After roughly one-quarter of the season is complete, the Los Angeles Galaxy will have a chance to measure up against a different kind of rival.
The Galaxy will host South American giants Boca Juniors on May 23 at the Home Depot Center. The match will be the Galaxy’s first international friendly of 2010, and will give area fans the chance to see somewhat of a rarity: a South American power in person.
“They’re one of the biggest clubs in South America and it will give fans a good opportunity to come out and see a South American opponent and a historic club,” Galaxy defender Gregg Berhalter said.
Boca Juniors have as much history as any South American side, having won 23 Argentina league titles and an unmatched six Copa Libertadores championships. However, Boca are struggling in league right now, finding themselves near the bottom of the Apertura table. Through 15 matches, Boca Juniors are in 15th place out of 20 teams, having just beaten San Lorenzo 2-0 to move up from 17th.
“Perhaps not … their best year this year,” Galaxy coach Bruce Arena said. “It shows that that happens even with the great clubs.”
So desperate were Boca to turn things around that the club offered their managerial position to Columbus Crew star Guillermo Barros Schelotto, who turned down the job to remain in MLS.
Still, seeing Boca Juniors’ famed kit take on the Galaxy should be an interesting duel.
“It’s going to be at a little bit of a difficult time for us as we have a game Thursday in Dallas," Arena said, "but I think it’s an opportunity for our fans to see one of the great clubs in South America. It will be great to have them here at Home Depot Center. It should excite our fans and it’s going to be a game where we’ll also give an opportunity to some of our players who haven’t had too many minutes as well.”
The Galaxy won’t be done bringing in foreign clubs to the HDC as the club’s summer schedule could shape up to be an interesting mix of teams from points abroad.
“It’s a great game and we’ll bring another great club in here in August, plus all the Champions League games we’re having,” Arena said. “So we’re going to bring a lot of teams in from outside the country that our fans should obviously enjoy.”