Donovan: Australia trip is a good time to relax

LA friendly vs. Newcastle Jets offers side a chance at down time

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CARSON, Calif. — While the LA Galaxy’s season did not end the way the club would have hoped—that is, with an MLS Cup—the players will have the chance to enjoy playing in a match once more while closing out 2010 for good on Saturday.

They will play Australia’s Newcastle Jets in an international friendly Down Under. For the Galaxy, who reached the Western Conference Championship this year, the game will be pure enjoyment more than anything.

“For us, this is fun. There’s no pressure,” Galaxy captain Landon Donovan said before departing for Down Under. “You just relax and play the game the way you want to. That trip will be that. I’m actually excited about it. It will be a fun game to play with.”

The game kicks off at 3:30 a.m ET/12:30 a.m. PT on Saturday morning.

Even though this type of game would seem to be nothing but a time to relax and play one final time before the offseason begins in earnest, things haven’t always been that way. The Galaxy took a similar post-season trip to Oceania in 2007.

That particular trip was an all but ill-fated venture, mostly because of who was in charge of the team.

“This trip was meant to be a fun, end-of-season, enjoy-yourself trip,” Donovan said. “When Ruud (Gullit) was here it was almost completely opposite. It was almost like preseason at the end of the season and he put guys through really difficult training sessions and it was a really difficult trip.”

If nothing else, the Galaxy will look forward to playing this match the way it was intended to be played.

“This time, I think it’s going to be a lot of fun,” Donovan said. “Bruce understands what the trip is about. We want to go and be entertaining and enjoy the game.”

And if simply playing a relaxing, no-pressure match wasn’t enough of a way to close out 2010, a trip to the beach was. Donovan and several Galaxy teammates, including Mike Magee and Todd Dunivant, were photographed by the local media while on a beach in Sydney.

See Photos from Australia: Galaxy Arrive | Galaxy host clinic, hold training in Newcastle

True to his word, Donovan said in a press conference upon arriving in Australia that he would “be on the beach for a few days, and we look forward to Saturday night.”

Don't miss the Galaxy as they take on the Newcastle
United Jets, broadcast live on Fox Soccer Channel! Broadcast begins at
midnight on Saturday, November 27 with kickoff at 12:30 a.m. PT. Click here for all match broadcast info as well as updates from the trip!

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