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Record crowd watches Real Madrid trounce the Galaxy at Home Depot Center

KeaneMadrid (Reuters)


CARSON, Calif.– There wasn’t much the reigning MLS champions could do to contain the speed and skill of La Liga champions Real Madrid on Thursday night.

The Los Angeles Galaxy fell to Real Madrid 5-1 in front of a record crowd of 30,317 at the Home Depot Center, with L.A.’s only goal coming from defender David Junior Lopes in the 23rd minute. While the Galaxy centerback was happy with the crowd and his goal, he recognized the backline wasn't playing as they should be.

"I’m not sure what happened on the field, but there wasn’t a lot of communication," Lopes said. "At the league level, we communicate well, but tonight there wasn’t.”

The Madrid goalfest started early, when Angel Di Maria finished a pass from Gonzalo Higuain in just the 2nd minute. But it certainly didn’t end there. Di Maria notched one of his own in the 11th minute, beating Galaxy goalkeeper Josh Saunders from the right side of the box.

The Galaxy pulled one back soon after, as in the 23rd minute, David Beckham played a cross into the box, and Omar Gonzalez headed it across the goal line. Lopes was there waiting, and he calmly played the ball into the back of the net with his torso.

That was about as good as it got for the Galaxy. Di Maria and Higuain took advantage of inexperienced Galaxy rookie Bryan Gaul, as attack after attack was made down the right wing at the left back.

In the 36th minute, Jose Maria Callejon slipped in behind the L.A. defense, and Higuain played a perfectly weighted ball to him. Callejon beat Saunders with ease, making it 3-1 Madrid.

After the halftime break, both sides trotted out completely different lineups; L.A. resting their starters and Madrid putting in their stars — in particular, crowd-favorite Cristiano Ronaldo.

The second half saw more of the same from Real Madrid, with goals from Alvaro Morata in the 49th minute and Jese Rodriguez in the 84th minute. Madrid coach Jose Mourinho was very pleased with his team's performance on Thursday night.

"I could see some of the things we work on [in training], and I could see basically that the team wants again to succeed," Mourinho said. "The boys want to do well, want to work hard."

The Galaxy created a few chances, but nothing significant to really test Madrid. But, as Galaxy coach Bruce Arena made clear after the game, this exhibition was not about the result.

"Going into the night I don’t think anyone’s expectations were that the Galaxy was going to be at the level of Madrid. I think that we demonstrated enough quality. For me, you never could have put this game on 15 years ago playing the younger players we played in the second half," Arena said. "There’s tremendous growth in this league, but there needs to be some patience. But I think as an exhibition, it was outstanding. It was a great night for the fans and it was productive for both clubs."


  1. I’m surprised….After last year’s game, you would think the champs would try a little harder. Real Madrid saved some starters for the 2nd Half, why couldn’t LA?

    LA has cap space to add some depth to the squad. Gaul was dreadful.

    And how about getting some Galaxy fans more priority. There were way too many eurodouches at this game.

  2. Fine?…sure. What it used to be? Not so much. Some people believe the numbers others say the numbers are scewed. The Mets are definitely down as well as Cleveland and other smaller markets. But now since the Marlins attendance is up the league says overall attendance is through the roof. But MLB and credibility don’t go hand in hand.

  3. Exactly! This game didn’t mean squat. I am glad the starters didn’t do anything to risk getting injured (remember Eskandarian). Sunday’s game is much more important.

  4. why does anyone pay attention to these games. No one on the field cared about the results so why should YOU! It’s meaningless and doesn’t show anything more than Madrid is a better team. That doesn’t take a brain surgeon to figure out. The real game that matters is on NBC Sports Channel against Seattle on Sunday!

  5. Gaul killed the Galaxy last night. I was at the game and he was horrible. He’s a rookie, yes. But, he looked so scared and slow out there it was pathetic.

    The energy level in general was very low in the entire first half from the Galaxy. The defense was in shambles.

