PASADENA, Calif. – Manchester United made an impressive debut under coach Louis 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 unsung defender 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.
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 at the World Cup earlier this month. United still outclassed the Galaxy in the meeting of David Beckham's two former clubs.
Luke Shaw and Ander Herrera also made their United debuts at the historic Rose Bowl.
Van Gaal's tenure got off to a start reflecting the confidence of United's veteran coach, who intends to return the 20-time English champions to immediate international prominence 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.
Van Gaal is still adjusting to his new job after spending the summer with the Dutch team, but he is already planning to spend more time around Old Trafford next summer. Van Gaal spoke out against lucrative preseason tours this week, saying the lengthy U.S. stay hinders his preparations for the season.
Van Gaal might not like the summer tour, but United got it off to a sparkling start with goals from likely and unlikely sources.
Rooney wasn't United's captain, ceding the job to Darren Fletcher, but the England star easily handled his scoring chances. James wasn't even listed on United's 25-man roster, but the 20-year-old defender provided two outstanding finishes against the Galaxy's ragged defense.
Herrera, the Spanish midfielder acquired from Athletic Bilbao last month, also looked sharp early.
United scored its first goal under Van Gaal when Juan Mata set up Welbeck in the 13th minute for a low 25-yard shot off Jaime Penedo's post.
After A.J. De La Garza was whistled for a handball in the 42nd minute, Rooney easily buried the penalty even though Penedo guessed correctly. Four minutes later, Welbeck's centering pass went through the legs of Galaxy defender Tommy Meyer, who crumpled to the ground as Rooney walked the gift into Penedo's net.
James put a sharp side-footed finish on a pass from Young for United's fourth goal in the 62nd minute. He then scored from distance on a deflection in the 82nd minute before Young capitalized on defensive blunders for two late goals.
The Rose Bowl was largely full for the late-starting friendly, with United supporters easily outnumbering the home team's fans. Thousands of Mexican fans in the announced crowd of 86,432 likely showed up hoping to see embattled striker Javier Hernandez, but Chicharito stayed on United's bench.
Even at a friendly, several fans exchanged shoves and yells outside the venerable stadium's southwest gate before security intervened.
United's tour continues Saturday in Denver against AS Roma, followed by matches with Inter Milan in Washington on Tuesday and Real Madrid in Michigan on Aug. 2.