LOS ANGELES – It was a pretty great night for the LA Galaxy.
In front of a highly supportive crowd at Dodger Stadium, the Galaxy defeated Italian giants Juventus 3-1 behind goals from Omar Gonzalez, Landon Donovan, and Robbie Keane. The victory was the Galaxy’s first over a major European power in club history and also allowed the club to maintain an unbeaten 1-0-1 record against Italian sides.
Over the course of 90 minutes, the Galaxy impressed as they held the Italians at bay while also creating numerous chances to possibly extend the scoreline. Even though the club known worldwide as “The Old Lady” is still in preseason, LA was pleased with the result.
“We take it all with a grain of salt because they’re in the preseason, but they played two completely different teams in each half so fatigue wasn’t really a factor [for Juventus]. I was proud of how we played,” said Donovan, who was playing his first match with LA in more than a month. “I thought our performance was good, we probably had a chance to score a few more goals, and overall, I think we’re all very happy with the way that it went.”
And to earn the result in front of a crowd of 40,681 at Dodger Stadium made it all that more special, especially for those players like Donovan with Southern California connections.
“For me personally, it is quite the dream. I grew up a Dodger fan and I used to get an hour to watch TV and I would dedicate it to Dodger games throughout the summer. I’ve been at this stadium many times as a fan, so to be here as a player was really special,” said Donovan. “It was great. The weather was great. The atmosphere was fun, and I think the guys enjoyed it.”
Actually, it was pretty emotional even for those that didn’t grow up in Los Angeles.
“It was an amazing experience. Playing for the Galaxy and playing here at Dodger Stadium was an incredible feeling,” said Gonzalez. “Then getting the goal and the crowd going wild was awesome. I’m sure that’s what hitting a home run feels like.”
Their match at Dodger Stadium complete, the Galaxy turn their sights to Miami where they’ll play in the third place match against either Chelsea or AC Milan. Once their commitment in the Guinness International Champions Cup is through, the Galaxy will remain in South Florida until they depart for Dallas and the their match against FC Dallas.
Although the club would love a third place finish and another victory against a major European side, Donovan is quick to put the tournament into perspective.
“We’ve got to be smart because the real season starts again on Sunday,” said Donovan. “These are good games to get experience for the younger guys and to really enjoy the moment, but we have to keep our eye on the big picture.”
However, as they look back on their experience at Dodger Stadium, even the Galaxy’s normally stoic head coach Bruce Arena got a little sentimental.
“It’s great. It’s a nice experience,” said Arena. I came here the other night for the Dodgers-Yankees game and it was great to be here, then to think that some days later that I would be here with my team is kind of amazing.”
Adam Serrano is the LA Galaxy Insider. Read his blog at LAGalaxy.com/Insider and contact him at LAGalaxyInsider@Gmail.com