The 2015 MLS Season is here, and it will kick off at the home of the defending champions.
The Los Angeles Galaxy will begin defense of their MLS Cup title at the Stub Hub Center against the Chicago Fire in the first match of the 2015 campaign (10pm, UniMas/Direct Kick).
The post-Landon Donovan era will begin for Bruce Arena’s side as the Galaxy take on a Chicago Fire team that has undergone a dramatic transformation. Frank Yallop has brought in a slew of new signings to try and help the Fire return to the glory of old, and at the very least improve on what was a largely disappointing 2014 season.
SBI will be providing live commentary on tonight’s match, with LA Galaxy beat writer Mark Edward Hornish on site, and members of the SBI editorial staff will be providing updates throughout the match. Feel free to join us and follow all of the action here. As always, you are welcome to share your own thoughts and opinion in the comments section below.
Enjoy the action (Tonight’s commentary is after the jump):
By RYAN TOLMICH
The 2015 MLS regular season upon us, and with it ends an offseason full of additions, subtractions and overall change.
With two new teams as well as countless new players, the 2015 MLS season has been a busy one, but SBI has you covered if you need to catch up on the offseason dealings.
SBI kept track of each and every move made this offseason and offered previews of each of MLS’ 20 teams. From Cup contenders to cellar dwellers, SBI has broken down each team’s offseason moves, aspirations and potential outlooks.
Take a closer look at all of SBI’s 2015 MLS preseason coverage, as well as the league power rankings voted on by the site’s staff after the jump: Continue reading
By AARON CRANFORD
New York City FC inked two more players two days before their inaugural season kicks off.
NYCFC announced the signing of Spanish midfielder Pablo Alvarez while also officially announcing the signing of Shay Facey on loan from Manchester City today.
The 34-year-old Spaniard last played for Langreo, a club that currently plays in the third division of the Spanish league system. He spent the beginning of last year making appearances for Spanish second-division side CD Lugo, but Alvarez changed clubs midyear and made 13 appearances for Langreo to end 2014. He started for NYCFC in their 2-1 preseason loss to the Houston Dynamo and Jason Kreis sees him being an important role model going forward.
“Pablo has integrated well with the squad over the course of the preseason,” Kreis told NYCFC.com. “His experience will add an important veteran presence to the team both on and off the field. We have worked hard to build a team with a balance of youth and experience and that should serve us well as we head into the season.” Continue reading
By ALAN CONDON
After an impressive start to the 2015 CONCACAF U-17 Championship, U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team head coach Richie Williams has heaped praised on the strength and versatility of his 20-man roster, but insists they must not get complacent against hosts Honduras in their next challenge.
The U.S. U-17s have won their opening three games in the tournament in impressive style, scoring 11 goals and conceding just one in reply. Their most recent 4-1 victory over Guatemala featured seven changes to the starting 11, reaffirming Williams’ belief in the depth and quality trickling through the entire U.S. U-17 squad.
“We said from the beginning of the tournament when we announced our roster that we felt we had a deep roster, that we trust everybody on the team – all 20 players – when they’re called upon,” Williams said, via U.S. Soccer. “They’ve all played in major international matches over the last two years, so we have confidence in all the players, and they should have confidence when they step on the field. We feel like we can put any of our 20 players on the field and play well and get a good result.”
“Coach always tells us that we’re a really good team, that we’re stacked – not one, but two in every position,” added U.S. U-17 midfielder Eric Calvillo. “We have guys that come off the bench when we need them and do good work, and guys that can start any game. And we saw that today.” Continue reading
By ADAM TROXTELL
With Barcelona back within reach of first place, league leaders Real Madrid face even more pressure on the road against Athletic Bilbao.
A draw against Villarreal last Sunday leaves Real Madrid two points ahead of its El Clasico rival in the Spanish Primera Division. Los Blancos were held to a draw the last time they visited San Mames Barria, but they have won eight of the last nine encounters against Bilbao stretching back to 2010.
Barcelona plays Rayo Vallecano the following day, having beaten the Madrid-based side each of the last seven times the teams have met. Elsewhere in Spain, third place Atletico Madrid plays fourth-place Valencia.
The English FA Cup quarterfinal round pits Aston Villa against rivals West Brom on Saturday. Liverpool faces Blackburn on Sunday in the first meeting between the teams since 2012.
In Italy, Napoli will try to solidify its position in third place when Inter Milan pays a visit on Sunday. The Naples side edged Inter 1-0 in Coppa Italia play last month, but the teams played out an exciting 2-2 draw when they last met in Serie A.
Cruz Azul will try to halt a two-game skid against Atlas in a match between the sixth and seventh placed teams in Liga MX. Elsewhere, Pachuca will try to bounce back from CONCACAF Champions League elimination with a game against the only Mexican team remaining in that competition, Club America.
The weekend ends with a trio of MLS games in the league’s opening weekend. Expansion teams Orlando City and New York City FC start things off on Sunday, followed by Sporting Kansas City and New York Red Bulls. Seattle Sounders and MLS Cup finalists New England Revolution wrap up the weekend in the late kickoff.
Here is this weekend’s soccer on TV (schedule after the jump):