CARSON, Calif. – Call it the battle of the champions.
The LA Galaxy announced on Wednesday that they will take on reigning Liga MX champions Club Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles on Feb. 19 at The Home Depot Center. The match will be the second ever between the two clubs as then-Liga Ascenso (Mexican Second Division) Xolos drew LA 2-2 in the San Diego Clasico before winning on penalties.
WATCH: 2011 San Diego Clasico Highlights
Tijuana are currently near the top of the Liga MX standings for the Clausura, level on points with first place Tigres UANL but trailing on goal differential.
“It’ll be a good game for our players and it gives our fans the opportunity to see us play as well so it’s a win, win situation for everyone,” said Galaxy head coach and general manager Bruce Arena. “It’s a new season and we’ve got to get ourselves acclimated to being back at home and Tijuana will bring in players of quality so it’ll be a good contest for us and hopefully it pushes us along to opening day.”
Who suits up for Tijuana remains to be seen as the Xolos will take on Colombian side Millonarios in their first-ever Copa Libertadores match that evening. However no matter who lines up for Tijuana, the match will be an important indicator for LA as they wind down their preseason slate.
“We’ll get a chance to see where we’re at with preseason and it’s always a good test to play against a good team and get an idea of how players are doing and see the progress that we’ve made in the first couple of weeks,” said center back Tommy Meyer. “It’s always special and it’s usually pretty high intensity [against Mexican opponents] and people enjoy playing in games like that. It definitely brings a little more atmosphere and what the season is going to be like.”
As the Galaxy inch closer to their season opener against the Chicago Fire on March 3 and the all-important CONCACAF Champions League fixtures against Herediano a less than a week later, the match against Tijuana offers an important challenge.
“It’ll be a good test for us,” said defender Todd Dunivant. “It’s always good to get a high level game outside of MLS against guys who are in the middle of their season and obviously the top of the Mexican division so it’ll be a good step for us and it’s another game in front of fans where it actually matters.”
Adam Serrano is the LA Galaxy Insider. Read his blog at LAGalaxy.com/Insider and contact him at LAGalaxyInsider@Gmail.com