Annual Invasion of the Best European Clubs in LA… Man Utd Open Training (with Pics)

Every summer LA is invaded by the, “top,” European clubs in preseason training… It has now expanded well beyond LA too.

Currently Manchester United and Real Madrid are training here and the Rangers (Scotland) were here last week.    Last night Man Utd held an open training at the Rose Bowl, where they play the Galaxy tonight.

Tickets were $20 for general admission or $300 for front row and player access for autographs.  That looked like a disorganized, unmitigated mess.

This was either Louis van Gaal’s first or second training session with the team and lord is he lively.  At one point, he was either giving directions during the scrimmage session or working on his required cheer routine for his varsity try-outs.

Additionally, Juan Mata and Wayne Rooney are adorable together.. like toddle buddies at preschool.  Very sad that I missed getting a picture of them walking arms around either’s shoulder.  Also  the team goalies look like quads… all same size, shape, coloring.

You can tell it was early, early pre-season training.. everyone seemed rusty

Here are a few pics and the 250+ more can be found at my flickr page.



The one member of the team guaranteed to still be around this time next year

The ways in which US Soccer has shown fans it does not believe we have a shot in hell of doing anything in Brazil this summer grows daily.

  • Klinnys contract extended without any requirements to succeed
  • The world’s most forgettable jerseys, clearly shirts Nike had lying around in warehouses
  • The Ukrainian fiasco… the more I think about it, more I think it was the first 2018 camp
  • Now the list of sendoff match nations:  Azerbaijan,Turkey & Nigeria

Countries participating in the World Cup who will already be in America for camp/matches include: Honduras, Bosnia, Ivory Coast, Mexico, Ecuador, Greece, England, Spain and Portugal. But we are only playing one team heading to the World Cup, Nigeria and two teams which are nowhere near the level of competition the boys will face. I am not sure if you put the Azerbajian and Turkish teams together they would be half as good as Germany (after all Germany took Turkey’s best players).

So why not play the best to prepare? Because marquee matches against superstar teams like Spain are much more expensive than say playing Azerbaijan. I get that it is not worth the investment.

The US Soccer Federation play seems to be more and more evidence daily; put on a good show of trying in Brazil but don’t invest. The return on investment is not going to be worth it. Focus on 2018 and developing a new, young squad to compete.