• Wednesday Oct 24, 2012

    Pride motivating PR Isles against Metapan

    By Dylan Butler

    CONCACAF.com

    After eliminating the Puerto Rico Islanders from the CONCACAF Champions League last week in Bayamon, the LA Galaxy will be seeking the North America Soccer League team's help Thursday night against Metapan.

    That's because an Islanders win at Juan Ramon Loubriel Stadium would clinch the Group 5 title and secure passage into the quarterfinals.

    The Islanders, semifinalists in 2009 but unable to get past the Group Stage since, have other motivation for Thursday's match.

    "I want us to finish as the highest points achieved from the Caribbean," Puerto Rico coach Adrian Whitbread said on the club's website.

    Like the Islanders, the Caribbean's two other Champions League entrants also have been eliminated: W Connection and Caledonia AIA of Trinidad & Tobago both have one draw in three games heading into Wednesday's matches.

    Metapan won the first match between the two teams, 3-1 on a three-goal performance by Nicolas Munoz August 1 at Estadio Jorge Calero Suarez. The Salvadorans have three points from two matches and are four points behind Los Angeles.

    Munoz also scored both goals in a 5-2 loss to the Galaxy on August 23. Metapan hosts Los Angeles on the final day of the Group Stage on October 25.

    Puerto Rico enters the match following a 1-1 draw with the Atlanta Silverbacks on Saturday and will host the Minnesota Stars in a first-round NASL playoff game Sunday. Metapan played Santa Tecla to a 1-1 draw Saturday in the Salvadoran Apertura.

    In Group 3, Olimpia can draw level with Houston with a victory against FAS Thursday night at Estadio Cuscatlan. That would set up a winner-take-all match at BBVA Compass Stadium on October 23.

    Olimpia defeated Deportes Savio 2-1 in league play on Sunday.

    "We'll stick with the last 10 minutes. We were far superior in most of the game," Olimpia coach Danilo Tosello told reporters. "We should finish with more clarity because we failed take advantage of many goal scoring opportunities, they eventually played long balls to our area and we were cornered."

    Olimpia will be buoyed by the return of striker Luciano Emilio, who resumed training Monday after a week out because of a hip injury. He'll be asked to provide a spark for a team in need of goals.

    "The goals have not come, but I think we're doing a great job with the group, the victories have come," Brazilian striker Douglas Caetano told Diez.hn. "I hope the goals come against FAS…As they are already eliminated, I'm sure they'll play without any pressure. We have to be focused and do our job to get the three points."

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