PASADENA, Calif. – The LA Galaxy expected to see Manchester United at their best, or whatever their "best" might be in their preseason opener. They hoped to give the English powerhouse a real test.
Not all went as expected in Wednesday night's Rose Bowl friendly. Man. United were impressive in Louis van Gaal's debut as manager, but the Galaxy weren't much opposition in front of 86,432 mostly red-clad fans, a group that included David Beckham, who starred for both clubs.
KANSAS CITY, Kan. – The final scoreline aside, Sporting Kansas City got most of what they wanted out of this one.
KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Sporting Kansas City's defending MLS Cup champions hung in with Manchester City for nearly all of the first half. After that, Wednesday night's “Champions Shield” friendly belonged to the Premiership titlists.
City pulled away from a 1-1 deadlock with a goal in the dying minutes of the first half and two more – one of those from the penalty spot – after the break, cruising to a 4-1 victory at Sporting Park in the opening match of their North American summer tour.
TORONTO – Rarely is a friendly actually a friendly, but on a cool night at BMO Field, Jermain Defoe welcomed plenty of familiar faces from his former side, Tottenham Hotspur, in an entertaining 3-2 match that had plenty of goals and moments of excitement, including a second-half comeback from Toronto FC.
English powerhouse Arsenal have released their full roster for Saturday's friendly against the New York Red Bulls at Red Bull Arena (5 pm ET, ESPN2), and a potential future US international is among the Gunners coming to America.
Seventeen-year-old midfielder Gedion Zelalem, the subject of considerable speculation over his international future, is among the 20 players available for the game. Zelalem, who made his competitive first team debut for Arsenal last year in the FA Cup, will be looking to make an impression on head coach Arsene Wenger ahead of the upcoming season.
TORONTO FC – Toronto FC and Tottenham Hotspur did not disappoint in their international friendly on Wednesday night, with Toronto storming back from a two-goal deficit in a wild second half, only to fall 3-2 to a late winner from Andros Towsend.
Erik Lamela gave Spurs a 2-0 lead at halftime before Toronto FC mounted an impressive comeback, equalizing in the second half through Andrew Wiedeman and Academy product Jordan Hamilton.
A number of 2014 World Cup veterans, including the US national team's Julian Green, will suit up for Bayern Munich for the reigning German champions' entire US tour, which begins next week.
KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Of the five exhibitions being played Wednesday night between MLS and English Premier League clubs (full schedule), a few stand out: LA Galaxy-Manchester United for history and the iconic venue, Toronto FC-Tottenham Hotspur for the Jermain Defoe subplot.
But neither of those can claim two defending champions.
TORONTO – For Brad Friedel, Tottenham Hotspur’s North American tour is a chance to experience a familiar shade of soccer all grown up.
Friedel played for the Columbus Crew during Major League Soccer's first two seasons but left for Europe in late 1997. He, like many US national team players, left the league to become a pioneer in European football, but Friedel says that he sees the change from its inception to today.
New York Red Bulls weigh how much to play Thierry Henry, other starters, in friendly against Arsenal
Under normal circumstances, the New York Red Bulls would use their upcoming midseason friendly to rest some fatigued starters and play some seldom-used reserves.
These are not normal circumstances.