After trying to top what Real Salt Lake did in the last edition of the CONCACAF Champions League, the opening night of the 2011-12 edition for two MLS Sides was the next chapter in the league’s history to get back into the knockout stages for next season. The Los Angeles Galaxy and Seattle Sounders hosted their first group matches against opponents from Central America.
Let’s start off with the Seattle Sounders as they began their Group D matches at Century Link Field against Guatemala’s Comunicaciones, who took advantage of some sloppy defending. An early goal scared the Seattle faithful as Jario Arreola caught Terry Boss in no man’s land and headed in a perfect cross.
It wasn’t just sloppy defending that bothered the Sounders; they were also sloppy on the offensive side of the ball. They could bring the ball up to midfield, but once they got into Comunicaciones territory they got dispossessed very easily. But Seattle was able to get their act together and equalize late in the first half.
The man of the match of course was Michael Fucito as he served a great corner in the 35th minute and Brad Evans was able to put it in the net off the back of his shoulders. Then the goal scoring began in the second half. Two fantastic rips nailing the back corners of the net in the sixty-first and sixty-seventh as Fucito cut all of Comunicaciones hope for a win.
All of this for the Sounders as they were down to ten men in the 55th minute as Lamar Neagle was sent off on a reckless challenge as he missed the ball and got his marker. Even though an own goal officially sealed the three points for Seattle, once again it was the magic of Michael Fucito that got the home crowd excited.
At the Home Depot Center in Carson, California, the Los Angeles Galaxy took on Montagua of Honduras and some familiar faces made their return. Guillermo “Pando” Ramirez and Amado Guevara were back at the home of the Galaxy for some international club action.
The Galaxy showed to be the better side as they attacked all match long. The first goal of the match came from Adam Cristman as he slid into a perfect low cross from A.J. De La Garza and scored in the thirteenth minute. Montagua tried to be dangerous, but they were outmatched by the Galaxy.
Landon Donovan would get into the act as he converted a great chance in the sixtieth minute when David Beckham bent a cross from the near side and missed the defenders. Donovan chested the ball down and roofed it inside the top of the net.
More insult to injury for Montagua was Ivan Guerrero getting sent off in the 70th minute when he accidentally put his left studs into the chest of De La Garza and he will miss the next group match. But for MLS this has been a successful night for two of their five sides.