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Galaxy, America triumph in double-header at glitzy new stadium

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Honors were even between the United States and Mexico on Wednesday, with LA Galaxy and Club America walking away with wins in a friendly Double League Cup header at SoFi Stadium.

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The glitzy $5 billion home of the NFL’s Los Angeles Rams, named in June as one of the venues for the 2026 World Cup, hosted football games for the first time, attracting 71,189 spectators.

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Major League Soccer Galaxy opened the evening with a 2-0 victory over Liga MX team Chivas Guadalajara.

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Club America then beat Los Angeles 6-5 on penalties after their match ended 0-0.

Playing in Nashville, Salt Lake City and Cincinnati, the friendly matches are a preview of next year’s League Cup Tournament, a month-long event featuring all 47 Liga MX and MLS teams with spots in the CONCACAF Champions League.

The stadium needs some modifications to be able to host World Cup matches. Wednesday’s games were played on a grass field temporarily laid on top of the stadium’s regular artificial turf.

The field was less than 63 meters wide – at least five meters narrower than FIFA prefers – but it will be modified for the World Cup with some seating removed.

Dejan Jovelic and 19-year-old Jonathan Perez scored for the Galaxy and led the MLS club to victory in the first leg.

Jovelic continued to pick up form, bumping into a corner from Efrain Alvarez and shooting into the net.

Pérez sealed the win with a spectacular goal in the 62nd minute, intercepting a pass from Samuel Grandseer from outside the box and shooting from long range that hit Chivas goalkeeper José Rangel.

Former Galaxy striker Manchester United Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez, who started his professional career at Chivas, played the first 45 minutes before being substituted in a string of substitutions at both clubs.

The second match was a lively one, with Club America forcing LAFC goaltender John McCarthy to make a couple of jump saves, and LA forwards Latif Blessing and Kwadwo Opoka were threatened.

LAFC nearly lost at the end of the first half when defender Mamadou Fall was shown a straight red card after a tackle, but it was annulled after a video review.

In the shootout, each keeper made one save before Club America’s Emilio Lara shot past McCarthy at 5-5 and LAFC midfielder José Cifuentes swept over the bar.

LAFC star Carlos Vela came out after the break and Gareth Bale, a recent signing from Real Madrid, entered the pitch in the 62nd minute.

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Source: sports.yahoo.com

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