WFC 2012

WFC Preview: Real Madrid face Mexican champs in Vegas

WFC: Real Madrid vs. Santos Laguna (w/ TV)

Photo Credit: 
Gabriel de los Rios / MLSsoccer.com

The most famous team in the world in the most famous city in the world.

No, it's not some Las Vegas show stunt.

Real Madrid are actually playing in Sin City on Sunday night against Mexican champions Santos Laguna in the latest 2012 Herbalife World Football Challenge match (11 pm ET, Fox Soccer and TSN2).

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And while the arrival of the reigning La Liga champs is the big attraction, the triumphant return of US international Herculez Gomez to his hometown is the big story.

WATCH: Real Madrid put 5-spot on LA

Gomez, a veteran of the 2010 World Cup for the USA, leads his Santos squad into Sam Boyd Stadium, which sits only minutes away from where he grew up as a kid. He comes into Las Vegas after scoring yet another goal for Santos in a league draw against Puebla on Friday night.

Santos, who are tied atop the current Mexican standings after three matches, seemingly had their minds on Las Vegas after going 2-0 up at home against the struggling visitors with Gomez scoring the second in the 14th minute. But Puebla made a second-half comeback with the equalizer coming 10 minutes from time.

Manager Benjamín Galindo traveled all his starters from the 2-2 draw against Puebla as part of a 23-man roster that will be available to him on Sunday night against Real Madrid.

They'll need all the help they can get after seeing how José Mourinho's Real Madrid dismantled the reigning MLS champions LA Galaxy on Thursday night in a 5-1 victory with five different players finding the back of the net.

Real Madrid, who found the net with easy last season, have scored more goals in any preseason since 2002 with 12 strikes in their first three exhibition matches.

Ángel di María and José María Callejón, who scored against LA, have each contributed three goals to the scoring spree. But di María was training to the side in the club's last training session on Saturday before traveling on Sunday to Las Vegas.

“I look at it like a party," Santos goalkeeper Oswaldo Sánchez told MedioTiempo.com about the match. "You don't see this every day and we have to enjoy it. Our fans are really happy and many of them will be making the trip to see us. That motivates us."