PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — Although Louis van Gaal intends to restore Manchester United to its former international glory, even the veteran coach was impressed when his new club scored a virtual touchdown at the Rose Bowl.
United made an impressive debut under Van Gaal on Wednesday night, with Wayne Rooney scoring twice late in the first half of a 7-0 victory over the LA Galaxy.
Ashley Young and Reece James scored two second-half goals apiece as United opened its summer tour with a surprisingly polished win over MLS' overmatched Galaxy in the Guinness International Champions Cup.
Van Gaal doesn't subscribe to the notion that such a friendly is meaningless, not when United have so much work to do this summer.
"I think always the results do matter," Van Gaal said. "With such a result, you get confidence, and also confidence in a new system. The boys are willing to pick up all the info. We have given a lot of info, but it's fantastic how they performed today."
Van Gaal's tenure got off to a start reflecting the confidence of the veteran manager, who revealed a system similar to the attack of his Dutch World Cup team. The tactics might be unfamiliar to United fans, but they worked splendidly in a stunning start.
"When you see us train, you can expect something, but not 7-0," Van Gaal said. "That for me was a surprise, and there were some beautiful goals. They scored out of some good attacks."
Danny Welbeck scored the first goal for Van Gaal, who has had limited work with his new club after leading the Netherlands to a third-place finish in Brazil earlier this month. United still outclassed the Galaxy in the friendly between two of David Beckham's former clubs.
Luke Shaw and Ander Herrera also made their debuts while United won by a familiar American football score at the Rose Bowl, the venerable college football stadium.
"It was surprisingly good," said goalkeeper Anders Lindegaard, who played the second half. "The first game of a preseason tour is always difficult, and a new manager and a new system could make it more difficult, but it went really well."
Van Gaal was hired to repair the 20-time English champions after David Moyes' poor tenure. United finished seventh in Moyes' only season as Alex Ferguson's replacement after 26 years, failing even to qualify for Europa League play.
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