Real Madrid in town to face Beckham, Donovan and the Galaxy
For the second consecutive summer, Real Madrid Coach Jose Mourinho brought his club to Los Angeles for its preseason training. Real Madrid's first preseason friendly will be Saturday against the Galaxy, and Mourinho said he expects a competitive atmosphere in the Coliseum.
"It is exactly what we need, and it is exactly what we want," he said Tuesday. "I don't like preseason matches to end 10 to nil. ... I like serious matches, and [the Galaxy] always gives me that.
"The level of teams in the tournament gives us exactly what we need: difficult matches against difficult teams that are on a different level than us because they are in the middle of their season."
Mourinho brought a roster filled with stars to the United States, including forward Cristiano Ronaldo, midfielder Kaka, defender Sergio Ramos and goalkeeper Iker Casillas, and he said American fans would see them all.
"Of course, it's not a priority, but everybody wants to win. Everybody tries to win every single match and every single tournament," he said. "My team will not be at the top because we just started training today, but my promise is all my players are going to play."
Galaxy midfielder David Beckham played for Real Madrid from 2003 to 2007, immediately prior to coming to Los Angeles. He did not play in the friendly last summer because he was on loan to Inter Milan.
"To be facing Real Madrid for the first time, actually, since I left, it's emotional because you get attached to a club," Beckham said. "It's a great occasion for everybody in America and the world to be able to watch the likes of Cristiano and Iker.”
While Beckham and the members of Real Madrid trumpeted the game's purpose, Galaxy forward Landon Donovan admitted his club knows where this game stands in the greater scheme.
"For us, as exciting as it is, our important games are our league games or tomorrow's Open Cup game or our Champions League game coming later in the year," he said.
-- Douglas Farmer