CARSON, Calif. (Friday, November 19, 2010) – LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena will bring 22 players to Australia for the club’s international friendly against the Newcastle Jets at EnergyAustralia Stadium on Saturday, November 27. Led by David Beckham, Edson Buddle and Landon Donovan, the Galaxy will depart for Australia on Tuesday night before arriving in Sydney on Thursday morning for The Qantas Challenge. The match, which will kickoff at 12:30 a.m. (PT), will be broadcast live on the Fox Soccer Channel, starting at midnight with a 30-minute pregame show.
A two-time MLS Cup champion, the LA Galaxy are coming off one of the best regular seasons in club history, having posted a 18-7-5 record for 59 points before falling to FC Dallas in the Western Conference Championship last weekend. The Galaxy placed four players on the MLS Best XI, including the 2010 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year Donovan Ricketts, 2010 MLS Defender of the Year finalist Omar Gonzalez, Landon Donovan, who finished with an MLS-best 16 assists on the season and Edson Buddle, who was the Galaxy’s 2010 MVP after scoring a career-high 17 goals.
The only Galaxy players that will not accompany the club to Australia are forward Tristan Bowen and defender Yohance Marshall, each of whom will be on international duty. On Sunday, Bowen will travel to Georgia with the U.S. Under-20 National Team for the Torneo de las Americas, where they will face Colombia and Mexico. Marshall will be in Martinique with the Trinidad & Tobago National Team for the finals of the Digicel Caribbean Cup, a qualifying tournament for next summer’s CONCACAF Gold Cup. Marshall and the rest of the Soca Warriors will open group play in the tournament on Friday, November 26 against Cuba before facing Grenada on November 28 and Martinique on November 30. If they finish in first or second in their group, T&T will qualify for the 2011 Gold Cup.
This is the Galaxy’s second trip to Australia in the last four years, with the club also playing Sydney FC in front of more than 80,000 fans at Telstra Stadium in November 2007. This time around, they will face the 2008 Hyundai A-League Grand Final champion Newcastle Jets. The Jets, who are led by former England international forwards Michael Bridges and Francis Jeffers, currently sit in ninth place in the A-League with a 2-5-6 record for 12 points from their first 13 games of the season. The Jets currently sit six points out of the sixth and final playoff spot in the A-League, though they have played the fewest games in the league and have as many as three games in hand on the teams that they are chasing.
Under the leadership of head coach Branko Culina, the Jets have allowed just 11 goals in their 13 league games and have taken four points from their last two games, against the top two teams in the league, claiming their best result of the season on Saturday, a 3-1 win over second place Adelaide, before holding the first place Brisbane Roar to a 1-1 draw at home.
LA Galaxy Roster for The Qantas Challenge vs. Newcastle Jets
GOALKEEPERS (3) – Brian Perk, Donovan Ricketts, Josh Saunders
DEFENDERS (7) – Gregg Berhalter, Alex Cazumba, A.J. DeLaGarza, Todd Dunivant, Sean Franklin, Omar Gonzalez, Leonardo
MIDFIELDERS (8) – David Beckham, Chris Birchall, Juninho, Jovan Kirovski, Chris Klein, Dema Kovalenko, Eddie Lewis, Michael Stephens
FORWARDS (4) – Edson Buddle, Landon Donovan, Bryan Jordan, Mike Magee
HEAD COACH – Bruce Arena