Like David Beckham before him, Steven Gerrard will make his LA Galaxy debut in a nationally televised friendly match. Hopefully he's not playing hurt like his England international teammate. His new head coach Bruce Arena says he'll get 45 minutes in the Galaxy's International Champions Cup match against Mexican side Club America.
For the unaware, the International Champions Cup is a piece of branding for a series of friendly matches involving teams from North America and Europe. This is the first of many games to be held in the U.S., Mexico, Canada, China, Australia, London and Florence.
The Mexican Apertura is creeping up on America, who are playing three friendly matches in this competition to prep. After playing the Galaxy, they take on San Jose Earthquakes in three days, then Manchester United three days after that.
LA will be without Gyasi Zardes and Omar Gonzalez, who are currently on duty with the United States at the Gold Cup.
How close to a first team do Club America have?
Goalkeeper Moises Munoz and striker Oribe Peralta are currently on Mexico duty, while defender Ventura Alvarado is with the United States. The Paraguayan international trio of Miguel Samudio, Osvaldo Martinez and Pablo Aguilar aren't ruled out, but they're probably getting a bit of a rest after Copa America and certainly won't play 90 minutes. We'll call it a 6/10.
What are the chances LA Galaxy gets trounced?
Not high. LA would be competitive against America's first team, and they should do fine with all of those key players missing for the Mexican giants. 3/10 chance.
Fun Club America fringe player to watch: Alejandro Díaz
The 19-year-old striker made his first team debut last season, already has a Liga MX goal, and has been tearing it up for Mexico Under-20. With Peralta away, he should get an opportunity to play some minutes. This is an important preseason for him if he wants to start playing regularly for the first team.
Compared to other friendlies, is this worth my time?
Definitely, if you're going to be awake and at your house anyway. There's nothing else going on in this timeslot and Gerrard's debut will be worth catching. 8/10.
Match date/time: Saturday, 11:30 p.m. ET, 8:30 p.m. local
Venue: StubHub Center, Carson, Calif.
TV: FOX Sports 1 (U.S. - English), ESPN Deportes, (U.S. - Spanish), Sky Sports 1 (U.K.), TDN, Sky (Mexico)
Listings via Live Soccer TV.
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