Goal by Laurent Courtois is a winner for Galaxy
The Galaxy went with a youthful offense for Wednesday’s CONCACAF Champions League game, but it was a 35-year-old veteran’s goal that proved the difference.
Laurent Courtois, a French player signed by the Galaxy in mid-July after he’d been released by Chivas USA, scored in the sixth minute to give the Galaxy all it would need for a 1-0 victory over Isidro Metapan of El Salvador at StubHub Center.
This was the Galaxy’s second game in the opening stage of the CONCACAF tournament and, with the victory, “we’re in a good position to advance” in the event, Coach Bruce Arena said.
CONCACAF is a federation of club teams mainly from North America and Central America, and the tournament’s first stage is divided into eight groups of three teams each.
The Galaxy also won its first game in the tournament, defeating CS Cartagines of Costa Rica, 2-0, on Aug. 20 at StubHub Center.
The Galaxy next travels to Costa Rica for its second game against Cartagines next Wednesday, and then to El Salvador to face Isidro Metapan on Oct. 24.
The Galaxy earned a berth in the tournament by winning its second consecutive Major League Soccer championship last year.
Courtois was about 15 yards from Metapan’s goal when he took a pass from Jose Villarreal and hit a left-to-right shot that curled past goalkeeper Henry Hernandez into the right side of the net.
Courtois took another shot in the 19th minute but it flew off Hernandez’s outstretched hand and over the goal.
Goalkeeper Brian Rowe, in turn, made a diving save to his left on a shot by midfielder Jose Peraza in the 17th minute to keep Metapan off the scoreboard.
Missing from the Galaxy’s starting lineup were star forwards Robbie Keane, who was rested, and Landon Donovan, who was nursing a sore right ankle.
The Galaxy needs both of those players in good shape Saturday for a key MLS Western Conference showdown with the Seattle Sounders at StubHub Center.
So the Galaxy fielded three young forwards Wednesday: Villarreal, 20; Jack McBean, 18, and Chandler Hoffman, 23, a former UCLA standout from Alabama.