DAY ONE: MONDAY, 2/9/14, MEXICO CITY; 8:15PM Local Time.
MEXICO CITY—The LA Galaxy are hitting the road.
After spending two weeks of the preseason in Southern California, the Galaxy will be racking up their frequent flyer miles as they travel to Mexico and Fresno for a pair of preseason matches. And as the team travels from Carson to Mexico City to Fresno, I’ll be providing a running diary of the team’s adventures as well as a little local color.
The week begins with two and a half days in Mexico City culminating in a closed-door scrimmage against Liga MX giants Pumas UNAM on Tuesday morning. The match is expected to provide a valuable training experience ahead of LA’s CONCACAF Champions League Quarterfinal match against Club Tijuana in March.
On Sunday morning, less than 15 hours after the final whistle of the team’s 2-1 preseason victory over Armenian side FC Shirak, the Galaxy were at Los Angeles International Airport for the three hour and 45 minute flight to the Mexican capital. Upon arrival in La Ciudad de los Palacios, the team traveled via bus across the dense Mexico City landscape to the team hotel, which will serve as the base of operations for the next several days in the Distrito Federal.
“DF” (pronounced deh effeh and standing for Districto Federal or Federal District) as locals call it, is one of the world’s largest metropolitan areas and the largest in the Western Hemisphere with an estimated 21.2 million people.
The trip is the Galaxy’s second-ever visit to Mexico City and their first trip to Mexico since C.F. Monterrey eliminated them in the CCL semifinals last April. LA last traveled to Mexico City in May 2001, when they defeated C.D. Guadalajara in an exhibition game. Tuesday’s match will be LA’s first against Pumas, a seven-time league champion in Mexico.
LA’s current roster does boast several that are quite familiar with the unique conditions of the Mexican capital including former U.S. boss Bruce Arena, U.S. internationals Landon Donovan and Omar Gonzalez, and Panamanian international Jaime Penedo.
I’ll have much more coverage and insight to the city as the trip continues.
Adam Serrano is the LA Galaxy Insider. Read his blog at LAGalaxy.com/Insider and contact him at LAGalaxyInsider@Gmail.com