CARSON, Calif. – The start of the 2011 MLS season is just eight days away and the LA Galaxy are putting the final touches on their preseason preparations with five training sessions this week at The Home Depot Center. The club will also play their final game of the preseason on Wednesday when they take on UCLA.
In addition to their training sessions, Galaxy players will make a series of appearances throughout the Southland as part of the Galaxy Caravan – Countdown to Kickoff. The Caravan officially got underway on Monday with a number of Galaxy players watching the Los Angeles Kings take on the Dallas Stars at Staples Center in “Galaxy Night with the Kings”. Other events will see players visit Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, sign autographs at the Team LA store at The Home Depot Center, make a surprise visit at a local youth soccer practice and much more. The week will conclude with the 2011 LA Galaxy Luncheon presented by Herbalife at the ESPN Zone at L.A. Live.
Following the week of festivities, the team will travel to Seattle for MLS First Kick 2011, presented by Dick’s Sporting Goods. This will be the third time in the last five seasons that the Galaxy open their season away from home, having also done so in 2007 and 2008. That game will kick off at 6:30 p.m. (PT) and can be seen live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes and online at espn3.com.
FULL ROSTER IN CAMP: With the arrival of 16-year-old forward Jack McBean in camp on Wednesday, the Galaxy now have their complete 28-man squad in training for the first time this season. The Newport Beach, Calif. native practiced with the Galaxy for the first time on Thursday and played the final 24 minutes in a practice game against the Canadian U-23 National Team on Friday after helping the U.S. win the recent CONCACAF U-17 Championship in Jamaica and earn a spot in this summer’s FIFA U-17 World Cup.
The team will now train in Southern California throughout the week before traveling to Seattle ahead of Tuesday night’s season opener at Qwest Field. Barring any injuries, all 28 players are eligible for selection against the Sounders.
PRESEASON ALMOST COMPLETE: The Galaxy will play their final preseason game on Wednesday morning when they host UCLA at The Home Depot Center. This will be the 10th game that the Galaxy have played since their first training session on January 24 and their second against a college team, having defeated Loyola Marymount University 7-1 on February 4.
LA are 5-1-3 so far in the preseason, including a 2-1-2 record against MLS opposition in the preseason, beating Vancouver twice while losing to Colorado and tying Portland and San Jose. They also beat the Canadian U-23 National Team last week at The Home Depot Center and the U.S. Under-18 National Team while in Arizona in addition to the 2-2 draw against Club Tijuana at Torero Stadium in San Diego on March 2 in the San Diego Clasico, which the Xolos won 4-3 on penalties.
ONE WEEK OUT FROM SEASON OPENER: The Galaxy will open their 16th season of play when they take on the Seattle Sounders FC at Qwest Field in MLS First Kick 2011, presented by Dick’s Sporting Goods. The Tuesday, March 15 date for the season opener is the earliest that the Galaxy have ever opened their season, eclipsing the former record of March 18, which was set in the 2000 season with a 2-1 win over the Colorado Rapids at the Rose Bowl.
The Galaxy are 7-5-3 all-time in their season opener, with 11 of those being played at home, including last year’s opener, a 1-0 win over New England on March 27, 2010. This will be just the fifth time in club history and the first since 2008 that the Galaxy open the season on the road. In the previous four season openers on the road, the Galaxy are 0-2-2, drawing at Columbus in 2003 and at Houston in 2007 while losing to Columbus in 2005 and Colorado in 2008. All-time, LA are 5-5-5 in their first road game of the season, including 1-0-1 in those under Bruce Arena.
IN THE COMMUNITY
GALAXY CARAVAN BEGINS TO ROLL THROUGH LOS ANGELES: All this week, the Galaxy will head into the community with a series of events as part of the Galaxy Caravan - Countdown to Kickoff, which will conclude on Friday, March 11 with the 2011 LA Galaxy Luncheon presented by Herbalife, at the ESPN Zone at L.A. Live.
Along with official Caravan partner adidas, the Galaxy will have their players, staff, Miss LA Galaxy Court members and Galaxy Street Team active throughout the week engaging with fans, the public and media in order to thank them for their support and to raise awareness for the start of the upcoming MLS season.
For more information, and to view the full schedule of events, please visit www.lagalaxy.com/caravan.
BRYAN JORDAN TO TAKE PART IN CELEBRITY BOWLING TOURNAMENT: LA Galaxy forward Bryan Jordan will join Pete Wentz (Fall Out Boy), Rob Kardashian (E!’s Keeping Up with the Kardashians), Perez Hilton (Celebrity Blogger), Jason Derulo (R&B Artist) and others at the fifth annual Stars & Strikes Celebrity Bowling and Poker Tournament. All proceeds from the March 9th event will benefit A Place Called Home (APCH).
Stars & Strikes, being held at PINZ Bowling and Entertainment Center in Studio City from 7:30 p.m. to 11 p.m., was the brainchild of APCH's Leadership Council, a diverse group of young professionals, entrepreneurs, actors and entertainers, to celebrate the great work APCH does for youth in South Central Los Angeles. For more information, or to purchase tickets or sponsorship packages, visit www.apch.org.
NEED TO KNOW
LOOKING FOR MORE UPDATES?: If you are looking for continuous updates from the Galaxy all week long, be sure to visit the club’s official websites www.lagalaxy.com and www.lagalaxyfutbol.com. The Galaxy can also be followed on Twitter at www.twitter.com/lagalaxy and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/lagalaxy.