The Los Angeles Galaxy, FC Barcelona's first preseason opponent
The Californians are the current MLS champions and have signed Steven Gerrard as part of their bid to win the CONCACAF Champions League
A month before the preseason gets under way, we take a look at the four teams that FC Barcelona will be playing in this summer’s International Champions Cup. It all starts on July 21 (at 5.00am CET on July 22 back in Barcelona) against Los Angeles Galaxy at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. Los Angeles is about to experience scenes similar to those in 2007 when David Beckham joined the team. Former Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has left English football to play for MLS champions Galaxy alongside Irishman Robbie Keane. With five titles to their name, one more than DC United, LA Galaxy is the most successful team in the history of the US soccer championship.
This year the Californians are also involved in the CONCACAF Champions League and will be hoping to win the continental title for the first time since 2000.
FC Barcelona have been to North America on many occasions in the past, but this is only the second time that they will have played Galaxy. The only previous meeting was in 2009, also just after the Catalans had won the treble of Liga, Copa del Rey and Champions League. That game was also played at the Rose Bowl and ended in a 2-1 win for Barça thanks to goals from Pedro and Jeffren. The home side scored courtesy of a David Beckham free kick.
Team captain Robbie Keane had all kinds of injury problems in his fourth season in the MLS, but still placed in the top three players in the championship for both goals and assists. He has been named club MVP in each of the last three seasons. The team also includes Finnish international Mika Väyrynen and Sweden’s Stefan Ishizaki, and is coached by former US national team boss Bruce Arena. With Steven Gerrard added to the mix, there are plenty of reasons for fans of the Galácticos to fancy their chances in the forthcoming Champions League.