Both the Los Angeles Galaxy and Juventus lost in the opening round of the International Champions Cup. The losses ended their hopes of winning the title and sent them into the consolation bracket for the remaining matches.
The Galaxy actually trailed Real Madrid by just one inside the last 20 minutes before Karim Benzema scored to put the match out of reach. It was a showing worthy of praise from the event's only American club, but they simply didn't have the pieces necessary to pull off the upset.
Juventus' loss to Everton came as a surprise due to the Italian squad's success last season. While they were able to equalize late in the match, they couldn't survive penalty kicks as the Toffees punched their ticket to the semifinals.
All that said, it should be an entertaining encounter between two defending champions. Let's examine the key information for the clash, followed by a preview and match prediction.
Where: Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, Calif.
When: Saturday, Aug. 3 at 10:30 p.m. ET (3:30 a.m. BT)
Watch: Fox Soccer Channel
Live Stream: Fox Soccer 2Go
What made the Galaxy's performance against Real Madrid impressive was the fact they were able to keep it close despite Landon Donovan, Robbie Keane and Omar Gonzalez not playing. The role players stepped up to avoid a blowout.
Of course, the Blancos are still searching for top form as they work toward the new campaign. If it was a midseason match with something important on the line, the result probably would be more lopsided. But it should still give Los Angeles some confidence.
Unlike the European clubs, the Galaxy are in the midst of their regular season, which is an advantage. They already have the chemistry the other squads are currently building, and which was noticeably absent for Juventus in their loss to Everton.
Alas, it's hard to imagine the Galaxy earning any victories in the tournament unless they get some star power back. Donovan, who was tremendous in the United States' run to the Gold Cup title, would give the club a much-needed attacking boost.
Los Angeles do not have the talent to keep pace with the marquee clubs otherwise.
Although it's just preseason, Juventus can't be happy with their performance against Everton. They struggled to maintain attacking pressure and allowed Everton, who lack offensive stars, to steal the win.
The only goal the Vecchia Signora scored came off a fortunate deflection in the Everton box. Full marks to Kwadwo Asamoah for striking a laser past Tim Howard, but better defending and Juventus wouldn't have found the scoreboard.
Juventus need a far more comprehensive effort in attack. Along with Asamoah, players like new arrival Carlos Tevez and Arturo Vidal must rise to the occasion. The Galaxy back line should provide less resistance than the wall Everton put up for most of the match.
Juventus are the deeper and more talented side. That should shine through, allowing them to earn the victory, but the Galaxy should be able to keep it close.
Prediction: Juventus 2, LA Galaxy 1