PASADENA, Calif. – No stadium is more synonymous with soccer in the United States than the Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena and on Wednesday the world-famous stadium will host yet another high profile match.
Site of the 1994 FIFA World Cup final, the facility in the Arroyo Seco Canyon has hosted a number of high profile fixtures since helping set World Cup attendance records 20 years ago and on Wednesday it will serve as the site of the LA Galaxy’s Chevrolet Cup match against Manchester United.
The Galaxy are no strangers to the historic stadium having played their home games there until moving to StubHub Center in 2003. The team has also played high-profile friendlies there against Spanish giants FC Barcelona and Real Madrid in recent years.
“It's always nice to play in the Rose Bowl,” said LA head coach Bruce Arena. “Hopefully there will be a great crowd, always a great setting there. Field is in great shape typically this time of year, should make for a great environment.”
The historical importance of the venue is not lost on Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal who recently became United manager after leading the Netherlands to a third place finish at the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
“I have seen the facilities at StubHub Center which were great and now we get a chance to play at the Rose Bowl which is also great,” said the Manchester United boss who will play in his first ever match at the helm of English giants on Wednesday. “I was here in 1994 during the World Cup so I’m very happy to be here.”
LA will hoping that the match will join a list of thrilling exhibitions to be played at the Rose Bowl which includes a dramatic 2-1 defeat to FC Barcelona in 2009 and an exciting 3-2 loss to Real Madrid a year later. In both of those matches, the Galaxy gave the two power clubs a run for their money before coming up just short in the end, a result that the Galaxy will look to flip on Wednesday.
“It will be very similar [to those matches against the Spanish clubs]. I expect that the game is going to look like a real soccer game,” said Landon Donovan. “I don't imagine Manchester United coming here with new players and a new manager to just go through the motions. I think every one of them is clearly playing for a spot on the team, and it's going to make for a very good game on Wednesday.”
But no matter the result, the Galaxy are eager to add to the storied soccer history of Pasadena.
“The game on Wednesday is going to be a storied event,” said Galaxy defender Omar Gonzalez. “Just being at the Rose Bowl and at such storied venue and playing against such a famous club is going to be great. The Galaxy have a lot of history too so it’s going to be a great day.”