Finally, a preseason game that we can watch! Tottenham Hotspur kicks off their three-match U.S. tour on Tuesday night in Los Angeles, or early on Wednesday morning in the U.K., when they take on the LA Galaxy at the Home Depot Center. The Galaxy are coming off of a 3-1 win over local rivals Chivas USA and play again this weekend, on national TV against FC Dallas.
Fans hoping to get a glimpse of how well Landon Donovan and David Beckham play against Premier League competition are shoot out of luck. Both players will sit out the friendly
since it's between two competitive games and LA is battling to make the playoffs after a slow start in MLS because they're at the MLS All-Star Game, which I forgot existed.. Omar Gonzalez will probably get 45 minutes as he works his way back to full fitness. Most of LA's other starters will get 30-45 minutes, but expect most of the guys who play to be the Galaxy's reserve guys. Robbie Keane should play against his old team, but I don't expect him to play more than one half.
Not that results are ever worth talking about in preseason, but it will be mildly concerning if Spurs don't beat the Galaxy B team. The Galaxy are an excellent team when completely healthy, but that hasn't been the case since the MLS Cup Final. This team is entirely average right now, even with Becks and Donovan on the pitch.
Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Gareth Bale both missed the last friendly due to injuries, but they're back in training and should get some minutes on Tuesday. Rafael Van der Vaart and Jermaine Defoe have returned as well, back from their extended break following Euro 2012. Steven Pienaar, who started the last game, was left in England and should be making a move to Everton soon. If you live under a rock, Luka Modric isn't available either.
Andre Villas-Boas played a 4-2-3-1 formation instead of his favored 4-3-3 against Stevenage and that should continue against the Galaxy. Andros Townsend could get a start on the left after his great second half performance in that match, while one of Van der Vaart or Gylfi Sigurdsson should come in for David Bentley in the No. 10 role. I'm expecting one of Tom Carroll or Tom Huddlestone next to one of Jake Livermore or Jermaine Jenas based on the Stevenage friendly. Livermore and Jenas could potentially play together, but don't count on it.
Michael Dawson and Younes Kaboul started together in the last friendly, and it's important that Dawson continues to get minutes after this long layoff from football, but I'm hoping to see Kaboul and Jan Verthongen get an extended run together at some point in this match. We'll have another post later in the day elaborating on exactly what I'd like to see in this match. Expect that during the late afternoon in the United States, after dinner in the UK. The game thread will go up 30-45 minutes before kickoff with lineups.
Game Date/Time: Tuesday, July 24, 7:30 p.m. local, 10:30 p.m. ET, 3:30 a.m. UK (on July 25)
Venue: Home Depot Center, Carson, Calif.
TV: ESPN (UK)
Online: ESPN3 (USA), Spurs TV Online (UK)