CARSON, Calif. — Less than two weeks remain until the 2011 MLS season begins for the LA Galaxy, and on Wednesday the team will get a taste of how the season opener may turn out.
The Galaxy will play their one and only true preseason friendly on Wednesday against Club Tijuana at Torero Stadium in San Diego. BUY TICKETS
"It's our first real preseason game," midfielder Landon Donovan said. "We've played a lot of scrimmages but this is our first chance. We're two weeks out now so this is a big test."
The Galaxy have played against fellow MLS clubs both in Carson and Phoenix. However, those games were scrimmages– some featured 40 minute-halves and unlimited substitutions. The match against Xoloitzcuintles, conversely, will be a dress rehearsal. It will be played in front of a paying crowd against a foreign club, albeit one that plays just a stone’s throw away from Torero Stadium.
"Any time you play against a Mexican team it's exciting, certainly a different style of play from MLS," Galaxy coach Bruce Arena said. "This is a team that experienced a lot of success last year. ... It's good for us to have a gated game against good competition."
The Galaxy will likely send out a strong lineup, with Donovan, Juan Pablo Angel and David Beckham possibly playing together for the first time. For Beckham, the match will not only be the first with his fellow stars but will also feature another first.
"It's my first time playing a game in San Diego so I'm excited about that," Beckham said. "I've been there once or twice before and it's a great city. It's nice to be playing a game there."
Beckham joined the Galaxy a week ago after spending the first six weeks of the year training with Tottenham Hotspur. He’s had just a few training sessions under his belt and is still trying to acclimate himself to new players such as Ángel, Paolo Cardozo and Miguel Lopez.
The match against Club Tijuana will likely give him the chance to share the field with those players he's unfamiliar with, all of which should bode well for the Galaxy ahead of their March 15 season opener at Seattle.
“It's important, these games for us, as they're leading into the season,” Beckham said. “It's important that we get our fitness and obviously get the team shape right.”
Purchase 2011 single game tickets and download the Galaxy schedule to your desktop or mobile calendar. Visit www.lagalaxy.com/schedule.