In Catalan-esque fashion, Barcelona beat the Galaxy 2-1 in front of a sold-out crowd at Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Ca in the International Champions Cup. The attendance of 93,226 is the highest club attendance for the Rose Bowl and highest attendance involving an MLS team, ever. From the kick-off Barcelona’s players demonstrated that they were not here for a friendly exhibition, but rather to prove their worth enough to earn a spot in the starting 11. Luis Enrique’s starting 11 consisted of top class players such as Pedro, Luis Suarez, Sergio Busquets, Ivan Rakitic, Sergi Roberto, and Rafinha.
Since the first minute Barcelona played their typical quick touch passing and high pressure movement to keep the Galaxy on their heels in their own third. The Galaxy had a very conservative formation, keeping their usual starting 11 for the International Champions Cup, but only having Steven Gerrard and Robbie Keane as their attacking force. When Galaxy had the ball there were a couple of moments of brilliance where Gerrard would get himself open and try to set up Robbie Keane but Barcelona were too prepared for the legends. On the defensive side, De La Garza was keeping Barcelona out with brilliant tackles, deflections, and clearances that forced Barcelona out of the Galaxy’s third. De La Garza would even make runs forward to help Gerrard and Keane .
The Galaxy were able to hold Barca to a shut out for the first 45 minutes until the 46′ when a cross from Adriano came into the box where Sergi Roberto flicked it overhead to an oncoming Luis Suarez. Suarez managed to bring it down, although some could argue he handled it with his arm, and calmly slotted it past goalkeeper Brian Rowe with his left foot. In the second half, the Galaxy made a line change that consists mostly of Galaxy II players. After a few mishap clearances from the Galaxy, Sergi Roberto found the ball in front of him in the penalty area and he just struck it hard into the back of the net. After that goal the Galaxy seemed to have found their gameplay and utilized counter attacking to get up and create chances. In the last dying minutes, Tommy Meyer hustled to beat Pique to the ball from a corner kick and headed the ball past Barcelona’s goalkeeper.
Galaxy may have lost but the real winners are the fans because they got to see such a wide-pool of talent in their own backyard.