CARSON, Calif. (Saturday, September 10, 2011) – The LA Galaxy announced today that the club will return to Australia for the second straight season to play Melbourne Victory FC of the Hyundai A-League in the Hyundai Club Challenge Melbourne on Tuesday, December 6 at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. This will be the Galaxy’s third trip to Australia in the last five years, having previously played in Sydney in November 2007 and in Newcastle in November 2010. Local broadcast information and a complete schedule of events for this game will be announced at a future date.
“We are very excited to be coming to the sports capital of Australia in Melbourne and are looking forward to playing against the Melbourne Victory in the Hyundai Club Challenge Melbourne at the sensational Etihad Stadium,” LA Galaxy President Tom Payne said. “We would like to thank Premier Bailleau and the State of Victoria for the kind invitation and Lou Sticca and Tribal Sports Management for arranging the Galaxy’s third visit to Australia.”
This will be the first-ever game between the Galaxy and two-time A-League champion Victory, who won their first title in 2007, defeating Adelaide 6-0 in the Grand Final behind five goals from Archie Thompson, the club’s all-time leading goal scorer. Two years later, the Victory became the first team to win two A-League championships, defeating Adelaide once again in the 2009 Grand Final, winning 1-0. Both of those games were played at Melbourne’s home venue, now known as Etihad Stadium, with more than 53,000 fans at each match.
Last month the Victory signaled their desire to become the first A-League club to win three Grand Finals when they completed the signing of midfielder Harry Kewell. A former teammate of the Galaxy’s Robbie Keane at Leeds United and Liverpool, Kewell is one of the greatest Australian players in history, having played for his country at the 2006 and 2010 FIFA World Cups.
For the 2011-12 A-League season, which opens next month, Kewell will be joined by fellow Australian international Archie Thompson, former D.C. United forward Danny Allsopp, Costa Rican international Carlos Hernandez and club captain Adrain Leijer. Former Australian international Mehmet Durakovic is in his first full season as the club’s coach, having taken over as the caretaker head coach in March 2011 and being named the club’s permanent head coach in June.
This will be the Galaxy’s fourth trip to Oceania in the last five years, having played twice in Australia and twice in New Zealand. In November 2007, the club lost 5-3 to Sydney FC in front 80,295 fans at Telstra Stadium in Sydney, Australia. A few days later, the Galaxy defeated Hyundai A-League side Wellington Phoenix 4-1 at Westpac Stadium in front of a then-record crowd of 31,853, which was the biggest ever to see a soccer game in New Zealand.
In 2008, the Galaxy returned to New Zealand, travelling this time to Auckland, where they defeated a team of Oceania All-Stars 3-0 at Mt. Smart Stadium. Most recently, the Galaxy faced the A-League’s Newcastle Jets in November 2010, losing 2-1 to the Newcastle Jets in front of a sellout crowd of more than 23,000 at EnergyAustralia Stadium.
The Galaxy are 2-2-0 all-time against A-League teams, having beaten Sydney FC 2-1 in February 2008 as part of the Pan-Pacific Championship in Hawaii, in addition to the games above.
The LA Galaxy are presented by Herbalife, a global network nutrition company. Herbalife will also be an official sponsor of the match between the Galaxy and Melbourne.
For more information about this game, please call 1-877-3-GALAXY or visit the club’s official website at www.lagalaxy.com.