LOS ANGELES – The 2011 MLS season is quickly approaching and on Monday night, the LA Galaxy got special recognition from one of their “brother” teams in the Los Angeles area.
Nine Galaxy players were in attendance for “Galaxy Night with the Kings” as the LA Galaxy began their 2011 Galaxy Caravan - Countdown to Kickoff on Monday night. Four members of the team – Todd Dunivant, Mike Magee, Omar Gonzalez, and Sean Franklin -- dropped the ceremonial first puck at the start of the Los Angeles Kings match up with the Dallas Stars.[inline_node:33312]
The Galaxy and the Kings are both owned by AEG and have been frequent partners in the past. The night was the brainchild of Galaxy president Tom Payne, who is himself a rabid fan of both the Kings and his hometown New York Rangers. While growing up in New York State, Payne played hockey on a local lake in his hometown and professed at being quite skilled on the ice.
Throughout the years, the Kings and the Galaxy have been involved in a number of cross promotional events and Payne admitted that he is quite grateful for the family-like relationship that the two teams share.
“We have a great partnership with [the Kings] and we work together more than most people recognize,” Payne told LAGalaxy.com. “We promote what the Kings do and they do the same for us especially when it comes to big games. They’re our brother team and we support them through and through.”
The event was part of a needed break for the Galaxy, who is currently in full preseason preparations for the start of the season. Several of the players came into the match with their own hometown allegiances to various NHL clubs. From Magee’s recent devotion for the Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks to A.J. DeLaGarza’s fondness for Alexander Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals, each player had their own connection to the sport.
None was a bigger hockey fan than Landon Donovan. Donovan, whose father is Canadian, grew up a fan of the Kings and admired Wayne Gretzky during his younger years. While Donovan was growing up, he played roller hockey, but last year, he had a truly memorable experience on the ice.
“Last year, I played with my dad and his buddies in an over-40 game on a real rink in Nashville, which was really fun,” said Donovan.” [Events like this] It’s to come here and just chill out and chill out with the guys in a different environment.”
VIDEO: Road Trip to First Kick - Hockey with the Galaxy
Galaxy night with the Kings is only one of the promotions that the team is doing this season. With the season opener against the Seattle Sounders, only a week away, the LA Galaxy is doing a number of events as part of the Galaxy Caravan.
On Tuesday, select members of the Galaxy, including David Beckham, will travel to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Throughout the week, the Galaxy will make a number of appearances throughout the Los Angeles area including player autograph sessions as well as other community service events. The week will end with the LA Galaxy luncheon on Friday at the ESPN Zone at L.A. Live. CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE FULL GALAXY CARAVAN SCHEDULE
Take your photo with the 2010 Supporters' Shield and 2009 Western Conference Championship Trophy on Tuesday, March 15 at Ye Olde King's Head before your LA Galaxy face the Seattle Sounders in MLS First Kick 2011 at 6:30 p.m. PT on ESPN/Deportes. Plus, opportunities to win tickets to the Galaxy home opener as well as an autographed jersey! MORE INFO
On Sunday, March 20, the Galaxy will host the New England Revolution in their home opener, presented by Pechanga Resort & Casino, at 5 p.m. at The Home Depot Center. The first 15,000 fans will receive 2011 magnet schedules. Tickets are available for that match, starting at 25. BUY NOW