By ADAM SERRANO
Spanish giant Real Madrid has arrived in the United States eager to make waves.
The star-studded Madrid, led by head coach Jose Mourinho and stars Cristiano Ronaldo, Iker Casillas and Kaka, among others, start their U.S. sojurn against the Los Angeles Galaxy Saturday night. The journey to Los Angeles is somewhat of a tradition for Mourinho, who has taken three teams — Madrid, Chelsea and Inter Milan — to train in Southern California.
While speaking to a group of reporters on Tuesday, Mourinho said that participating in the World Football Challenge will help the team as Los Blancos look to dethrone FC Barcelona in La Liga.
"In relation to the tournament, this is exactly what we need, this is exactly what we want," Mourinho said. "I don't like preseason matches to end nil-nil. I want preseason to have some fun, and I like serious matches and they always give us that."
Madrid will face off against three teams during its tour of the United States. After the match at the L.A. Coliseum against the Galaxy, Real will hit the road, traveling to San Diego's Qualcomm Stadium on July 20 to take on Chivas de Guadalajara, then heading across the country to take on the Philadelphia Union at Lincoln Financial Field on July 23.
The Blancos begin the tournament against the Galaxy for the second straight year. Last year, a Galaxy team led by Landon Donovan took a 2-0 lead at halftime before falling, 3-2, in front of a crowd of more than 90,000 at the Rose Bowl. After Madrid got a competitive game from the Galaxy last year, star Cristiano Ronaldo was full of praise for his opponent ahead of this weekend's matchup.
"It will be amazing for us to play against Galaxy," Ronaldo told reporters on Tuesday. "It will be great, and it will be exciting for us. I always like to play, and if you play against good teams, it's better for us. You feel more motivated."
The game will also provide Los Angeles midfielder David Beckham a chance to play against Madrid for the first time since joining the Galaxy from the Spanish club in 2007.