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CONCACAF Champions League Preview: Gomez mouths off ahead of Galaxy, Tijuana clash

American striker Herculez Gomez has lashed out at former club Los Angeles Galaxy before they face his new employers Tijuana on Tuesday.

Tijuana will host Galaxy in the second leg of their CONCACAF Champions League (CCL) quarter-final, after losing the first leg 1-0 in LA.

Gomez was convinced the Liga MX side deserved a better result but for some poor finishing and the 31-year-old United States international did not hold back in his criticism of the Galaxy after a strong contingent of Tijuana fans turned out in LA.

“I think it was disappointing for LA. You can’t claim to be one of the best fan bases and the flagship team of the league (MLS) and get shown up like this,” Gomez told the MLS’ website.

“I’m sure their players feel disappointed.”

Gomez, who played 53 games and scored 16 goals for the Galaxy between 2002 and 2006, added: “No, I’m not surprised (Tijuana dominated in the stands). I expected it. We’re really popular.

“People keep saying MLS should go to San Diego, but that’s maybe not such a good idea.”

Gomez only came on in the 80th minute against the Galaxy in LA and despite starting in Tijuana’s league encounter on Saturday, which they lost 2-1 to Cruz Azul, it remains unclear if he will play much part in the second league after also criticising his coach Cesar Farias.

The Californian-born striker has scored nine times against MLS sides in the CCL and was not impressed by starting on the bench against LA.

“There’s a chip on my shoulder that I didn’t get more time today, that’s for sure,” Gomez said.

“I think you should maybe know your players better. This is a tournament that I get up for. I’ve done a lot of things that have been positive in this tournament.”

Brazilian striker Samuel scored the only goal of the game in the first leg, which put the Galaxy in the box seat to qualify for the CCL semi-finals for the second year in a row, while Tijuana have never reached the final four of the continental competition.

All three Mexican participants will host their second legs this week with Toluca and Cruz Azul to welcome San Jose Earthquakes and Sporting Kansas City respectively on Wednesday.

San Jose needed a second-half stoppage time header from Alan Gordon to claim a 1-1 draw with Toluca last week, while Kevin Ellis scored the winner for Sporting in their 1-0 triumph over Cruz Azul.

In the fourth quarter-final, Panama’s Arabe Unido will host Alajuelense of Costa Rica on Thursday, after claiming a 0-0 draw away from home in the first leg.

Mon 17 March, 2014
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