GLENDALE, Ariz. — The Pablo Mastroeni reunion tour made its latest stop on Thursday when the 36-year-old midfielder returned to his childhood home of Arizona.
In front of more than 50 friends and family, Mastroeni went 45 minutes in the Galaxy’s 3-1 defeat to Real Madrid in Guinness International Championship Cup play. For Mastroeni, who left Arizona as a teenager of 17 to pursue his soccer career, the chance to play in his home state was an emotional experience.
“Playing in front of friends and family is always awesome,” said Mastroeni. “I had high school buddies; I had elementary school buddies, the extended family, and in-laws. The list goes on and on, but it was awesome…It was good to be out there and play probably my last game in front of the Phoenix crowd.”
However, playing in front of family and friends wasn’t the only exciting part as the midfielder enjoyed the chance to test himself against the Spanish giants.
“I don’t know what their payroll looks like, but I’m sure it’s a little bit more expensive than ours. Just world class players that you watch day in and day out, so to play against these guys doesn’t get old,” said Mastroeni. “Each and every opportunity that you get is an opportunity to measure yourself and [ask yourself] if I would have done alright overseas if I had gone over at a younger age.
“I think that we did a really good job of competing and making these guys play outside their comfort zone,” Mastroeni added. “I think their class showed when they were able to break and score goals, but it was a great game to be a part of, and hopefully, something that we can build on.”
Although Mastroeni has enjoyed getting a chance to spend time with scores of family and friends over the past two weeks, he’s ready for his life to return to normal.
“It’s been an emotional rollercoaster, I’m ready to get off this thing and get some type of normalcy in my life, but that comes with the territory because professional sports are crazy,” said Mastroeni. “It always finds a way to make stories out of this, for me, I’m glad that in a week or two, we’ll get back to a somewhat normal schedule and get back into league.”
However, before that happens, the Mastroeni reunion tour will make one final stop next week in Miami, the place where Mastroeni began his MLS career 16-years-ago with the now defunct Miami Fusion.
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The LA Galaxy gave a fair account of themselves as Real Madrid defeated the two-time defending MLS Cup champions 3-1 in front of 38,922 at University of Phoenix Stadium.
Madrid opened the scoring just 15 minutes in when Angel Di Maria found the back of the net of a pass from Cristiano Ronaldo. After the goal, the Galaxy held the Spanish giants going into the half down just one, but Madrid doubled their lead in the 52nd when Karim Benzema found the back of the net. However, the Galaxy pulled one back in 63rd minute from a wonder strike by Jose Villarreal.
Madrid pulled it to three in the 74th minute when Benzema completed his brace.
The Galaxy will now face Juventus at Dodger Stadium on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Madrid will take on Everton in the early match of the doubleheader at Dodger Stadium.
A video of Jose Villarreal's wonder goal is below...
The LA Galaxy will take on Real Madrid for the fourth straight season on Thursday evening at University of Phoenix Stadium.
Even though the Galaxy have made a match against Los Merengues an annual event, they admit that the match is just as special as it was the first time.
“It doesn’t get old. They’re one of the best teams in the world. You never miss a chance to play in these games and this will be a fun ne,” said defender Todd Dunivant, who scored against Madrid in 2010. “I think that you have nothing to lose so you get to compete and test yourself against the highest level, and Real Madrid certainly qualifies as that. I remember being back in college when you got to play against MLS teams, that was your chance to raise your level and try to raise your game, and the same is kind of true playing Madrid. It’s fun, it’s good experience for guys, and we’re making sure that they know that you have to have a good competitive attitude.”
As for LA’s history against Real? Thursday’s match will be the fifth time that the Galaxy have played against them and the first outside of Southern California.
2010: Real Madrid defeats LA Galaxy 3-2 at the Rose Bowl. LA take a first half lead with goals from Dunivant and Landon Donovan before Madrid roars back in the second half with a brace from Gonzalo Higuain and a goal from Xabi Alonso.
2012: Real Madrid 5-1 LA Galaxy at The Home Depot Center. Gonzalo Higuain, Angel Di Maria, Jose Callejon, Alvaro Morata, and Jese scored for Madrid. David Junior Lopes scored the only goal for the Galaxy.
LA Galaxy defender Omar Gonzalez scored stoppage time of the MLS All-Stars' 3-1 defeat to Italian giants AS Roma, but it was expansion news that stole the show in Kansas City.
At halftime of the match, MLS Commissioner Don Garber revealed that the league will be looking to expand to 24 teams by 2020. In the interview, he also revealed that the league won't be looking to move any teams either.
