by Bobby Brandon | MajorLeagueSoccerTalk on July 28, 2010

Concacaf Champions League

And this meant something.

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Bruce Arena fielded a some­what — though not very — weak­ened team against the USL conference’s base­ment dwellers and most likely expected to end up tak­ing a com­fort­able lead down to Baya­mon for the return leg. He won’t be.

The Islanders went on to smash the Galaxy 4 goals to 1, and LA didn’t even have the plea­sure of putting the ball in the net, Islanders defender Mar­tinez may have been feel­ing sorry for them when he scored a ter­ri­ble own goal.

It was an almost mind bog­gling match in which the Galaxy dom­i­nated pos­ses­sion and every other mea­sur­able offen­sive sta­tis­tic other than the only one that actu­ally means any­thing. But this isn’t out of char­ac­ter for Puerto Rico, they often play Cham­pi­ons League matches like this, rely­ing on an orga­nized defense and the incred­i­ble goal­keep­ing of Bill Guadette while wait­ing to spring a counter attack. Colin Clarke’s tac­tics worked to per­fec­tion tonight as his Islanders took their chances well.

The result is espe­cially frus­trat­ing when you con­sider the vic­to­ries scored by Major League Soc­cer teams against Euro­pean oppo­si­tion in friend­lies this week­end, while they are only friend­lies you’d like to think that the results show a degree of improve­ment among MLS teams but it’s hard to say that when the league’s best team gets throt­tled by a sec­ond divi­sion team from its own federation.

Why does it seem like every year we have to talk about MLS teams fail­ing in offi­cial competitions?

Since I don’t want to end this on doom and gloom I will men­tion Toronto’s result tonight. 1–0 against Motagua is noth­ing to sneeze at, the Hon­duran league is stronger than many peo­ple may like to believe and I firmly believe that TFC has what it takes to at least man­age a draw in Tegu­ci­galpa, but it won’t be an easy task.

Con­grats to Puerto Rico on a well deserved win, while they haven’t fin­ished off the Galaxy yet, they’ve given their oppo­nents a very tough road to travel.

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