CHESTER, Pa. – If anyone knows the Los Angeles Galaxy team set to meet the Philadelphia Union at PPL Park on Thursday night, it’s midfielder Stefani Miglioranzi.
The Brazilian spent two stints in the City of Angels over his lengthy career before being picked in the expansion draft by the Union in 2009.
“It’s going to be a great game and it’s good for our fans to have all this attention around it,” Miglioranzi said Wednesday. “We have three very tough matches left against the Galaxy, New York Red Bulls and Columbus Crew, so it’s great for us to go out with such strong competition.
"We’re really looking forward to the match as a team and it should be great for everyone watching.”
Miglioranzi made 23 appearances for the Galaxy last season before he was selected by Peter Nowak in the expansion draft last November. Playing under Bruce Arena, the 33-year-old knows the winning mentality the former USMNT coach has tried to create with Philly's opponents, and that it’s paying dividends this season.
“The culture that they are trying to create is that they want to win, and if bringing in big name players is how they’ll do that then that’s great,” Miglioranzi said. “It’s also great for the fans of the league because they can go to the games and see some of their favorite players on the field, and it’s a real treat for them whenever they take the field."
Those big names -- including David Beckham, Landon Donovan and Edson Buddle -- are partly the responsibility of Miglioranzi, but he knows the threat doesn’t end there.
“Obviously, you have to worry about guys like Landon Donovan and Edson Buddle,” Miglioranzi said. “They are the main guys on that team but they have a lot of talented players outside of those guys. When you look at Sean Franklin coming from the back, he really poses problems and we’ll have to keep our attention focused on him.
“Looking at their season, though, they have been successful because they play as a team and put in a team effort, which is something they can be very proud of.”