LA Galaxy and the Concacaf Champions League
Historically, Liga MX has dominated the competition and one would guess they are favored in this contest.
The Galaxy have added a lot of players and it isn't clear they have gotten used to playing together yet. Additionally, the team is still working up fitness levels for the MLS regular season which is a couple weeks away.
Meanwhile, Liga MX has been playing league games and their players are in regular season form.
Though expectations are higher for MLS, analysts remain realistic about the challenges ahead.
Caught about the last 15 minutes of the match. Looks like both sides were content with the 0-0 score line. Galaxy didn't look like they were pushing forward very much. Perhaps, they were already a bit weary by that point.
Looking at the match highlights below, the chances seemed pretty even though I think the Galaxy opportunities seemed a bit better.
Update: More detailed analysis of LA Galaxy performance can be found at LAGConfidential. Steffen was generally happy with how they did. Excerpt:
There was a lot to learned from the Galaxy's first competitive match of 2015. For starters, the Steven Gerrard and Nigel de Jong central midfield tandem got off to a great start.[.....]Bruce opted to play it safe and play Giovani dos Santos as a striker and Gyasi Zardes as a winger, despite his stated intentions of playing Gio on the wing this year. Unsurprisingly, this set-up was as anemic as it was at the end of last season when Bruce stubbornly road it to an early playoff exit.
Can provided brief comments on each player who had minutes.
Excerpt about the additions to last year's team:
Kennedy - 6.5 Commanded his box on several plays taking the ball out of the air and using his body to shove players aside. Played more physical than previous goalkeepers Penedo and Ricketts, and had 3 saves on 4 shots on goal (with Dos Santos bailing him out on the last). Wasn't challenged too much on the saves and still looks like he's finding his footing.
Cole - 6.5 A pleasant surprise. Santos Laguna abandoned attacking down his side. Tidy on the ball with a cheeky effort at goal. Several recoveries, interceptions and tackles won.
Van Damme - 6.5 A tale of two sides that offset one another, Van Damme was a physical beast commanding the backline, especially in the air, but also relied heavily on boot ball rather than retaining possession (over 15 missed passes from the back). Had 4 clearances and 5 critical interceptions near the box, including a diving header to clear a decent cross. Earned a yellow card, but had the best shot on goal denied only by an excellent save from Santos Laguna's goalkeeper.
de Jong - 7.5 His passing map looks like Juninho's. That's meant in the best way possible. All over the pitch, fantastic use of slide tackles, nice balance with Gerrard in the middle. He made the Galaxy go, and we should be excited to see him in Mexico next week.
Boateng - 5 He's fast, he takes on defenders, had a decent shot on goal after Keane threaded him through, but he needs to stay on his feet and get back on defense without looking like a headless chicken.