History will not be on the LA Galaxy's side as they travel south of the border to take on Liga MX side Santos Laguna. The first leg saw the Galaxy and Santos have equal shots on goal, but neither team could hit the back of the net. The best chance of the night came from new centerback Jelle Van Damme - who's header forced a very quality save from Santos goalie Agustin Marchesin. That was the best chance of the night for either team in the first leg.
LA has never won in Mexico in a CONCACAF competition via lagalaxy.com, but they will look to break that streak on Tuesday. A goal, or a draw that sees both teams scoring, will send LA through to the next round. Look for the Galaxy to come out all guns blazing.
Another Test For The New Look Galaxy
The LA Galaxy revamped their team, and the first leg was the first time we got to see the whole team working together. Along with Van Damme, LA added Ashley Cole at leftback and Nigel De Jong in the midfield. Both will add experience and will look to help the Galaxy defense, especially De Jong as he will most likely sit in a holding midfield role. He will allow the likes of Gyasi Zardes and Steven Gerrard to push forward in attack and feed Robbie Keane up top.
Together with Gerrard and Giovani Dos Santos on the wing, the Galaxy now have a handful full of players who have played in the top European leagues but are now in the MLS. They still need time to adapt, but playing together before the MLS season kicks off is a great way to jell. They are going to be a great team when they start to form chemistry, but it will take some time.
But there is no doubt that this will be a tough test for LA. They will be in a tough environment and they have to be careful to not get overwhelmed by the situation. LA only needs a goal to take a strangehold on the tie. It will be that crucial away goal. But they will have to do a lot of defending as well as Santos knows this as well.
Santos Looking For Bright Spot
Getting through this second leg would be a big victory for a struggling Santos team.
Santos Laguna currently sit in ninth in the Liga MX table and have not won a game since January 29th when they beat Querétaro 2-0. Since then, they have lost to Club America and Monterrey, and have drawn with LA, Pumas UNAM, and Puebla.
The lack of wins in Liga MX have left Santos Laguna in midtable. They are currently tied on points with Club Tijuana and they will hope that a win in the Champions League will spark their domestic form.