Jose ‘BoriQa’ Carrillo
July 26, 2010
After a thrilling 3-1 home win against the Rochester Rhinos Saturday night,
the Islanders left Puerto Rico Sunday to face off against the MLS’ L.A.
Galaxy in the first leg of the 2010-11 CONCACAF Champions League (CCL)
The Islanders, who are the most successful Caribbean team in the CONCACAF
Champions League, captured the 2010 Caribbean Football Union’s (CFU) Club
Championship in May. The Islanders are the only non-Mexican team to
challenge the Aztecs in CCL Semifinals (2008-09). Atlante and Pachuca from
Mexico won the title in the first two editions of the tournament (2008-09
and 2009-10 respectively).
Under the direction of Northern Irish head coach Colin Clarke, the Islanders
have qualified for all three years of the CONCACAF Champions League, one of
just seven teams able to make that boast. Cruz Azul [Mexico], Olimpia &
Marathon [Honduras], San Francisco FC [Panama], Isidro Metapan [El Salvador]
and Saprissa [Costa Rica] are the other teams in that distinguished list of
In the past two editions of the tournament, the Puerto Rico Islanders
eliminated Alajuelense of Costa Rica and Toronto FC (TFC) of MLS in the
This year will be Los Angeles CCL debut. The Galaxy are currently 12-2-4 (40
points) and lead the 2010 MLS Western Conference and overall standings.
The Caribbean Champions on the other hand, who have struggled this year in
league play, are currently in a three-way tie for 7th place overall in the
USSF D-2 Pro League standings with a 6-7-5 record (23 points). Still, the
Islanders are 2nd in most shots and most goals in the league this year.
It looks to be another David vs Goliath engagement for the Islanders in the
CCL. But this is exactly how the Islanders have built a “Giant Killers”
reputation, after taking down the likes of Liga Alajuelence (Costa Rica),
Marathon (Honduras), Tauro FC (Panama), San Juan Jabloteh (Trinidad &
Tobago) and Toronto FC (Canada).
Mexican giants like Santos Laguna and Cruz Azul have also bowed down to the
Islanders at home in Puerto Rico. This is exactly what the Islanders are
counting on, their supremacy at home in Bayamón.
The Islanders’ goalkeeper Bill Gaudette said it best: «They (L.A.) have
wonderful players all around the park. It’s going to be a difficult game for
us. We have two chances to give them a game, and we’re going to see what
happens. We’ll go out to LA and give it our best and they have to come down
to Puerto Rico, which not many teams like to do.»
Kickoff is scheduled for 10:00 p.m. ET and will be televised by Fox Soccer