07 July 2013
It's been 86 years since Real Madrid played their first match in the United States and the relationship between the best club of the twentieth century and the North American country has only become closer since that first clash in 1927. Real Madrid will return to Los Angeles this summer for pre-season training. It will be the fifteenth time that Whites visit the U.S.; seven in the twentieth century and eight times since 2000.
In 1927 Luis de Urquijo became the first president to bring Real Madrid to the United States. De Urquijo chose the North American country as the place to put the finishing touches on an over two-month long tour that included visits to Argentina, Uruguay, Peru, Cuba and Mexico. The match was played against Galicia SC in New York and ended in a draw (1-1). Players from other squads travelled with the Whites, including Urquizu and Gurrucharri from Osasuna; Vidal and Travieso, from Athletic de Bilbao; Esparza from Tolosa; Quico Marin and Triana from Atletico de Madrid ; and Pachuco Prats from Murcia.
Thirty years passed before Real Madrid stepped onto U.S. soil again. In 1959 Di Stefano, Puskas and Gento led a history-making squad that had won four consecutive European Cups. They would win their fifth that same season, but the team returned to the United States first. President Santiago Bernabeu’s Real Madrid made history again by playing on the baseball field of the former Brooklyn Dodgers (now the Los Angeles Dodgers). The Whites thrashed Austrian team Graker 2-6, following the win with a match against a squad of Austrian-Hungarian exiles living in America. The Whites picked up another win (0-8) in front of 26,000 spectators.
Real Madrid changed the East coast for the West two years later. This was the Whites first trip to Los Angeles, a city that would host the final match of a nearly month-long tour throughout the Americas in 1961: Chile, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Canada and the U.S.A. Real faced off against Los Angeles United and the kick off was made by legendary movie actress Rita Hayworth, who watched Real Madrid win from the Director’s Box (9 -0) with a hat-trick by Di Stefano and braces by Puskas and Del Sol.
The fourth visit to the United States was in 1965, the season in which the Whites would win their sixth European Cup. This sixties’ generation of Real players included Grosso, Zoco and Serena, leading names on the squad that drew 1-1 against Club Atletico Independiente (Independiente de Avellaneda) in New York’s Dourming Stadium.
Houston was the city that hosted Real Madrid next, in 1967. Expectations were high: 35,000 fans turned out for the match and two Mexican television stations televised the game live. The Whites were at their peak and with the help of Amancio, Zoco, Pirri and Velázquez defeated West Ham United (2-3).
The same players changed Houston for the Big Apple a year later. Facing off against New York General, the Whites picked up the win in the Yankee Stadium with a brace by Miguel Perez (1-4).
Twenty-two years passed before Real Madrid returned to the United States. La Quinta del Buitre, who had racked up five consecutive Ligas, spent 20 days in Mexico and the United States. The squad played four matches in Los Angeles and won three (against West Bromwich Albion (6-1), FK Cologne (1-0) and the CONCACAF side (0-2)), losing only to Mexico (3-1).
A twentieth-century constant that continues into the twenty-first
The White’s first twenty-first-century visit to the United States was in 2002, the same year Real Madrid celebrated its Centennial and won its ninth European Cup. With Roberto Carlos, Figo, Zidane, Raul and Casillas on the squad, the Whites travelled to New York to face off against Roma in a match that would end in a draw at 0-0.
Three years later, with Ronaldo and David Beckham at the helm, Real Madrid kicked off a tour in Chicago that would take them through Mexico, the United States, China, Japan and Thailand. The Whites defeated Chivas de Guadalajara (1-3) and Los Angeles Galaxy (0-2). Interestingly, the latter will be the first opponent that Real Madrid will come up against this summer in California.
The Whites played two additional matches in North America before heading home. The first was in Seattle against DC United (1-1), followed by a match against Real Salt Lake City in Utah, which Real Madrid won 0-2. The squad would go on to win their thirtieth Liga that season.
Real Madrid decided to once again make the trip Washington four years ago. The FedEx field hosted a match between DC United and Real Madrid; the Whites, with new players Cristiano Ronaldo and Kaka, would defeat the local team 0-3.
Real Madrid spent their first preparation stage in Los Angeles in 2010. The training period was followed by two friendlies against local team Galaxy at the Rose Bowl as well as a match against Mexico’s Club America in San Francisco. The Whites won both clashes, oddly enough by the same score: 2-3.
The last time Real Madrid made the trip to the United States was last year. The Whites completed their preparation stage in California for the second year running, and the squad played three friendlies during their 13 day stint on American soil. The first was against Galaxy in Los Angeles, the second against Chivas de Guadalajara for Real’s first trip to San Diego, and the tour was capped off in Philadelphia against Philadelphia Union.
The squad trained once against at the UCLA campus last season, visiting Los Angeles, Las Vegas, New York and Philadelphia to play against Galaxy, Santos Laguna, Milan and Celtic, respectively.
The story of the fifteenth trip to the U.S. is yet to be written. Phoenix, Los Angeles, Miami and St. Louis will host the Whites as they play against rivals like Galaxy and Inter Milan in a country that, after so many years, is starting to feel like home.
|REAL MADRID MATCHES IN THE U.S.|
|1927||New York||Galicia S.C.||1-1|
|1959||Brooklyn (New York)||Graker||2-6|
|1961||Los Ángeles (California)||Los Ángeles United||0-9|
|1965||New York||Independiente de Avellaneda||1-1|
|1967||Houston (Texas)||West Ham United||2-3|
|1968||New York||New York General||1-4|
|1990||Los Ángeles (California)||West Bromwich Albion||1-6|
|Selección de la Concacaf||0-2|
|2005||Chicago (Illinois)||Chivas de Guadalajara||1-3|
|Los Ángeles Galaxy||0-2|
|2006||Seattle (Washington)||D.C. United||1-1|
|Utah||Real Salt Lake City||0-2|
|2010||Los Ángeles (California)||Los Ángeles Galaxy||2-3|
|San Francisco (California)||América de México||2-3|
|Los Ángeles (California)||Los Ángeles Galaxy||1-4|
|San Diego (California)||Chivas de Guadalajara||0-3|
|Filadelfia (Pensilvania)||Philadephia Union||1-2|
|2012||Los Ángeles (California)||Los Ángeles Galaxy||1-5|
|Las Vegas (Nevada)||Santos Laguna||1-2|
|Philadelphia (Pensilvania)||Celtic de Glasgow||0-2|