Action from the CONCACAF Champions League game between Heredia and the Impact de Montreal on August 21, 2013, in Guatemala City, Guatemala. (Photo: Juan Meono)
For Heredia v San Jose Earthquakes game notes, please click here.
GUATEMALA CITY – Heredia currently leads Group 5 in the CONCACAF Champions League (CCL) on goal difference and can take a big step toward remaining there Wednesday with a victory against the visiting San Jose Earthquakes.
The Guatemalan side hosted and won its opening match last week, beating the Impact de Montreal, 1-0, on a late winner by Charles Cordova at the Estadio Cementos Progreso.
Heredia and Montreal each have three points, and a win by San Jose would put the group completely up for grabs.
“We are looking forward and ready to look for a second win,” said Heredia technical director Juan Carlos Elias. “We will not book anything.”
Heredia fell 1-0 at Malacateco in league play Sunday, but the Jaguars are putting that defeat behind them as a crucial fixture against the Earthquakes looms.
“We have a full team and we are motivated to seek the points that led to the second phase of the tournament,” Elias commented.
San Jose, which lost 1-0 to Montreal in its CCL opener, played FC Dallas to a 2-2 draw in Texas, on Saturday in Major League Soccer play. The Earthquakes jumped out to 2-0 lead after 16 minutes on goals from Alan Gordon and Steven Beitashour, but Blas Perez and Michel struck for the host.
“It was a perfect start,” San Jose interim coach Mark Watson said. “Two goals in the first 20 minutes away from home is as good as it gets. Once the second goal went in, the plan was to defend and not concede for that next 10 minutes. We know they’re coming back full of adrenalin and want to get one back. Unfortunately, they did get one, but I thought our guys fought right until the end. I’m just proud of our guys getting a point.”
The match served as a homecoming of sorts for recently signed San Jose defender Clarence Goodson, who began his professional career with Dallas in 2004, before heading to IK Start in Norway and Brondby in the Danish Superliga.
“I came here as a young man and come back here a veteran, a guy who’s been in major international tournaments and been an international,” Goodson said, the only U.S. player to score in each of the last three editions of the CONCACAF Gold Cup. “It’s a weird feeling, but a good feeling to come back to the place where it all started.”
NOTES: With a victory on Wednesday, Heredia would become the first Guatemalan team to win its first two CCL games.