Pre-Season Preview: LA Galaxy
A look at Everton's potential opponents on Saturday 3 August.
LA Galaxy could be Everton's opponents in the second game of their pre-season tour to the United States.
Dependant on the outcome of the first set of fixtures in the ‘Western’ section of the International Champions Cup, the Blues will play either the reigning MLS champions or Real Madrid at the start of August.
David Beckham’s days in America may have come to an end, but Galaxy are still a force to be reckoned with. Here we take a closer look at the California-based club…
Name: LA Galaxy
When do we play them? Everton could face Galaxy in the second game of the International Champions Cup tournament on 3 August at 5pm (1am on 4 August in the UK) or at 7.30pm (3.30am in the UK).
Where? The game is in Los Angeles at Dodger Stadium, the 56,000 capacity home of the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team.
How can I watch it? Tickets are available here. If you can't make it across the pond, the game will be broadcast live on evertontv. Click here to learn more about how you can view six of Everton’s pre-season fixtures.
Who’s their boss? Bruce Arena. The 61-year-old led the US national team to the quarter-finals of the 2002 World Cup before leaving his position in 2006 after eight years at the helm. After managing New York Red Bulls for one season, Arena took charge at Galaxy in 2008 before guiding them to successive MLS championships in 2011 and 2012.
Who’s their best player? Landon Donovan. The United States international is fondly remembered at Goodison Park following his two loan spells on Merseyside in 2010 and 2012. Now aged 31, Donovan has been with Galaxy since 2005 after starting his professional career with Bayer Leverkusen in Germany.
American journalist and US soccer expert Grant Wahl says: “Donovan is obviously the biggest name at the Galaxy and this is a Los Angeles team that has won the last two championships. He gets a lot of attention but there are some other very good players in the team.”
Who’s their unsung hero? Omar Gonzalez. The US national team centre-back has played a key role at the heart of Galaxy’s defence since 2009, as well as causing a threat at set pieces due to his height. The 24-year-old was named MLS Defender of the Year in 2011.
How did they get on last season? Galaxy are the current domestic champions and will be aiming to become the first team in MLS history to win the championship three years in a row. Wahl says: “When they play at their best, they are the best team in the league by far.”
Any Everton connections? As well as Donovan, another link between the sides is former Portuguese defender Abel Xavier who made 21 appearances for Galaxy before retiring from the game in 2008.
Have we played them before? Nope.
What does the expert say about them? Wahl believes that Galaxy are the best team in the MLS and with Donovan and Robbie Keane spearheading their attack they pose a huge threat. Home-grown forward Gyasi Zardes has made a major impact in his breakthrough season alongside Keane, and Wahl believes he will one day earn a move to Europe.
Wahl said: “I think Donovan and Keane are the key guys as they work really well together and bring a quality that few MLS teams have. They are paid a lot of money so they probably should bring that quality.
“The youngster Zardes is a very useful player up next to Keane. I think he does a lot of work that Keane appreciates by going out wide and taking defenders out of position to help him get a little more space to work with.”