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International Champions Cup Preview: Real Madrid v LA Galaxy

Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos feels Landon Donovan is the main threat for LA Galaxy, ahead of the sides’ International Champions Cup clash.

The Spanish side will face Galaxy in Phoenix on Thursday for what will be the pair’s first appearances in the competition and Real’s vice-captain is well aware of Donovan’s talents.

As well as the 31-year-old United States international, Ramos also highlighted Ireland’s Robbie Keane as another player he and his Real team-mates will need to keep quiet, although the 33-year-old is a doubt for the game with a hip flexor injury.

“Los Angeles Galaxy are a leading team in this country,” Ramos told Real’s official website.

“They’ve won two titles in a row and it’s always good to face the best in order to be as ready as possible for the official season. Their biggest player is Donovan, but Keane also makes a difference.”

Ramos also explained that, with football on the up in the US, he feels the clash against LA Galaxy will offer a good test ahead of the Liga season.

The defender added: “They’ve also had strong growth in this country. They won the Gold Cup and continue to show progress and consistency today. As players we’re happy that they’re on par with the best competitions in the world.”

Real will use the tournament as an opportunity to prepare for the forthcoming La Liga season, which gets under way against Real Betis at the Santiago Bernabeu on August 18.

While a deal is yet to be reached over long-term target Gareth Bale, close-season signings Asier Illarramendi and Isco are both in the squad for the competition.

For Bruce Arena’s side, the tournament comes during the MLS season, with Galaxy currently fourth in the Western Conference.

They have been inconsistent in their form over the past month however, winning three times and losing twice in July.

The Galaxy will miss 14 days off from the MLS in total to feature in the competition, with the winners of the first round clash in Phoenix facing Juventus or Everton in the next stage on Saturday.

Wed 31 July, 2013
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