PHILADELPHIA - Rhodes Field was host to the two-time MLS Cup champion L.A. Galaxy on Wednesday, as head coach Bruce Arena brought his club to University City to train in preparation for an MLS match with the Philadelphia Union on Thursday.
The Galaxy, one of the premier teams in Major League Soccer, feature world-renowned superstars David Beckham and Landon Donovan and are currently in first place in the Western Conference with the regular season winding down.
The training session was closed to the public, but the Penn coaching staffs were able to observe the session and near the completion, members of the men's and women's teams that were already in the athletic training room preparing for their own practice were able to catch a few moments of the Galaxy's training. As practice ended, there was time for interaction between the Penn group and members of the Galaxy as the above showing members of the men's and women's teams with Beckham shows.
"The Galaxy players and coaches were highly complimentary of Rhodes Field and appreciative of the privacy afforded the team as they prepare for an important match," men's head coach Rudy Fuller said. "They were very impressed with all of our facilities and their experience continues a long line of professional and national teams using Penn's facilities to train at a world-class level."
The chance to have one of the premier teams in Major League Soccer train at the home field of two teams atop their side of the Ivy standings was too good to pass up.
“This afternoon was a great opportunity for our teams to watch how the elite train and prepare for a match, both as players and coaches," women's soccer head coach Darren Ambrose said. "Everyone involved, from the Galaxy to the Penn staffs and student-athletes benefited from this partnership.”
Rhodes Field will return to hosting Ivy League soccer on Friday night when the women host Columbia at 7 p.m. The men's side plays the Lions on Saturday at 7 p.m.