Monday, August 3, 2009
BAYAMON, PR – The Puerto Rico Islanders finish up their CONCACAF Champions League Preliminary Round series Tuesday evening at home with the second leg after capturing a 1-0 victory on the road last Wednesday in Toronto. They host Major League Soccer’s Toronto FC at 8:00 pm ET on Fox Soccer Channel.
The Islanders are returning home for the first game at Juan Ramon Loubriel Stadium since June 25 after a lengthy road stretch of eight league contests and the first leg of the Champions League series.
Puerto Rico, sitting three points back of first in the USL First Division table with a 9-5-8 record, has been outstanding at home, posting a mark of 6-1-3.
The Islanders were idle on the weekend while Toronto was in action in league play. Former USL star Dwayne De Rosario opened the scoring in the 34th minute at New England, but the Revolution were able to find an equalizer in the second half for a draw.
Last week, the Islanders defense suffocated the Toronto attack for the first half and withstood a late rush in the second half after Kendall Jagdeosingh found the back of the net in the 67th minute. Goalkeeper Bill Gaudette made several key saves in the final minutes to preserve the advantage.
Toronto may have Amado Guevera back in the lineup, but it is dependent on his game-time condition as he is returning from a rib injury that has kept him out of the last few matches.
Former Islander and Puerto Rican international Marco Velez will be making his return to the island for the first time since joining Toronto’s roster in 2008. He played for the Islanders from 2005-07.
The winner of the series advances to the Group Stage as a member of Group C with the pre-seeded Columbus Crew, Deportivo Saprissa and the winner of the CS Herediano-Cruza Azul Preliminary Round series. Cruz Azul was the club that eliminated Puerto Rico in penalties in the Semifinals of last year’s tournament.