On Saturday night, the Los Angeles Galaxy of Major League Soccer will take on international powerhouse Real Madrid in an exhibition. While the Galaxy will most likely lose on the pitch, they’re primed to be big-time winners off of the field because of it.
The match, which is another example of American soccer trying to capitalize on the success of the World Cup will take place at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena where upwards of 80,000 fans are expected.
How big is that figure? Compare that to the Galaxy’s average attendance of 20,000 fans per home contest and you’ll start to see how big of a deal this match is to the organization, the league and soccer in America in general.
Not only will there be financial benefits from playing a match like this in front of such a large crowd on a big stage, but the Galaxy will also get to see where they and where MLS as a whole rank against a world-class soccer team.
Real Madrid is one of the best teams in the world with some of the most recognizable names in the game of soccer. Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the world’s most popular players and he’s joined on the roster by Argentinian star Gonzalo Hinguain. Real Madrid also has five players from World Cup champion Spain’s roster. Brazilian star Kaka is also on the roster but he’s out after having knee surgery.
Throw in the Galaxy’s Landon Donovan, and you’ve got quite the star-studded event.
Those close to the team and in the area know how big of an event this can be for the organization, the league and the game itself in this country.
“It’s going to be be one of the biggest — if not the biggest — soccer matches in the U.S. this year,” said Darryl Dunn, the Rose Bowl’s general manager.
For MLS and American soccer in general, the time to capitalize on the game’s new-found popularity in this country is now.
While this game may be meaningless for the Galaxy and MLS in terms of standings, it’s clear that both stand to gain a lot Saturday night in Pasadena.
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