CARSON, Calif. – Midseason friendlies can be a burden to first team players, but to reserves like LA Galaxy goalkeeper Brian Perk, they present the chance to show their skills not only to their coaching staff, but to the entire world.
Perk has made just four starts for the Galaxy this season, but is expected to feature prominently when the club takes on Tottenham Hotspur on Tuesday at The Home Depot Center. BUY TICKETS For the young goalkeeper, it is an opportunity to grow as a player in a manner of 90 minutes.
WATCH: Galaxy preview Tottenham match
“These are a couple of best teams in the world to play Tottenham and then Real Madrid [over the next two weeks],” Perk said after training on Monday. “It’s just a good experience to see the game at its highest level and compare yourself against the best players in the world.
Perk will be able to do just that against Tottenham as the 23-year-old goalkeeper will have the chance to face off against Spurs goalkeeper Brad Friedel. The Tottenham ‘keeper and Perk share a distinct similarity as both starred at UCLA before beginning their professional careers.
“Obviously, I went to UCLA and it’ll be great to see, probably, the best American goalkeeper of all time,” Perk said of Friedel. “He’s (41-years-old) and I want to see how good that he still is.”
Perk had a similar experience last year when he matched up against Manchester City and England national team ‘keeper Joe Hart. Although the match ended with Hart scoring a decisive penalty kick during Man City’s penalty shootout victory, Perk shined making numerous spectacular saves against the eventual English Premier League champions.
While the young goalkeeper gave a good showing of himself against City, he admits that he learned a great deal from just watching the England international in the nets.
“Just how calm he was. Obviously, it’s a friendly but you still want to do well and really enjoy it,” said Perk. “I think that's a big part of a being a goalie is just being relaxed so it was a big help.”
But the opportunity to face world-class players is not the only aspect of Tuesday’s match that Perk is looking forward to. Perk, who considers himself an Arsenal supporter—Tottenham’s archrival— will have the chance to face off against his favorite club's most bitter rivals.
“I guess that we do [have a rivalry],” Perk said of the infamous North London derby. “I’m going up against my enemy.”
Read Adam Serrano’s LA Galaxy Insider blog at lagalaxy.com/insider