No Galaxy player is likely more familiar with LA’s next opponent, Manchester City, than Chris Birchall. Birchall grew up just 30 minutes from Manchester in Stafford, England and has seen City reach new heights over the past few years.
We caught up with him to look forward to the Galaxy’s next opponent, Manchester City.
What were City like as a team when you were growing up and how crazy has it been to see them achieve their recent success?
“As I was growing up, City were always the underdogs, the second team in Manchester to Man United, but they were usually a good team. They had a couple of years where they had a double relegation and went down to League 1, but they fought their way back and ever since then they have just gone from strength to strength. It’s remarkable to see how they have turned out the last few years, and now they’re fighting for the title and are in the Champions League.”
Who are some of the players that Galaxy fans should pay attention to?
“City have really gone for it the past couple of years with some major signings so they’re a team full of stars all the way from the goalkeeper to the strikers. They brought in James Milner and David Silva last year, they just signed Gael Clichy from Arsenal and they have a number of England internationals, Gareth Barry, Joe Hart and Micah Richards. We’re going to have to pay attention to all of their players and I think that in the next couple of years they are going to become one of the best teams in the world.”
As a player, how much do you look forward to games like this?
“Coming from England, having the chance to play against one of the best teams in the Premier League is a privilege. They’ll be a great team to play against. All the Premier League teams are good and they’re one of the best so it is something that we look forward to and want to play well in.”
Finally, do you know yet who you might try to swap shirts with after the game?
“To be honest I haven’t thought of it but any of the players would be nice. I’ve been on speaking terms with Micah Richards because my old agent is his agent, we say hello every time we see each other, so it will probably be him.”
The Galaxy face Manchester City in their second and final game of the Herbalife World Football Challenge on Sunday, July 24 at 1 p.m. at The Home Depot Center. Tickets are available for that match as low as $30. Visit lagalaxy.com/worldfootballchallenge for more information.