Australian Cities Bid For Galaxy Visit

Two Australian cities are battling to host the L.A. Galaxy for an exhibition game when the Galaxy begin their worldwide tour with David Beckham after this season.

Melbourne and Sydney both want to host the game, for obvious reasons. With TV fees and gate takings from a 60,000-plus crowd, the club that hosts the event could gain as much as $1 million (AUS) - quite a large amount that would help any A-League team.

Melbourne Victory chairman Geoff Lord confirmed that his club has been in negotiations to stage the game against the Galaxy. "Melbourne's ability to stage big sporting events is renowned and I am sure we would sell out 58,000 at Telstra Dome for such a game." The Victory were A-League champions last year. "Obviously, we feel we deserve to play the Galaxy."

Sydney FC officials feel that their club should host the game - they believe their team has the inside track in negotiations because Sydney FC part-owner Anthony LaPaglia is a friend of Galaxy general manager Alexi Lalas. LaPaglia is one of the stars of the TV show "Without a Trace" and was a goalkeeper in the National Soccer League in the 1980s.

Said Sydney chief executive George Perry, "We have been in talks for some time. Obviously, Anthony has played a pivotal role because of his friendship with Alexi Lalas. I am sure we would get a huge crowd at Telstra Stadium."

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