Preview: LA vs. Real Madrid

LA welcome Real Madrid in battle of Galactic stars

Gallery: LA vs SJ 12

Photo Credit: 
Robert Mora

The Basics

Los
Angeles Galaxy
vs. Real Madrid, international friendly at the Rose
Bowl in Pasadena, Calif.

TV info

10:30 p.m. ET; Fox Soccer Channel; Fox Sports en Español

Game Intro

In the midst of their midseason swoon, the Galaxy will try and find
themselves against a club also trying to re-discover itself as LA host
Real Madrid at the Rose Bowl. The match, however, is more about
spectacle than results. A year ago, the Galaxy hosted Real Madrid’s
archrivals Barcelona in the same stadium, also on the first Saturday in
August, and drew more than 90,000. A similar turnout could greet the two
teams at the site of the 1994 World Cup final to watch the José
Mourinho-led Merengues.

LA Galaxy

The Galaxy have had an awful last 10 days. Consecutive losses at Home
Depot Center (July 27 to Puerto Rico, Aug. 1 to Chicago) preceded an
ultimately meaningless 2-1 win over Puerto Rico in Bayamón. The Galaxy
were eliminated from the CONCACAF Champions League despite Wednesday’s
win, but still have their defensive issues lingering as the latest game
marked the eighth consecutive match in which the Galaxy let in at least
one goal – this after starting the year off with 10 shutouts in their
first 14 games.

Real Madrid

Los Merengues are coming off a 3-2 win over Club América in
San Francisco on Wednesday and the team’s preseason will continue
against another North American side. However, Real Madrid were hit with
devastating news as star midfielder Kaká was ruled out three to four
months with a knee injury. Madrid will welcome in a new batch of players
to the team this season who could potentially make a case for
themselves against Galaxy – players such as Ángel di María, Sergio
Canales and Sami Khedira.

Heroes and Villains

Landon Donovan vs.
Cristiano Ronaldo: Major League Soccer’s biggest star will test his
starpower against one of the world’s most recognizable athletes. Unlike
Donovan, Ronaldo had a disappointing World Cup and is now faced with the
task of leading the team in the wake of Kaká’s injury and absence.
Donovan, meanwhile, should be unfazed by facing Real Madrid and may
raise his game against Madrid. After all, Donovan had some of his best
performances for Everton against English powers Chelsea and Manchester
United.

Stat that makes you go “Hmmm…”

Real Madrid paid Stuttgart about $18.5 million for Khedira, which
alone is more than the Galaxy will play their entire roster in 2010.