I know this isn’t high school-related but since the Star-News first broke the story I thought I’d post it here and let our soccer freaks read it so they can start making plans. See yall at the Rose Bowl.
This story appeared on page C2 in the Star-News sports section on Friday, May 8
By Miguel A. Melendez
The Galaxy will announce today that they will host world-renowned soccer power FC Barcelona in an international friendly on Aug. 1 at the Rose Bowl, the Star-News has learned.
It will be the Galaxy’s second high-profile game against an international team — they will play AC Milan on July 19 at The Home Depot Center.
Galaxy star David Beckham, currently on loan to AC Milan, will play. He’s expected to return to Los Angeles when the international transfer window opens July 15. Beckham’s first game will come against New York on July 16.
The Home Depot Center was the Galaxy’s first choice for the Barcelona game, but the venue is unavailable because of the X-Games.
The high-profile match, slated for an 8 p.m. start, will mark the Galaxy’s first trip to the Rose Bowl since hosting an MLS Cup playoff game in October 2002. They went on to win the MLS Cup at New England that season.
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The Galaxy made the Rose Bowl its home for seven years, posting an impressive 72-27-8 record.
“We are looking forward to returning to our first home at the Rose Bowl, a world-class venue which will forever hold a special place in our club’s history,” Galaxy president of business operations Tom Payne said.
Barcelona is expected to bring its star-studded roster that includes international stars Lionel Messi, Rafael Marquez and Thierry Henry.
The 18-time La Liga champions and 24-time Copa del Rey champions are looking to secure their third UEFA Champions League title on May 27 against Manchester United at Stadio Olimpico in Rome. Barcelona is in the midst of one of its best seasons in recent history and is in position to win all three of its major tournaments: Spain’s La Liga, the UEFA Champions League and the Copa del Rey.
After defeating Real Madrid 6-2 in La Liga’s Clasico last weekend, Barcelona is at the top of its league’s standings with 85 points and within range of conquering its 19th domestic title. The club also advanced to the final of the prestigious Copa del Rey, where it will face Athletic Bilbao on Wednesday.
“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to play one of the best clubs in the world,” Payne said.
“It is not often that you are able to take on a Champions League finalist.”
Ticket sales will be announced in the coming weeks.
This will be Barcelona’s first game in California since August 2006, when it played to a 1-1 tie against Mexico’s most popular and successful soccer club, Chivas de Guadalajara, in front of 92,650 fans at the Coliseum.
During the marquee match — which also included an MLS match pitting New England against Chivas USA — Barcelona officials privately expressed their dissatisfaction about the poor field conditions.
International media from Mexico also were surprised at the Coliseum’s conditions, considering it was a highly-anticipated match among two world powers.
The game was broadcast live in Spain and Mexico. Both teams met again in August 2008, but this time at Chicago’s Soldier Field.