With several new signings in tow and six players from Castilla along for the ride, Real Madrid began their 2011 preseason on the campus of UCLA in Los Angeles, California earlier today. They will continue to train at UCLA ahead of their friendly this Saturday, July 16 against the Los Angeles Galaxy at the LA Memorial Coliseum.
The session contained a number of new faces. Newly signed Fabio Coentrao was with the squad, along with other newbies Nuri Sahin, Jose Callejon, and Raphael Varane. The team's other new signing, Hamit Altintop, is injured and will be out for a few months. Also joining the team for their trip to America are six players from Castilla, the team's youth squad. Goalkeepers Jesus and Tomas Mejias have been called up as well as field players Nacho Fernandez, Jorge Casado, Jese Rodriguez, and Joselu.
Also present at the session were defenders Sergio Ramos and Pepe, who each made news of their own Tuesday. Ramos signed a contract extension with Madrid through the 2016-17 season, while Pepe renewed his deal through 2015-16. Meanwhile, several players will notably be absent from the team's preseason preparations. Sergio Canales, Lass Diarra, Pedro Leon, and Royston Drenthe are linked with a move away from the Bernabeu, and did not travel to the U.S. Gonzalo Higuain, Angel Di Maria, and Fernando Gago are currently representing Argentina at the Copa America.
Real Madrid fans based in the U.S. who can't make it to Saturday's friendly in Los Angeles will have plenty of chances to see their favorite team. The game with the Galaxy will be televised live on ESPN2, and Real Madrid will play two more friendlies during the course of a week: against Chivas de Guadalajara in San Diego, and against Philadelphia Union in Philly. Both of those games will be televised on the ESPN family of networks as well. After the jump, find the full roster for Madrid's preseason tour of North America.Real Madrid 2011 Herbalife World Football Challenge Roster
GOALKEEPERS (4) - Iker Casillas, Antonio Adán, Jesús Fernández Collado, Tomás Mejías
DEFENDERS (10) - Raúl Albiol, Álvaro Arbeola, Ricardo Carvalho, Jorge Casado, Fábio Coentrão, José Nacho Fernández, Marcelo, Pepe, Sergio Ramos, Raphael Varane
MIDFIELDERS (7) - Xabi Alonso, José María Callejón, Esteban Granero, Kaká, Sami Khedira, Mesut Özil, Nuri Sahin
FORWARDS (4) - Karim Benzema, José Luis Mato San Martín, Jesé Rodríguez, Cristiano Ronaldo