Despite defeating the Puerto Rico Islanders 2-1 last night in front of a lively Estadio Juan Roman Loubriel crowd, the Los Angeles Galaxy was eliminated from the CONCACAF Champions League.
Landon Donovan, Edson Buddle and Co. needed a four-goal victory to overcome their 4-1 aggregate deficit entering the game. After Sean Franklin scored LA’s second goal in the 84th minute, the Galaxy pushed forward with everything it had, but could not find another goal, much less two more, which would have sent the game to extra time.
The Islanders move on to the final 16 of the CCL, where they will be joined by MLS teams Seattle Sounders FC and Toronto FC, both of which came up with ties in difficult conditions in Central America on Tuesday night to advance.
In a steady rain, on a field that looked like the surface of the moon by game’s end, Sounders FC got a late equalizer from newly acquired Uruguayan designated player Alvaro Fernandez to earn a tie with El Salvadoran side Metapan.
That result, combined with Seattle’s 1-0 home win in the first leg, sent Sounders FC through to the final 16.
Toronto traveled to Tegucigalpa—or rather, tried to: their flight landed at the wrong airport and they had to travel five hours by bus to the capital city for the game—and pulled out a 2-2 draw against Honduran side Motagua.
But Toronto finished its chances and got some great saves out of goalkeeper Stefan Frei to nail down the result it needed.
The outcomes put four MLS teams—the most ever—into the group stages of the CCL. Real Salt Lake and the Columbus Crew received byes to the final 16.
There are two games today—Joe Public of Trinidad vs Brujas of Costa Rica, and FAS of El Salvador against Xelaju of Guatemala.
Once those results are in the group stage will be set. Here’s what it looks like now:
Real Salt Lake (USA)
Arabe Unido (Panama)
Cruz Azul (Mexico)
Toronto FC (Canada)
Columbus Crew (USA)
Brujas (Costa Rica)/Joe Public (T&T) winner
Saprissa (Costa Rica)
Seattle Sounders FC (USA)
Puerto Rico Islanders
FAS (El Salvador)/Xelaju (Guatemala) winner