Sebastian Humbert | futbolboricua.net
Thursday 5th of August 2010
Bayamón, PR- The Puerto Rico Islanders qualified for the CONCACAF Champions League group stage tonight, knocking out the Los Angeles Galaxy with a total goal score of 5-3.
Even with a top slot in the Major League Soccer Standings, a handful of FIFA World Cup experienced players and an All Star coach, the LA Galaxy could not beat Islander offense.
With the win, the Islanders join Group D of the CCL, and face Toluca (of Mexico), Olimpia (of Honduras) and the winner of Thursday’s matchup between FAS (of El Salvador) and Xelaju (of Guatemala).
The comfortable two goal lead sends a clear message to whoever the “Orange Troop” face in group play: watch out.
Opening up scoring for the second leg of the two game series, Islanders forward David Foley sent a ball into the back of the net in the 33 minute off of a penalty kick after Galaxy forward Edson Buddle pulls Islander defender Marco Velez to the ground.
However, aggression was not at all just a characteristic of a LA Galaxy in search of vengeance. The Islanders created three fouls in the first 75 seconds, and there were two yellow cards on the field by the fifth minute, one to each team.
The second goal of the night, just as in the first leg of the series, was an Islanders own-goal.
In the 37th minute, off of a shot by Landon Donovan, Marco Velez becomes the unfortunate obstacle that ushers in a ball meant to be cleared by David Horst.
The second half was witness to a more defensive Islanders, bent on passive offense, but saved by Islanders goalie Bill Gaudette. Living up to his nickname, Gaudette made superman-like saves from the center of the net or close many times during the night.
In the 84th minute, Galaxy defender Sean Franklin made the 500th goal in CCL history, putting the Galaxy up 2-1 over the Islanders with only 6 minutes left on the clock.
The Islanders have qualified for the CCL since its inaugural season, three years ago. This is only the second home loss for the Islanders in CCL play in their history in the tournament.The Islanders next play Olympia in the opening game of the CCL group stage, August 14th at home.