as the big-calfed Swiss attacker bamboozled the Hull wall and goalkeeper.
The Potters are up to 16th in the Premier League table with nine points.
HELSINKI (AP) Fans of IFK Mariehamn have gathered in the main square of the remote Finnish town to celebrate their team’s surprise league title.
“I feel very proud,” the club’s managing director, Peter Mattsson, told The Associated Press in a telephone interview on Monday, adding that “thousands” were expected to turn up for the party.
Watched by more than 4,000, Mariehamn clinched the Finnish title on Sunday with a 2-1 home victory over Ilves, from the industrial city of Tampere.
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Mariehamn held off 11 other teams, including the traditionally strong Helsinki club, HJK, and defending champion SJK from western Finland. It ended three points clear of second-placed HJK for its first league title.
Local media dubbed the team “Leicester” after the surprise English Premier League champions last season.
Mariehamn, which has a population of 11,500, is the capital of the Aland islands off the southwestern Finnish coast