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In Defense of the Friendly Season...Or Something

Harry How


That’s the question I keep asking myself every August. Yes Galaxy true believers, that lovely time of the year where the MLS season falls to the wayside to pay tribute to its Euro forefathers in hopes of their success rubbing off on MLS…or at least MLS making buku bucks in the process.

Why would I subject myself to the abject horror of seeing my team being completely dismantled by teams that spend more on one player than we do on a whole team? Being completely outnumbered in support for my home team by fellow Angelinos, some of which inexplicably have closer ties to Spanish royalty than the royalty of Hollywood, nearly every game.* Oh and did I mention the extra games that these "friendlies" add to an already congested schedule?

It amounts to a fundraiser for the league and, by extension, Los Angeles. I would rather see 360 minutes of telethon-style pandering by Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane than to suffer the complete and utter embarrassment that will likely be the next week of the International Champions (Sit down Everton and Valencia, you haven’t won anything in your league since 1986 and 2003, respectively) Cup.

So you can tell I hate these friendlies with a passion, right?

Well, not exactly.

Despite the completely rancid taste that ends up in my mouth, these friendlies are an opportunity to give the younger players extended play against quality opponents. No, really. I'm serious. The Galaxy as a whole could use the time to their shooting boots on *Cough* Zardes *Cough* and maybe do some soul searching to revive what has been another disappointing first half of the season.

But perhaps most important of all, occasionally these games can be fun for a casual fan. Even I, hardened super ultra supporter guy, can appreciate the failure that was Mario Balotelli's heel-flick in 2011 or David Junior Lopes scoring the whole goal against Tottenham last year. Remember that guy? He was so good.**

I'm not looking forward to play Real Madrid for the billionth time or dealing with Dodger Stadium next Saturday...but every once on a while, these sort of games are enjoyable. You're not in a constant state of near-heart attack for 90 minutes. For once you can sort of... actually watch your team without having losing your mind about the outcome.

Well that's until your favorite player goes down for the year with an needless injury in a needless game that's not worth anything. And the chants that aren't ours. And Ricardo Salazar! Oh GOD, RICARDO SALAZAR?!

I tried, America. I tried.

*Sorry, not sorry. Ever.
**No, he wasn't . Ever.