CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy’s Chad Barrett grew up a fan of Tottenham Hotspur of the English Premier League and often dreamed of one day playing for them.
While he had not realized that lifelong wish, he’ll get the next-best thing when he and the Galaxy face the English side in a friendly on July 24 at The Home Depot Center.
Barrett on Tottenham
Barrett, in his second season with the Galaxy, said he found out about the high-profile match through a Twitter feed from teammate A.J. DeLaGarza.
“That guy knows about everything,” Barrett said with a grin. “The latest music coming out, he’s always on, that kid.”
While DeLaGarza was the first to tell Barrett about the game, he likely did not know the back story that led Barrett to become a Spurs fan.
The 26-year-old moved to England when he was in his early teens because his mother, Trish, was in the Marine Corps and got transferred to London. He soon became best friends with schoolmate Elliott Christie and found out he and his father had season tickets at White Hart Lane, Tottenham’s home stadium.
Barrett estimated he attended 15-20 matches in person and lists the likes of Teddy Sheringham, Les Ferdinand and Ruel Fox among his all-time favorite Spurs players.
He said he particularly enjoyed the London derbies featuring Tottenham against the likes of Chelsea and Arsenal and also said matches against Wimbledon, then featuring Welsh enforcer Vinnie Jones, were particularly intense.
But none figure to be as big as the one coming up this summer.
Barrett said he hasn’t had a chance to talk to Christie yet, but hopes he can fly out to Southern California for the match.
Barrett said he still has a Tottenham jersey or two from his childhood locked away and called it a thrill to be playing his favorite boyhood team.
“It’s awesome,” he said.
Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena is looking forward to the match as well. This will mark the fourth consecutive year the Galaxy have played friendlies against some of the biggest clubs in the world.
Last year, for example, they tied English powerhouse Manchester City 1-1 before falling on penalty kicks. The Galaxy also have played the likes of AC Milan, Barcelona, Boca Juniors, and Real Madrid.
Galaxy discuss Tottenham Hotspur friendly
“I think for our club to be able to play at home makes it much more interesting and exciting,” Arena said. “Obviously a club like Tottenham is a team that has emerged as one of the top football clubs in England. They have terrific personalities from the manager, right down to a great American player, probably our greatest American player in Europe in our history in (goalkeeper) Brad Friedel.
“It’ll be exciting, great for our fans to see some of these great players come into The Home Depot Center.”
The match also could provide an opportunity for Galaxy defender Andrew Boyens to renew acquaintances with Tottenham defender Ryan Nelsen, the captain of New Zealand’s national team for which Boyens, who played against Spurs as a member of the New York Red Bulls in the summer of 2010, has just shy of 20 caps.
“He’s a great player, a guy when we’re in camp in New Zealand you learn a lot from,” he said.