PASADENA, Calif. – FC Barcelona defeated the LA Galaxy 2-1 in front of a sold-out Rose Bowl Stadium in International Champions Cup play.
Luis Suarez and Sergi Roberto scored while Galaxy defender Tommy Meyer scored the lone goal for the reigning MLS Cup champions. The crowd of 93,226 is the highest attended club soccer game at the Rose Bowl, and the highest ever attended match involving an MLS team in the United States.
The defending UEFA Champions League winners started the match on the front foot but were unable to break down a stout Galaxy defense. No one showed better than center back A.J. DeLaGarza who repeatedly intercepted and deflected attempts by Barcelona to find Suarez in the penalty area.
Barcelona finally broke through with just moments left in the first half when a cross by Adriano was nearly cleared by Leonardo but found Suarez. The Uruguayan forward appeared to handle the ball with his arm but fired his shot past Galaxy goalkeeper Brian Rowe for the opening goal.
In the second half, the Galaxy made wholesale changes, bringing on a team made up predominantly of Galaxy II players. The youthful squad put forth an energetic performance but conceded in the 56th minute.
A pair of defensive miscues by the young defense allowed the ball to fall perfectly for Sergi Roberto who punched in a shot from the top of the box for the second goal of the evening for Barcelona.
After Barcelona went up by two, the young Galaxy squad began to find their way against the European giants on the counter attack. As the half wore on, forwards Ari Lassiter, Bradford Jamieson IV and Raul Mendiola repeatedly combined to pressure a veteran Barça defense.
In the 84th minute, the Galaxy nearly got on the board when Edson Buddle launched a shot from distance that was saved by Barcelona substitute goalkeeper Jose Suarez. The home side finally broke through in stoppage time when Meyer beat Gerard Pique to a Mika Vayrynen corner to put the Galaxy on the board.
The Galaxy return to league action on Saturday when they travel to Texas to face the Houston Dynamo at BBVA Compass Stadium. Barcelona will continue their participation in the International Champions Cup this weekend when they take on Manchester United at Levi’s Stadium in Northern California.
LA Galaxy 1, FC Barcelona 2
Tuesday, July 21, 2015 – 8:00 p.m. PT
International Champions Cup
Rose Bowl Stadium – Pasadena, California
BAR – Luis Suarez 45’
BAR – Sergi Roberto – 56’
LA – Tommy Meyer (Assisted by Mika Vayrynen) 90’
LA – Leonardo (caution) 41’
LA Galaxy: Brian Rowe (Andrew Wolverton 45’); Dan Gargan (Dave Romney 45’), Leonardo (Tommy Meyer 45’), A.J. DeLaGarza (Daniel Steres 45’), Todd Dunivant (Robbie Rogers 45’); Kenney Walker (Mika Vayrynen 45’), Juninho (Rafael Garcia 45’), Baggio Husidic (Raul Mendiola 26’) , Ignacio Maganto (Ariel Lassiter 45’); Steven Gerrard (Bradford Jamieson IV 45’), Robbie Keane © (Edson Buddle 45’).
TOTAL SHOTS: 6; SHOTS ON GOAL: 2; OFFSIDE: 2; CORNER KICKS: 1; SAVES: 4.
FC Barcelona: Jordi Masip (Jose Aurelio Suarez 70’); Marc Bartra (Sergi Samper 45’), Douglas, Jeremy Mathieu (Gerard Pique 45’), Adriano (Thomas Vermaelen 45’); Ivan Rakatic (Munir El Haddadi 45’), Sergio Busquets © (Jordi Alba 45’), Rafinha (Alan Halilovic 70’), Sergi Roberto (Gerard Gumbau 61’); Pedro Rodriguez (Andres Iniesta 45’), Luis Suarez (Sandro Ramirez 45’).
TOTAL SHOTS: 19; SHOTS ON GOAL: 6; OFFSIDE: 4; CORNER KICKS: 8; SAVES: 1.
Referee: Ismail Elfath
Referee’s Assistants: Jonathan Johnson and Fabio Tovar
4th Official: Ramon Hernandez