MLS Cup champion Galaxy nix plans for int'l winter tour
CARSON, Calif. — The LA Galaxy's weary warriors received some welcome news when they gathered Monday for a championship celebration with their fans: Their expected postseason tour of the Middle East was kaput.
Officially, the Galaxy did not identify a proposed itinerary for the trek, but they said there were several possibilities. MLS Cup MVP Omar Gonzalez revealed that a stop in Qatar was in the works. Another game in the United Arab Emirates also was expected.
WATCH: LA's MLS Cup celebration
“After careful consideration of multiple opportunities, we've decided to forgo any potential postseason tour,” vice president Chris Klein, a former Galaxy midfielder, said in a statement. “Our players and coaches have gone above and beyond for our team, and we feel that capturing our second straight MLS Cup title is a fitting end to an historic year.”
The Galaxy made postseason trips in four of David Beckham's first five seasons with the team, skipping one only in 2009. LA went to Australia and New Zealand in 2007, New Zealand in 2008, Australia in 2010, and Indonesia, the Philippines and Australia last year.
The players learned the trek was off when they arrived at the Home Depot Center for a Monday fan celebration that drew about 3,000 to the facility's tennis stadium.
“There weren't too many tears shed over that announcement,” defender Todd Dunivant said. “It's nice to go to these exotic places and spread the brand and play teams and play in places you've never played before, but at the same time, it's the end of the season and everyone's ready for a break. I think that trip last season contributed to part of that haze [over the first half of this year] that we had so much trouble getting out of.”
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The Galaxy won last year's MLS Cup title on Nov. 20 and left a week later for three games in Asia and Australia, returning home after a Dec. 6 match in Melbourne. They opened camp on Jan. 22 this year.
Gonzalez said he'd have to find something to do over the next couple of weeks, that he was “planning on going to Qatar.”
The news means Beckham's last game with the Galaxy really was Saturday's MLS Cup title game victory over the Houston Dynamo.
“It's always nice to go on a trip like that,” captain Landon Donovan said, “but the other side of the coin is it can wear you out a little bit more. I think we're all glad that we can just relax a little bit and enjoy the victory a little more.”
Scott French covers the LA Galaxy for MLSsoccer.com