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June 28, 2012

Santos Laguna, Léon Head Coaches Pleased With Preseason Progress

Home Depot Center News

Both teams currently preparing for Copa Campéon de Campeones in Carson

FULLERTON, Calif. - Club Léon recently opened their preseason with a victory while current Mexican champions Santos Laguna continued their preparations for what is expected to be a difficult season, as Head Coach Benjamin Galindo's men will surely be considered the team to beat during the 2012 Apertura.

Club Léon and Santos Laguna will do battle for the Copa Campéon de Campeones on Sunday, July 8, at The Home Depot Center in Carson. The high-profile international match, which will be hosted by the Blues, is scheduled to kick off at 5 p.m. PT.

Léon defeated Leones Negros UAG 3-2 in a scrimmage that saw the club's big offseason additions take the field for the first time. Head Coach Gustavo Matosas expressed his satisfaction with the overall play and especially emphasized the teamwork exhibited by his squad.

\"For it being our first real test, I think there were positives in the team's performance, but I think it's important that we continue with the same humility we've had in the past,\" Matosas said. \"The game gave us a feel for the areas where we need improvement, but overall I really liked the way the team played together. It was a good workout and a good start.\"

The Léon Head Coach continued, \"The basic idea is to keep on adding to what we had... The offseason break served to alleviate any fatigue caused by the twelve days of intense physical demands of the playoffs and championship game.\"

Of the reinforcements, Matosas said, \"I think they are great additions to the team. You can tell that Othoniel Arce, Edgar Pachéco and Saul Villalobos are suffering a bit from only having played a few minutes for their previous teams, but they are healthy and that's a plus that works in our favor.\"

Speaking about Uruguayan Matias Britos, who reported to the team after the scrimmage, Matosas added, \"Matias is very happy here at Léon and knows he has to work like everyone and give it his all for the team. He is a great professional and I will talk to him to ensure that he'll have sufficient rest after having played in the Uruguayan championship - without risking him losing his fitness. That should be beneficial to his transition into the team.\"

After the scrimmage, Léon now hosts a four-team tournament with Pumas, Cruz Azul and Pachuca that will kick off with Pachuca vs. Pumas and Cruz Azul vs. Léon on June 28. The second round of matches will be played on June 30.

Léon will travel to Los Angeles for the Copa Campéon de Campeones following the conclusion of its tournament.


Meanwhile, the newly crowned champions of Mexican soccer, Santos Laguna, are \"sailing along,\" according to Head Coach Benjamin Galindo.

The team entered the final stretch of its fitness work in Torreon, Coahuila, prior to leaving for Mazatlan, Sinaloa, on Monday, where they continued their preseason preparations on the beach.

Hérculez Gómez, Christian Suárez and Felipe Baloy all reported to the team in time for the trip. The trio rejoined Santos Laguna late after representing their respective national teams in World Cup qualifiers and subsequently being granted a period of much needed rest. The only absence was striker Oribe Peralta, who had been summoned to the Mexican Olympic Team.

Santos will conclude its preseason on Monday, July 2, with a friendly match against CF Monterrey in McAllen, Texas. They then travel to Los Angeles on Thursday, July 5, for Sunday's game against Léon at The Home Depot Center.

\"We are happy with the players' fitness, which isn't surprising because they're all great athletes and very committed to their profession,\" Galindo said. \"Those who rejoined the team (late) are in good shape as well and should have no trouble getting back into their rhythm.\"

He continued, \"We all know that we are considered targets by other teams by virtue of being champions and basically having kept the team from last season together. I think we are considered the team to beat. Even more than a feeling of pride, that gives us a sense of responsibility toward our fans and ourselves.\"

Galindo's conclusion was all-around positive.

\"The team is fine,\" he said. \"We should be able to retain our level of play and I think we will again be fighting for the championship in the upcoming season.\"

Tickets for the Copa Campéon de Campeones start at $25 and may be purchased by visiting www.AXS.com or by calling 888-9-AXS-TIX (888-929-7849) or 714-738-8011. They are also available through The Home Depot Center Box Office, which is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. VIP Suites may be purchased by calling 877-604-8777.

For additional information, please visit labluesprosoccer.com or homedepotcenter.com.

Blues Contact:

Gunnar Berndt
Director of Communications
714-738-8011 ext. 209
[email protected]