GALAXY: Real Madrid replaces Inter Milan

Real Madrid returns to the Galaxy's schedule this summer, replacing a game against Inter Milan at the Rose Bowl.

The European champion asked to be released from its date against the Galaxy after its North American schedule became unwieldy, and the Spanish powerhouse was only too happy to take its place, Galaxy president of business operations Tom Payne said.

The game with Real Madrid, which played the Galaxy in a Home Depot Center friendly in 2005, will be played Aug. 7 at 7:30 p.m. at the Rose Bowl.

Inter, which beat Bayern Munich last month to win the UEFA Champions League, has preseason games scheduled July 31 in Baltimore (against Manchester City), Aug. 3 in Toronto (against Panathinaikos) and Aug. 5 in Frisco, Texas (against FC Dallas). The five-time reigning Italian Serie A champions wanted to avoid a West Coast trek afterward.

“Their schedule became difficult, their travel schedule, and we realized Real Madrid wanted to come relatively late in the game,” Payne said Tuesday. “We agreed with (Inter) to let them out (of the contract), and we hope to bring them back in the coming years.”

Real Madrid, a club more prominent than Inter Milan, features several players who have starred at the World Cup: Brazil midfielder Kaka, Spain goalkeeper Iker Casillas, midfielder Xabi Alonso and defenders Sergio Ramos and Raul Albiol; Portugal forward Cristiano Ronaldo and midfielder Pepe; Netherlands midfielder Rafael van der Vaart; and Argentina forwards Gonzalo Higuain and Angel di Maria.

Jose Mourinho, who guided Inter to the European title, was hired as Real Madrid's coach at the end of May. He brought English power Chelsea to Southern California in 2006 and 2007.

Real Madrid, Payne said, “wanted to come to L.A. because the coach likes this market.”