CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy will match up against some of the world’s best on Thursday when they take on Spanish giants Real Madrid. As LA prepare for their seemingly annual match against Los Blancos, no one is more amped than the Galaxy’s rookies who get their first chance to face off against the players they grew up watching on television.
When asked to reflect on the match, the first name off every Galaxy players tongue is Portuguese international and former FIFA World Player of the Year Cristiano Ronaldo, who leads the charge for Los Merengues. The Portuguese star is considered one of the top five players in the world and has shined against the Galaxy in past meetings –just take a look at videos from his appearances in 2010, 2011, and 2012.
Stopping Ronaldo is a challenge for any defender, but two Galaxy rookies, who may be asked to stop Portuguese attacker or some other Madrid star, take the task in stride.
“For anyone that plays soccer, you know Madrid and you know Ronaldo, [Mesut] Ozil because you you’ve seen these guys on television,” said defender Kofi Opare. “They’re some of the world’s best players and to get a chance to be on the same field with them is definitely something that I’ve penned on the calendar.”
“I just want to contain him. I know that I’m going to be going up against him because a left wing,” said Oscar Sorto. “It’s going to be unbelievable.”
As for their plan is to stop Ronaldo? Both defenders have different tactics.
“I’m just going to look behind me to see if I have help,” said Sorto with a laugh. “I’ll hopefully play well, but it’ll be a good experience.”
“I just know from watching him that he’s quick and quick with his feet. I guess if I can’t get the ball then maybe I can get him a little bit,” said Opare. “It’ll be interesting.”