Celebrating Independence Day with the Los Angeles Galaxy

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Are there any soccer fans out there? With the United States Men’s National Team’s surprising victory of Ghana in the World Cup, it seems like a lot of people have been jumping on the soccer band wagon here in the USA. When the USA was defeated by Belgium, many people jumped back off the band wagon. One of my sister in-law’s is a huge soccer fan. Last year, my wife and I had fun times when we went to see the Los Angeles Galaxy. So, this year, when the opportunity to see the LA Galaxy again arose on the 4th of July with a fireworks show afterwards, we were in.

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The LA Galaxy play at the StubHub Center (formerly the Home Depot Center) on the campus of California State University of Dominguez Hills. There’s a whole sports complex that they built when the MLS began. We made sure to leave extra early because you never know how bad traffic will be to get to the stadium or how bad parking will be. After all, this is a college campus. So, parking is occasionally a nightmare. Fortunately for us, it wasn’t and we arrived really early. That gave us a change to wander around the stadium a little bit before the game.

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The concourse area is really nice for a stadium.

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The StubHub Patio is kind of fun. They have some fake grass and pick nick tables with a fake fireplace and television for viewing the game.

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So, if you don’t want to eat your food in the stands, you won’t have to miss a minute of game action!

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As you can see, there were lots of people out for this game on Independence Day!

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On the end of the stadium that was opposite where we sat for the game, they had a lot of fun interactive things for fans to do before the game.

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I thought it was cool to see some people demonstrating their ball handling skills.

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They drew quite a crowd.

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Also, in that end of the stadium, there was another fun area to relax and watch the game on a giant television!

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While there are several merchandise stands, if you want the largest selection,  you should check out the Team LA store.

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One thing that is always fun are the names for the stands. This was my favorite!

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One thing that the StubHub Center has that I’ve never seen at another stadium or arena are food trucks. At halftime, Brooke and I went to this one to get some ice cream!

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I thought this sign was pretty funny. Not exactly the healthiest of messages to be sending. However, it fit the food truck.

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I almost forgot to mention…the LA Galaxy even have a Wall of Legends. Since the LA Galaxy (and the MLS) have only been around since 1996, I thought this was cool.

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While wandering around, we saw this guy. He had a lot of people following him. So, I asked one of them who he was. It was Omar Gonzalez of the United States Men’s National Soccer team (who also plays for the LA Galaxy). He just returned from playing in the World Cup. So, he didn’t play in the match we saw.

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We made our way back to our seats and watched the teams as they warmed up. Just like the year prior, we sat in general admission seats right behind the goal. In warm ups, it’s really important to pay attention. So many soccer balls come flying into the stands and they come very quickly. So, if you’re not paying attention, you could very easily get hit by a flying ball.

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After the teams left the field to get ready for the game, we saw Cozmo, the official mascot of the LA Galaxy.

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I’m not really sure about the tradition of this. However, I saw him do the same thing last year.

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The Marines came out with a giant flag and the Star Spangled Banner was sung…

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I took this picture before they started singing. Funny thing, though…there was the giant flag on the field and there was a flag hanging behind where I was sitting. So, when they started the national anthem, some folks saluted the flag on the field and others were turned around for the one that hung by the score board.

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I really liked the view we had from our seats. We were close to the action!

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This was one of the many saves the Portland goal keeper had in the first half. The Galaxy and the Portland Timbers played to a 0-0 halftime score. One of the reasons why I haven’t been the biggest of soccer fans in the past is that it is typically a low scoring sport. As I’ve watched more of it, because my wife’s side of the family is into soccer, I’ve learned that it’s a sport of tension and release. To know that a goal could be scored in a mere seconds is what makes this sport interesting. It’s kind of like baseball where, with one swing of the bat, you get a quick score.

One thing that makes the live LA Galaxy games fun is the constant chanting and singing of the Angel City Brigade. In section 121, the most die-hard of Galaxy fans sit. For the ENTIRE game, they will chant, clap, sing, cheer, or whatever they think the Galaxy needs from them. The above video is just a little taste of what you will hear from these fans for the entire game. Yes, ALL 90 minutes plus whatever stoppage time is added. They even have their own web page. You can see the chants here. It’s pretty official looking and so much fun. A guy went up and down the rows offering up a copy of the chants for those of us sitting in section 122 (where I sat).

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The game ended in a 2-2 draw. Considering that the second LA Galaxy goal came in stoppage time, it could have been a loss. If you want to see highlights from the game, click here.

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Since it was Independence Day, we got a really great patriotic fireworks show. After all, you can’t celebrate Independence Day without fireworks. Right?

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And with the Stars and Stripes Forever playing, the fireworks show came to a grand finish!

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In Los Angeles, we are lucky to have such a world-class professional soccer team.

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And we have the championship banners to prove it. If you’re ever in Los Angeles during the MLS season, you should check out the Los Angeles Galaxy web page here to see if they are playing at home. The games are really fun and the stadium is really nice. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if going to at least one LA Galaxy game a year becomes a tradition for my wife and myself.

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3 comments on “Celebrating Independence Day with the Los Angeles Galaxy
  1. Jim Connelly says:

    Wow. What a great summary. Thank you.

  2. Thanks for the pictures… I was one of the Marines carrying the flag. I couldn’t find any pictures of us at all.

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