Robert Mora

Preview: LA vs. Real Madrid

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.