LOS ANGELES — Sometimes preseason teams come to tour America out of sync and at half-speed, but the skill and cohesion on display from Real Madrid vs. the LA Galaxy in a 4-1 victory could bode well for the club's upcoming season.
WATCH: Full Match Highlights
After half an hour, it was José Callejón who opened the scoring off a sublime pass from Kaká, who showed no evidence of his previous injuries with his lively play. The second goal had Joselu finishing off a pass from Marcelo. Both players developed through Real Madrid's youth team system, and coach José Mourinho is focused on helping more of those players make the transition to the senior squad.
"The kids can give us something, but we can also give to the kids a lot," Mourinho explained. "We have an objective for the season which is important for them to arrive to the big team. They need to be promoted. We need Castilla to play in the second division, not the second B. So we need to help them. We are trying to give them more conditions to succeed."
Yet even as Real Madrid look out for the future, the power of the present is clear.
Cristiano Ronaldo showed off his skills in a sublime sequence of stepovers and a charge into the box that culminated in a sharply-angled shot inside the far post of the goal.
"He can do that whenever he wants," David Beckham marveled. "He’s that kind of player. He’s such a great talent. He’s not just one of the most technically-gifted players in the world; he works hard. A player doesn’t get to that level without working hard, without doing the stuff right that he needs to do to be the best player in the world. He’s exceptional."
Teammate Xabi Alonso pointed out that as the Real Madrid stars become more familiar with each other, their play should improve.
"Last season it was [Ronaldo's] first season, and this season, we get to know him much better," Alonso said. "We are looking forward to the season."
Of course, with Real Madrid being one of the biggest teams in the world, rumors of new additions, such as the current buzz about the possible arrival of Carlos Tévez, always run rampant.
Alonso was philisophical about the possibility. "So many rumors around Real Madrid. Time will tell."
Still, the stellar interplay between Fábio Coentrão and Karim Benzema on the final goal, a nifty header from an excellent cross, shows that the squad may do just fine with the talents it already had.
Especially since the intense personality of Mourinho seems ideal for keeping the egos and abilities of the players focused on team goals.
"He always looks for us to be a great competitive side," praised Alonso of his coach. "Hopefully we will win all the trophies, but we will take it step by step."