Which cities could be in line to get an MLS club? Well, the Orlando City franchise is considered a frontrunner and former Galaxy midfielder David Beckham has been linked to a team in Miami. As for the other two spots, well there are a host of options ranging from Sacramento, San Antonio, Minneapolis, St. Louis, and even a second team in New York City.
Video of Gonzalez's goal is below. Also comment about which cities deserve expansion sides in the comment section.
PHOENIX, Ariz. — Real Madrid has released their travel roster for the team that will face the LA Galaxy on Thursday.
There are a few notable players missing on the squad as Madrid will be without Spanish internationals Iker Casillas, Sergio Ramos, Alvaro Arbeloa as well as Brazilian international Marcelo and French defender Raphaël Varane.
Goalkeepers: Diego López, Jesús, Tomás Mejías
Defenders: Pepe, Daniel Carvajal, Nacho Fernandez, David Mateos, Jorge Casado
Midfielders: Khedira, Özil, Kaká, Luka Modric, Angel Di María, Isco, Casemiro, Denis Cheryshev
Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema, Alvaro Morata
In the lead up to Saturday's Guinness International Championship Cup match at Dodger Stadium, Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo threw out the first pitch -- and well, the second one -- at Wednesday's game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the New York Yankees.
During his time at Chavez Ravine, Ronaldo bonded with Dodgers star Yasiel Puig, which was profiled all over social media. Whereas people who typically throw out the first pitch don a Dodgers uniform and a cap, Ronaldo was clad in his Madrid best with his iconic finely trimmed hair totally immaculate.
Check out Ronaldo's first and second attempts below. Did he get a strike?
The LA Galaxy have landed in Phoenix ahead of Thursday's match against Real Madrid at University of Phoenix Stadium.
As expected, the temperatures in Phoenix are well...hot. It's a toasty 108 degrees at the moment and the temperatures are expected to be the same at game time. Luckily, the stadium is an air-conditioned venue. Whew.
Above is a shot snapped of Downtown Phoenix.
LA Galaxy midfielder Juninho was named to the MLS All-Star inactive roster on Wednesday afternoon.
Per the league’s Collective Bargaining Agreement, the complete MLS All-Star roster includes 32 players, with the inactive roster being determined by player vote.
The nod is Juninho’s second time on the inactive roster as the Galaxy midfielder was selected in 2011. This season, Juninho has made 22 appearances—all 22 being starts—while tallying two assists and forming a successful tandem with fellow Brazilian midfielder Marcelo Sarvas.
Now anyone knows me that I love rap,, I was born in the late-80's, and I love soccer -- well obviously -- but how do I feel about this new fusion of all those things for the website Funny Or Die and the MLS All-Star Game? Well, I love it.
LA Galaxy center back Omar Gonzalez joins in the on tank top and fanny pack fun with fellow MLS All-Stars Brad Davis, Graham, Zusi, Kyle Beckerman, Chris Wondolowski, Jack Mcinerney, and Mike Magee.
Now as for each of the verses, I'm a big fan of Gonzalez's flow, but props go to Beckerman and, of course, Magee for bringing the fire. See what I did there?
Check it out.
CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy will match up against some of the world’s best on Thursday when they take on Spanish giants Real Madrid. As LA prepare for their seemingly annual match against Los Blancos, no one is more amped than the Galaxy’s rookies who get their first chance to face off against the players they grew up watching on television.
When asked to reflect on the match, the first name off every Galaxy players tongue is Portuguese international and former FIFA World Player of the Year Cristiano Ronaldo, who leads the charge for Los Merengues. The Portuguese star is considered one of the top five players in the world and has shined against the Galaxy in past meetings –just take a look at videos from his appearances in 2010, 2011, and 2012.
Stopping Ronaldo is a challenge for any defender, but two Galaxy rookies, who may be asked to stop Portuguese attacker or some other Madrid star, take the task in stride.
“For anyone that plays soccer, you know Madrid and you know Ronaldo, [Mesut] Ozil because you you’ve seen these guys on television,” said defender Kofi Opare. “They’re some of the world’s best players and to get a chance to be on the same field with them is definitely something that I’ve penned on the calendar.”
“I just want to contain him. I know that I’m going to be going up against him because a left wing,” said Oscar Sorto. “It’s going to be unbelievable.”
As for their plan is to stop Ronaldo? Both defenders have different tactics.
“I’m just going to look behind me to see if I have help,” said Sorto with a laugh. “I’ll hopefully play well, but it’ll be a good experience.”
“I just know from watching him that he’s quick and quick with his feet. I guess if I can’t get the ball then maybe I can get him a little bit,” said Opare. “It’ll be interesting.”