Getting beat to the tune of 7-0 by English football giants Manchester United is not something most players would want to dwell on. Taken as a whole, the talent gap between the two sides is obvious and the LA Galaxy simply have to focus on their next MLS appearance.
That's why the experience has to be mined down to the individual. Especially for the younger players, this was a chance to see the way players at the top conduct themselves. Much of it is timing, players simply don't have the time to adjust the way they do in MLS when United players are making decisions that much quicker. Tommy Meyer falling over in the penalty area when a cross was placed slightly behind him was a great example of how quick thinking can leave your marker looking silly.
"If [young Galaxy players] aspire to be top flight professionals," said Bruce Arena, "they see some of the top flight professionals and the way they conduct themselves on the field and speed of play. Our young players - a number of our players - still are not quality passers. And one thing you saw tonight, the passing by Manchester United was quick and crisp; it was of quality."
No one's keeping track of passing statistics in a friendly, but the difference was fairly event. As the Galaxy deal with a handful of injuries, and no sign of reinforcements, the younger players will be called on to contribute. Kenney Walker, Tommy Meyer, and Kofi Opare have all been called upon recently and the gulf in quality was evident.
"It's also speed of thought," said Bruce Arena. "Quickness in moving, winning tackles, running off the ball...all the simple things we frequently talk about but unless you see it live and in real life it's sometimes hard to have a picture of it, and they got a great picture of it tonight."
It shouldn't be news that Ashley Young and Rafael are better than any young defenders the Galaxy could throw at them. However, It's occasionally good to remember that success at the USL-PRO level is about as meaningful as success on the moon. Chandler Hoffman isn't going to rake the way he does against Sacramento Republic against the Seattle Sounders.
"Against Arizona SC you get away with that but against Manchester United who are a team full of guys fighting for jobs," said Landon Donovan, "you don't get away with that. So, that's all part of it, all part of learning process. At the end of the day, it doesn't feel good to lose 7-0, but when you look at it more critically, you understand why."
Moving forward, players have to see what they've learned and how they can improve individually.