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WFC 2012

WFC Preview: LA Galaxy get fourth crack at Real Madrid

WFC: LA Galaxy vs. Real Madrid (Image w/ TV)

Photo Credit: 
Gabriel de los Rios / MLSsoccer.com

It's become a rite of summer: LA Galaxy vs. Real Madrid in Southern California.

Thursday's match at The Home Depot Center (10:30 pm ET, ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes) is the fourth time that the two sides will meet, with Real Madrid winning all three previous encounters.

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However, this is the first time that the two clubs face off as the champions of their respective domestic leagues.

WATCH: LA vs. Real Madrid preview

In 2005 Real Madrid blanked LA 2-0 on goals by Michael Owen and Roberto Soldado. The Galaxy took a shock 2-0 lead in 2010 against José Mourinho's men before Real Madrid stormed back for a 3-2 win. There was no doubt in 2011 as the Spanish giants jumped out to a sizable lead before sealing a 4-1 triumph.

Real Madrid have trained at UCLA's facilities since arriving on Sunday. They played two friendlies prior to arriving on US soil, suffering a 5-2 setback against Benfica in the Eusébio Cup  (both goals scored by José María Callejón) and defeating Oviedo 5-1, which included a goal by Esteban Granero and two from Ángel di María.

The LA Galaxy have been red hot in MLS play and they closed out the month of July with a 1-0 road win in Dallas last Saturday. However, manager Bruce Arena has admitted that the timing of the match against Real Madrid is not ideal. They are preparing for a nationally televised away match against Seattle Sounders on Sunday (9 pm ET, ESPN2), 

LA's David Beckham played for Real Madrid between 2003 and 2007 and will face los merengues for the second time since leaving the club.