Young the Giant posing with the MLS Cup

Young the Giant excited for gig at MLS Cup 2011

HOLLYWOOD, Calif. – If you’ve tuned-in to rock radio at least once in the past 12 months, you’ve probably been exposed to the riffy delight of Young the Giant’s “My Body,” a catchy, insistent shout-along that was, according to the band, conceived “in about 10 minutes” from idea to ending.

“My Body” is pop music for the thinking girl; hip enough to be cool, and accessible enough to earn the band a performance slot on this year’s MTV VMA Awards.

WATCH: Young the Giant, Ozomatli with MLS Cup

The next big stage for the upstarts from Orange County is a pre-game performance at The Home Depot Center ahead of Sunday’s MLS Cup 2011 between the LA Galaxy and the Houston Dynamo. (9 pm ET; ESPN, Galavisión, TSN2; live chat on

For lead vocalist Sameer Gadhia, the gig is more than just another show – it’s a chance to connect with his soccer roots.

“My dad played pro soccer in India,” said Gadhia. “I came over here at age four and soccer was my life until varsity in high school. Then I started to do music more than soccer.”

Although Gadhia is a creative force both in the studio and on stage, his role on the pitch was a bit more utilitarian.

“I played right midfield,” said Gadhia, “I ran a lot of cross-country, so the coaches liked to use my stamina on the wing.”

The life of an up-and-coming rockstar does not lend itself to sojourns patrolling the touchline, though. These days, Gadhia gets his soccer kicks on the back of a tour bus.

“I play a ton of FIFA12 on the road," he said. "I like Bayern Munich a lot and mostly play with them."

Sunday’s performance will be something of a family affair for Young the Giant, as the band has multiple familial connections to the Western Conference champs, the LA Galaxy. Guitarist Jacob Tilley is the brother of Galaxy academy player Matt Tilley, while Gadhia’s father is big fan of the club.

“I’m really excited for Sunday because my dad’s going to come,” said Gadhia. “He’s obsessed with MLS. He’s taken me to The Home Depot Center a few times to see the Galaxy, that’s his team. He’s a big Beckham fan so he’s really wanted to see them win a championship for a while.”

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