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Saturday, July 16, 2011
Galaxy just couldn't hang with Real Madrid this time

By Blair Angulo

LOS ANGELES -- The talk heading into Saturday night's exhibition match between the Galaxy and Real Madrid centered on its value. Facing a big-name club with some of the world's premier players and getting foreign exposure was most important, Galaxy players said. A win would carry no weight, Galaxy coach Bruce Arena argued.

Arena and Real Madrid's Josť Mourinho both expected a competitive affair, with Mourinho emphatically proclaiming he didn't want his preseason matches to "end 10-nil" or for them to be "fun."

Real Madrid might get a stern talking to from its coach because players appeared to be having a blast.

"I'll have to sit back on that and think about it down the road," Arena said. "I think it's a good experience for the young players tonight. But I just don't think we did a good job of it. I don't think we played well and we were certainly beaten easily by this fine Madrid team."

The Galaxy, despite fielding a close rendition of its starting 11, simply couldn't hang. The Merengues grabbed a 4-0 lead in the 58th minute, which was somewhat surprising given each team's pregame comments and last year's 3-2 result at the Rose Bowl.

"It's clear that we studied them pretty well," Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos said. "They're in the middle of their season and we're just getting started, but they've still got a solid club."

An Adam Cristman goal in the 67th minute gave the small Galaxy contingent reason to cheer, but the match had been decided long before that. The Galaxy won only 37 percent of duels and lost the possession battle, 60-40. They had eight shots on goal to Real Madrid's 20.

"Four goals against us isn't what we wanted," Galaxy backup goalkeeper Brian Perk said. "It isn't what we set out to do but, at the same time, I don't think it's flat out embarrassing."

Perhaps Cristiano Ronaldo said it best: "We won and that's what's most important."