Thursday, May 17, 2007

Melbourne and Sydney fight for LA Galaxy friendly

Australia's two biggest A-League clubs, 2005-06 premiers Sydney FC and 2006-07 premiers and champions Melbourne Victory are both pitching to attract a friendly against David Beckham's new MLS USA club LA Galaxy. Sydney claims it has the inside running with a match a tentatively set down for Tuesday, 27 November in Sydney's former Olympics stadium. However, Melbourne Victory chairman Geoff Lord confirmed that his club has also been negotiating with the tour organisers to stage the game.

"We have been having ongoing discussions for some time," Lord told Ray Gatt of The Australian. "Obviously we feel we deserve to play the Galaxy. Melbourne's ability to stage big sporting events is renowned and I am sure we would sell out 58,000 at [Melbourne's roofed] Telstra Dome for such a game. But Galaxy is just part of some big plans we have in terms of exhibition matches ... and that's all I can really tell you about that at this stage."

Sydney FC officials are adamant the game should be played in what they surprisingly call "the greatest city in the world". The club believes it has had the inside running with Sydney FC part-owner, Australian and Hollywood actor Anthony LaPaglia, intimately involved in the negotiations. "Where else would you play the game but in the best city in the world and against the best club in the country," Sydney chief executive George Perry precociously told Gatt. "We have been in talks for some time. Obviously Anthony has played a pivotal role because of his friendship with (LA president and general manager) Alexi Lalas. I am sure we would get a huge crowd at [Sydney's] Telstra Stadium."

No comments: