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LA Galaxy Head To Australia To Face Newcastle Jets

The Los Angeles Galaxy have one more match on the docket for 2010, a friendly against Newcastle Jets down in Australia. Having lost to FC Dallas in the Western Conference Final 0-3, the Galaxy now begin their offseason with the Quantas Airlines Challenge, an international friendly with a team from Australia's Hyundai A-league. The game will be played in EnergyAustralia Stadium in Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia on Sat., Nov. 27, kicking off at 12:30 p.m. PST on Fox Soccer Channel. 

This is the second trip to Australia for the Galaxy, having played Sydney FC in front of 80,000 fans just after the David Beckham signing in 2007. The Supporter's Shield winning LA Galaxy will be facing the 2008 champion of the A-league who currently sit in ninth place in the A-league with a 2-5-6 record. The Jets sit five points outside of the last playoff spot, earning 12 points in their first 13 games. 

The Jets are led by Branko Culina, and have managed to take 4 points in their last two games from top opponents. They've only allowed 11 goals in the 13 matches so far this year. This past Saturday saw the Jets claim their best result of the season, a 3-1 victory over second place Adelaide, with Australian forward Marko Jesic scoring his first two goals of the season. On Wednesday they held first place Brisbane to a 1-1 draw. 

Expansion Draft Looms

With the 2011 debuts of the Vancouver Whitecaps and Portland Timbers just around the corner, an expansion draft will be help Wed., Nov. 24. The Galaxy are allowed to protect 11 players and need to submit a list of the 11 by Monday. Homegrown players don't need to be protected, which means Tristan Bowen is automatically safe. Commissioner Don Garber announced yesterday that the homegrown player rule was expanding: right now teams can add two players from their youth academies without having to go through the superdraft, that cap is now removed and teams can add unlimited numbers of players from their youth academies. This along with the return of the reserve league signal positive progress in the area of player development, especially after it was announced teams will no longer be able to fill their reserve teams with members of staff and sportswriters.