The LA Galaxy probably aren’t ready to kick the season off on Tuesday night at StubHub Center, where they will host the Xolos of Tijuana (Club Tijuana), but none of that will really matter. The preseason and the Galaxy are far from complete and this game will be the first of four scheduled exhibition matches for LA as they get ready for the start of the 2017 MLS season.
And matching the incomplete nature of the club will also be a roster that will probably be missing some of their bigger names. New signings Romain Alessandrini and João Pedro will miss this game due to a visa process that always seems to take longer than it should — Head Coach Curt Onalfo said to expect both of those guys to be training with the team in the next 10-14 days (via LA Galaxy Insider) — and Homegrown Gyasi Zardes will probably rest the knee that saw him get sent home from the U.S. Men’s National Team (USMNT) January camp. Sebastian Lletget, having just completed a successful stint with the USMNT could see some time, but expect his minutes to be limited. And finally, Jermaine Jones, who just started training with the team, could see some of his first minutes with the Galaxy but might also be rested. It’s not what every Galaxy fan wanted to hear, but this team still has some time to come together, and the younger core of this team is working together every single day.
The Xolos, much like last year’s exhibition match, will more than likely play the game with a series of bench players and reserves. Tijuana is five games into their Clausura season and currently sit atop the Liga MX standings having won four games while losing just one. So expect triple digit kit numbers and players who are looking to impress in order to get some senior team minutes.
But the Galaxy will still have something to show off, even if they will be missing some of their anticipated signings. Young players like Jack McBean, Raul Mendiola, Emmanuel Boateng, and others are keen to prove themselves into positions to make a difference on the field this season. And these preseason games will be an excellent opportunity to prove their worth to Onalfo.
It’s important to remember that the score will mean nothing for Tuesday night’s game. It’s just a chance for the Galaxy to face someone besides other teammates. Onalfo and Van Damme put little emphasis on what the scoreboard looks like when talking to LA Galaxy Insider and in many ways, you can understand why. The team is young, this will be one of their first tests and the entire picture is incomplete even as they inch closer to kickoff of the 2017 season.
The Game will kickoff at 8 PM and tickets are available on the team’s website. This particular match will also be broadcast on Spectrum SportsNet, something that should provide most supporters a chance to view their team even if they can’t make it to the stadium.
LA Galaxy vs Club Tijuana (Preseason Exhibition)
8 PM on February 7, 2017
TV – Spectrum SportsNet – LIVE at 8 PM
Parking – School Night parking is in effect. University lots not available.