The LA Galaxy start tuning up for its CONCACAF Champion’s League games this Saturday night in a friendly against FC Shirak.
The LA Galaxy will play its first match of 2016 when it takes on FC Shirak of the Armenian Premier League at the StubHub Center on Saturday night. These two sides have met once before, back in 2014 in Carson, when the LA Galaxy defeated the then runners-up in the Armenian Premier League with both Gyasi Zardes and Brazilian forward Samuel scoring goals in a 2-1 victory.
Currently, FC Shirak is in the middle of a very long winter break and sits in the fourth spot in the APL, eight points behind the league leaders, Alashkert Football Club. Shirak is full of up-and-coming Armenian soccer players with its leading goal scorer, David Hakobyan, merely 22 years old. Konan Kouakou is another one to look out for on the Armenian team’s roster. He’s two years younger than Hakobyan and has one less goal in four fewer appearances.
There’s been a lot of change on the pitch this off-season and no one really knows what the starting eleven is going to look like for the LA Galaxy. Omar Gonzalez and Juninho were both sold to Liga MX while a slew of new faces were brought into the squad.
The most familiar face, of course, is that of Mike Magee. He returns to the club after two and a half seasons with the Chicago Fire. In his last stint with the LA Galaxy, Magee appeared in over 100 league games and scored 19 goals.
However, since many of the new additions — Ashley Cole, Jelle Van Damme and Emmanuel Boateng – have yet to take the field for the LA Galaxy, their roles on the team remain up in the air. Van Damme and Cole will not take part in the preseason match as they have yet to arrive in Los Angeles. Bruce Arena expects the arrival of Van Damme to take place over this weekend, while Ashley Cole should follow suit shortly after.
In light of the fact that the Galaxy players are still gaining match fitness, Bruce Arena stated that he expects to field different squads during each half.
Those attending the game should expect a decent sized crowd at StubHub Center for this match – 12,000 people came out for the Galaxy’s last game against FC Shirak and Los Angeles has a sizable Armenian community, many of whom will be in attendance.
The Galaxy will play two more preseason games before its CONCACAF Champions League match against Santos Laguna; the Galaxy will face Xolos Tijuana on February 9 before heading to Las Vegas to take on its arch rivals, the San Jose Earthquakes, in a preseason game on February 13.