I'm in LA for a few weeks and last night I got to take in an LA Galaxy game. The home team won by the score of 4-0 against Toronto FC and I can't say that the game was particularly competitive. A Robbie Keane hat trick along with Steven Gerrard being introduced as a Galaxy player was the two highlights of an otherwise nondescript night. The stadium itself was quite simply not at the level that a venue holding major sporting events should be at. There are minor league baseball stadiums better equipped than StubHub Center. Perhaps it was viable when MLS started, but with soccer growing it is simply not acceptable as a venue. As always, if you need a refresher on the grading system, go to the 'Stadiums' category and scroll down.
Atmosphere: 3.5/10: Although the StubHub Center was loud, 98% of the noise came from the two designated cheering sections. The rest of the crowd seemed bored for the rest of the game outside of when the wave was going on. On top of that, parts of the stadium were half full at best and even the cheering section died down in the second half. The only person in the entire crowd who remained interested in the game for 90 minutes was the one banging on the drum. I'll be the first to admit that I'm not well-versed in MLS and that fan interest for the league isn't at the level of other sports. However, you would expect more from one of the league's most successful franchises, and one that's bringing in the marquee addition of the summer. Unfortunately, the crowd was mostly composed of people who seemed to be waiting for the game to end with no interest whatsoever in the game. It was not loud; as a matter of fact the noise level was below what you might expect at a Little League game at times. The crowd was between disinterested and not even present, and the game itself promoted boredom.
Quality of Facility: 2/10: Outside of the fourth of the stadium that was mostly empty, most of the stadium is composed of bleachers. That, along with barely 2 levels of seating and a location about a half-hour outside of Los Angeles makes the StubHub Center resemble a minor league ballpark more than anything. I find it somewhat disappointing that venues of this level still exist in the MLS which wants to consider itself a league on par with the rest of American sports yet cannot find the money for stadiums that are fit to house teams that play at a high level. The fact that nothing has even been brought up about this only reflects the low level of interest. Despite an uptake of fandom in soccer, whether it is through the success of both the men's and women's national teams or through the Premier League, the MLS itself has continued to toil in anonymity. And this is Exhibit A as to why.
Quality of Game: 1/10: If the stadium itself can be considered Exhibit A as to why the MLS hasn't thrived, the gameplay itself can be considered Exhibit B. Not only was this game noncompetitive, the buildup was not exciting and nondescript. Outside of the goals themselves, chances were few and far between as both teams struggled to string more than a few passes together without kicking the ball astray. The teams themselves seemed bored by the action as even Steven Gerrard, who was introduced at halftime, struggled to find anything beyond standard to say about joining his new club. The goals themselves weren't memorable whatsoever and with few chances in between, there was a lot to be desired. From a standpoint of competitiveness, this game had none. Toronto had next to zero chances before the score was out of their reach and once it was, they seemed to stop caring about anything other than what time the game was ending. Luckily, they were joined in that mindset by both the other team and the fans.
Other Things to do in the Neighborhood: 7.5/10: Although StubHub Center is located in Carson, that's only a short drive away from downtown LA. The drive of course can be rife with traffic which is to be expected but nonetheless, StubHub's proximity to the city is its only positive aspect.
Total: 14/40: If you're in LA, don't bother with this. There is so much to do there that spending 2 hours of your time watching the Galaxy is a ridiculous waste.