Los Angeles Soccer: Marcia McDermott

2010: A royal visit ... and one tough year

December, 23, 2010
12/23/10
9:00
PM PT
Our countdown of 2010's top 10 soccer stories and newsmakers -- from a Southern California slant -- continues.
  • Stories/No. 9: Real Madrid's visit

The gap between Major League Soccer's best and the world's finest clubs has rarely been more aptly illustrated than at the Rose Bowl last Aug. 7.

The Galaxy, en route to the Supporters' Shield (as MLS's regular-season champion), stood toe to toe with mighty Real Madrid through 45 minutes, taking a two-goal lead to the locker room at halftime.

Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images
Real Madrid defender Marcelo, right, clashes with Galaxy forward Mike Magee during their friendly at the Rose Bowl on Aug. 7.


Then Jose Mourinho, the “Special One,” unleashed his A side, bringing on World Cup stars Cristiano Ronaldo, Gonzalo Higuain, Xabi Alonso and Iker Casillas. Real Madrid, demonstrating a substantial superiority in skill, quickness of thought and ball movement, destroyed L.A. over the final 45 minutes, rallying for a 3-2 victory -- with Argentine forward Higuain scoring two of the goals.

The encounter delighted a crowd of 89,134 -- the second-largest crowd to watch a soccer game in Southern California this year, just off the 90,526 count for Mexico's Rose Bowl game against New Zealand on March 3. And it delighted the Galaxy, who considered it an honor to be on the same field with one of the globe's greatest clubs.

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