Tauranga-born winger Tyler Boyd could make his first MLS appearance this weekend before a record 75,000+ crowd at LA Galaxy’s Rose Bowl stadium.
The former All White is the Galaxy’s latest signing and is expected to go straight into the matchday squad for the club’s season opener on Sunday (NZT) against local rivals Los Angeles FC.
With a week to go, Galaxy say 90% of their stadium is sold out, with more than 70,000 tickets sold. The attendance could challenge the all-time single-game attendance record of 74,479 set last year by Charlotte FC.
How game in Wellington turned Boyd into a Galaxy fan
In his first interview since confirming his move to the Galaxy, Boyd has revealed he’s been a fan of the club since watching them play the Wellington Phoenix at Westpac Stadium (now Sky Stadium) in late 2007.
“I think (David) Beckham was on the team,” Boyd (28) told Daily Breeze writer Damian Calhoun.
“We actually travelled down to Wellington to watch the game.
“I think I was 13 at the time.”
Beckham’s touring Galaxy side beat the Phoenix 4-1 in the exhibition game which drew 31,853 spectators, a record for a New Zealand match, eclipsing the 1981 All Whites-Kuwait World Cup qualifier at Mt Smart Stadium.
Boyd has signed a one-year contract with the Galaxy after he became a free agent in late 2022 when he and Turkish Süper Lig side Beşiktaş J.K. mutually agreed to end his contract.
Though he had been training with Galaxy, and had played a pre-season game for the club, his transfer had been held up by a wrangle with the Turkish club.
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Boyd: ‘I’m over the moon to be here’
Boyd, who learned his football in the WaiBOP region for clubs such as Melville United and Waikato FC, spent three years with the Wellington Phoenix before heading abroad for a professional career.
After playing for the All Whites, he switched his allegiance to the United States — where his mother was born — and has 10 caps for the US national team.
Now the Galaxy fan has become the Galaxy player.
“I used to support the Galaxy growing up as a kid,” he said.
“Me and my dad used to come to the games here. I’m over the moon to be here, I can call it home. This was my favourite club growing up, biggest club in the league … I’m ready to represent this shirt.”