    I think if Dunivant was starting we would have fared much better.

  6. was a fun game to watch. not really surprised by the score line. it’s Madrid. LA didn’t really look that bad. but Madrid is just so good.

  7. That is my biggest frustration with the growth of the league. The inability of Soccer fans to give the respect, time and space for the League to grow here…

  8. Normal seating capacity is 27,000.

    If they put people on the grass berm and add extra seats around the stadium (and temp stands in the corners) they can add to that.

    But “official” capacity is 27,000.

  9. Oh man, the eurosnobs. They do more damage to the league than the MSM’s indifference. It’s one thing to prefer Euro football to MLS, it’s another to constantly sh*t on MLS at every opportunity. As you said, there have been massive improvements in MLS, in quality of play and environment, over the last few years. If more eurosnobs would allow themselves to get caught up in supporting a LOCAL team, it would do wonders for the sport’s popularity and reputation.

  10. Same with NY Times(only no Championships obviously). I would like to think with MLBs low attendance and low ratings MLS could gain a little ground. But things seem to be stuck on 2 steps 3 steps back. Mainly because sports talk radio hosts reafirming peoples stereotypes about flopping etc. It is also pulling teeth to get Eurosnobs to admit there has been dramatic improvement in MLS especially over the past two years.

  11. Class? It had nothing to do with bankroll, tradition, support, general athleticism, footballers who’ve played at the highest levels since their teens, and so on?

  12. Case in point: go to your city newspaper’s website and click on sports. Look for a “Soccer” tab. Find anything? Probably not.

    Pretty clear the MSM still cares nothing about our league, and only slightly more about the major European leagues.

    The LA Times will write the occasional patronizing story about the Gs, but even after they won the championship, they didn’t make front page of the sports website, let alone the print edition.

  13. I’m a Galaxy supporter and I didn’t even watch the game. I opted to watch the Flounders in a game that actually mattered.

    Pre-season friendlies suck. There, I said.

  14. Madrid and Chelsea aren’t on the same level. I suppose you think Barca is the same as Chelsea too? There is Barca. Then there is Madrid way below. And then way below that is the best of the EPL. Not the same. Not even close.

  15. Home Depot Center hold 30k ? I thought it was 25-26k sellout.
    Not trolling or making fun of LAs attendance, I really thought they had sellouts before with a lot less in attendance ?

  16. Less than a year ago LA capped a stunning season by winning MLS Cup at home, yet a glamour friendly that I guarantee had none of the emotion or energy sets the attendance record; real fans vs. Real fans, I know which I’d rather watch a game with.

  17. Disappointed with all the Real Madrid jerseys in a crowd where the hometown team was reigning champions and there isn’t a particularly large Spanish expat group. Maybe their Man U jerseys were dirty that day.

  18. 15-20 years to make up for 90 or so years of history prior to MLS? A a huge boost to MLS would be acceptance into mainstream media. Progress is pretty slow there. I have met countless Europeans that have said ever since they moved to the US they stopped hearing anythig about the MLS.

  19. Way to completely state the obvious. It could be an eternity before we are ever on par with teams such as Real Madrid, regardless of the wages we could potentially offer to top-tier players. Truth of the matter is that Real Madrid and a handful of other Euro teams are just on another level than the rest (both financially and level of play).

    I guarantee if you trotted out a Stoke City, Swansea (i use those two because they have both recently lost/tied MLS teams), or any other mid/lower table EPL team they would suffer the same fate against Madrid as the Galaxy did…

  20. It just goes to show, that as long as MLS continues to pay minimum wage, they will attract the bottom of the barrel talent. That talent was clearly on display last night. MLS is at least 15-20 years talent-wise to competing on an equal playin field with teams such as Real Madrid.

  21. These are just friendlies. Money and PR. Clubs make the money and gets great PR for their existing fans and possible converts.

    why don’t Real Madrid play Real Salt Lake? aren’t they in some kinda agreement?



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