The LA Galaxy announced today that they will play Australian club Newcastle Jets in an international friendly on Saturday, November 27 at EnergyAustralia Stadium in Newcastle. Local broadcast information and a complete schedule of events for this game will be announced at a future date.
"We are very excited to be returning to Australia, the site of one of our most memorable postseason matches, to play a friendly against Newcastle United Jets FC," LA Galaxy President of Business Operations Tom Payne said.
"Newcastle are a club with a long tradition of success in the Hyundai A-League and are making great strides at strengthening their ties to the local community. We believe that this match will help the Jets further those ties while also providing all of their fans in the Hunter Region with memories that will last a lifetime."
This will be the first-ever game between the Galaxy and Jets, who play their home games at EnergyAustralia Stadium, a 26,000 seat venue that opened in 1970. One of the A-League's original clubs, Newcastle began play during the 2005-06 season and qualified for the Finals series, the A-League's equivalent of the MLS Cup Playoffs, in each of their first three seasons. That run culminated with the club defeating their rival Central Coast Mariners 1-0 in the 2008 Grand Final, giving the club their first-ever championship.
The Jets returned to the Finals series last year, reaching the semifinals before being eliminated by the Wellington Phoenix. This season, the club sits in 10th place in the A-League with a 1-3-5 record for eight points through their first nine games of the season. Under the leadership of manager Branko Culina, the Jets have allowed the least goals in the league this season, conceding just six through their first nine games. Captained by former England international forward Michael Bridges, the club has been led this season by goalkeeper Ben Kennedy and former Australian international defender Ljubo Mili?evi?. The club also features forward Sasho Petrovski, who is one of the leading goalscorers in the history of the A-League.
This will be the Galaxy's third trip to Oceania in the last four years, having played once in Australia and twice in New Zealand. In November 2007, the club lost 5-3 to Sydney FC in front 80,295 fans at Telstra Stadium in Sydney, Australia. A few days later, the Galaxy defeated Hyundai A-League side Wellington Phoenix 4-1 at Westpac Stadium in front of a then-record crowd of 31,853, which was the biggest ever to see a soccer game in New Zealand. In 2008, the Galaxy returned to New Zealand, travelling this time to Auckland, where they defeated a team of Oceania All-Stars 3-0 at Mt. Smart Stadium.
The LA Galaxy are presented by Herbalife, a global network marketing company that sells weight-management, nutrition, and personal care products intended to support a healthy lifestyle. Herbalife will also be an official sponsor of the match between the Galaxy and Newcastle.