Sunday, July 18, 2010

18 July 2005 - The Galácticos Take Over The Galaxy

On 18 July 2005, Real Madrid completed their preseason US tour with a 2-0 win over the LA Galaxy at the Home Depot Center.

Playing before a capacity crowd of 27,000, the Spanish starting XI included several of their newly-arrived superstar contingent known as the Galácticos, including Zinedine Zidane, David Beckham, and Michael Owen, as well as established players like forward Raúl and goalkeeper Iker Casillas. The Galaxy, on the other hand, were missing their marquee player, Landon Donovan.

But despite the apparent gulf in talent, the MLS side quickly made clear their intentions to compete, with midfielder Pando Ramirez earning a 3rd-minute yellow card after hard tackles on Zidane and Michel Salgado. Real did not take long to claim the lead, with a goal from Owen in the 5th minute after an incisive Zidane pass unlocked the Galaxy defense, but the MLS side held firm for the remainder of the half and even created a handful of chances, forcing some excellent saves from Casillas.

The match remained close enough that Real manager Vanderlei Luxembourgo kept many of his stars on the pitch deep into the second half. Both Zidane and Beckham came off in the 60th minute, while fellow Galáctico Owen remained until the 77th minute. His replacement, striker Roberto Soldado, scored the second goal shortly after coming on.

The match was LA's first exposure to Beckham, who joined the Galaxy three years later.

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