Academy in Spain
Day 6 - LA Galaxy vs Osasuna
The Galaxy defeated Osasuna in their first match of the Real Sociedad XXVII Invitational Tournament.earlier today! The Galaxy drew 1-1, giving up the second goal after a red card left them shorthanded. They defeated Osasuna in PKs.
Galaxy Starting XI:
Cervantes, Antúnez, Sorto, Torre, Smith, Howe, Rodríguez, Raygoza, Jose Villarreal, Jaime Villarreal & McBean
Day 5 - Tour of Bernabeu and on to San Sebastian!
Photos courtesy adidas International Training Program. For more coverage, visit www.facebook.com/adidasITPcoaches.
U-18 players pose on the field
A mock press conference
Players and their adoring fans
Day 4 - Real Madrid vs APOEL Champions League match...
— Jack McBean (@jackmcbean) April 4, 2012
Champions League Real Madrid vs.Apoel at the Bernabeu twitter.com/NaathanSmith/s…
— Nathan Smith (@NaathanSmith) April 4, 2012
Day 3 – What’s next
Tomorrow we leave Ciudad de Futbol after lunch to head to the famed Santiago Bernabeu stadium. We will be in the stands for the second-leg of UEFA Champions League quarterfinals match between Real Madrid and APOEL.
So far I would say it's been a great start to an unforgettable trip.
Attached you'll find a photo from my bedroom window overlooking the training grounds of Ciudad de Futbol as well as the starting XI from tonight's match.
Until next time,
Day 2 – Lunch with Iker Casillas
Today, as we prepared for our match against Rayo Vallecano, our morning session was focused on set pieces and a bit of fun. Afterward, the guys were loose and eager to play under the lights tonight.
When we returned from training, the guys were treated to a special surprise: Iker Casillas was having lunch at our meal room and he was kind enough to take some pictures with the group. The guys were thrilled, but no one more than our goalkeeper Juan Cervantes.
After that chance encounter with the Real Madrid star, it was finally game time.
We hit a bit of traffic due to a massive thunderstorm that included hail the size of golf balls. Thankfully it stopped once we arrived at Rayo Vallecano. This place was beautiful. It included three turf training fields, locker rooms, and a grass game-field. When we got into our locker room, the guys were quiet— not really knowing what the level of play would be. We had a quick warm up on a lower field and returned to the locker room to put on our game jerseys. We reminded them one last time what their roles and responsibilities were.
Although this was a friendly, it was obvious from the whistle our opponent wasn't ready to lose to an American team. They pressed hard and often. But once we settled, and our nerves went away, we began to play our style. We created a few chances early and finally got through with a beautiful combination between Jaime Villarreal and Sebastian Velasquez. Rayo's center back had no choice but to foul Velasquez in box as he was heading to the goal. Jack McBean stepped up and calmly put away his penalty to give us the lead.
Up 1-0, our guys felt more and more comfortable. We continued to create opportunities but none as good as the one in the 38th minute. Once again we combined through the middle, this time with Jaime Villarreal and Raygoza finding McBean on a breakaway. However, this time, McBean couldn't find the back of the net.
After a few changes in the second half, the pressure became more constant, but our group played quicker and smarter. Our opponents were getting impatient going forward, but we were defending well, and that created a few opportunities to counter attack. The problem was that we couldn't finish and put the game away. Our inability to get our second goal appeared to have hurt us as in the 88th minute, when a shot from about 35-feet out beat goalkeeper Grayson Cornwell at the near post, tying the game at 1-1.
But our guys pushed forward and right after the restart and once again Villarreal and Velasquez combined to get Velasquez free and Velasquez flicked one over the rushing keeper in the 90th minute to give us a well deserved 2-1 victory.
LA Galaxy U-18 Head Coach Eddie Soto on the match:
"We have a philosophy, we have a style of play that we have been playing...and will play anywhere. Tonight was the opportunity to play against a very good side that is physically strong, and their ability to play quickly is something we are not use to seeing back home. To get a good result it was great...and we didn't change the way we play. We still looked to play the ball out of the back and combine, and keep possession."
Fans can follow @adidasITP on Twitter for live match updates through the team's trip!
Day 1 – From LAX to Madrid
It was a long day of traveling, but we finally arrived in Madrid on Tuesday. The players and the staff were all relieved to be on solid ground. We were greeted at the airport by our adidas host and liaison, Juan. He's been great.
On our drive to our accommodations, we passed Real Madrid's training grounds. Our kids, you should have seen them, they were glued to the windows snapping photos and laughing in disbelief— you could tell everyone was tired, but excited to finally be here.
When we arrived to Ciudad de Futbol, we ate lunch, but not before all the players walked around the grounds in awe. We took a small nap and managed to wake up just in time to begin our first training session. It was a light one. The main objective was to get the travel out of us and give everyone a good little sweat. It was a good start to the trip.
The food and accommodations have been great, but it was obvious everyone was jet lagged.
The U-18 LA Galaxy Academy team travelled to Spain to take part in the Real Sociedad XXVII Youth Invitational Tournament, the first ever youth international tournament the club has participated in. The Galaxy qualified for the tournament by winning the Generation adidas Cup in Dallas last August.