Game: LA Galaxy vs. Club Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles de Caliente
Date: Tuesday, February 7th
Time: 8:00 PM Pacific, 10:00 PM Central, 11:00 PM Eastern
Venue: StubHub Center (Carson, Cal.)
Television: SportsNet (Los Angeles)
It’s a mere 130 miles between Tijuana and Carson, California - a blink of an eye in the relative expanse of the Western Hemisphere. The two neighbors will renew their rivalry tonight in Carson, the sixth such installment since the clubs first met back in 2011. Tijuana has won only once, a 4-2 blowout at Estadio Caliente during the 2013-2014 CONCACAF Champions League Quarterfinals (they won the aggregate 4-3 before succumbing to Cruz Azul in the Semifinals). They have lost twice and drawn once in Carson, the biggest of which was a 6-2 loss in a friendly in 2013. The last meeting was a 0-0 draw in a 2016 friendly.
Tijuana, in the middle of their season, will most likely look to play younger guys and bench options rather than risk their starters. Look for much of the same lineups that have played in the Copa MX matches to get minutes, with some regular players thrown into the mix mostly as substitutes later in the game.
The Galaxy are just beginning their pre-season, so they’ll look to get their first team as many minutes as possible. It’s a bit of a different look to the Galaxy from years past though. Gone are Robbie Keane, Steven Gerrard, and Landon Donovan; replaced by El Tri mainstay Giovani dos Santos and Romain Allesandrini, recently signed from Marseille. Also gone is head coach Bruce Arena, who returned to coach the United States National Team. In his place is Curt Onalfo, a well-traveled (by MLS standards) coach who worked under Arena for years.
As with most friendlies, don’t put too much stock into the final result. If you’re able to go, enjoy getting to see your club play against a team you don’t get to see them play against often. Enjoy seeing guys who may be first-team guys in a year or two, and just hope that no one gets hurt.