Earlier this morning, the field for the 2015 International Champions Cup was revealed and on the list were our very own five-time MLS Cup Champions, the LA Galaxy. The list fields the likes of six European clubs, a Liga MX club and three MLS clubs. The ten team tournament will occur from July 11-August 5th in cities throughout the United States, with the schedule of matches being unveiled at the end of this month on April 28th. As part of this tournament, each team will play three matches, with each MLS Club hosting one.
“The Galaxy are honored to once again be a representative of Major League Soccer against the world’s top teams in the International Champions Cup,” said LA Galaxy President Chris Klein about being invited to the ICC. He then continued saying “This is the most storied and successful club in MLS, and competing in this tournament gives our fans an opportunity to see the Galaxy face the most successful clubs from other leagues around the world. We are looking forward to continuing the tradition of bringing global soccer to Southern California this summer.”
Here is a list of the 10 participants for the 2015 ICC:
New York Red Bulls
San Jose Earthquakes
The ten team list contains some of the biggest clubs in the world with Barcelona, Chelsea, Manchester United, and PSG. It also has a surprise in FC Porto, a team who is a very young and underrated side. Fiorentina currently in 5th in Serie A in Italy, boasts a good team as well. Then there is Club America, who is one of the most famous teams from Mexico(they’ll be facing the Montreal Impact in a 2 leg CCL Final soon), and the 3 MLS teams.
This will be the second time the LA Galaxy are participating in the ICC, after a 4th place finish in the inaugural edition of the ICC in 2013. The Galaxy had lost to Real Madrid 3-1 in the first match, then went on to defeat Italian giant Juventus 3-1 at Dodger Stadium, and concluded in a third place match with AC Milan, which saw the Galaxy fall 2-0. The Galaxy were competitive in all three games and that is what we hope for in these friendlies as well as no injuries.
Rumors have been swirling on the Twittersphere, that one of the matches that the Galaxy will be facing off with is FC Barcelona and its superstars of Lionel Messi, Neymar, Luis Suarez, Iniesta, and company as part of the ICC at the world famous Rose Bowl, in Pasadena. Check that match as a for sure sell out, as it pits arguably the best team in the world in FC Barcelona against our LA Galaxy. In my opinion, one of the best summer friendlies, with an amazing atmosphere, was the friendly back in 2009, which pitted these two teams against each other. Barca started the scoring off a missed chance by Messi and a rebound slotted home by Pedro, which gave Barca a 1-0 lead. In the 43rd minute, the moment of truth happened as Landon Donovan earned a free kick at the top of the box, which gave David Beckham a crack at goal. What a crack it was, at it sent all the boo birds shut and a stadium filled with cheer as he slotted it home into the top 90. The Galaxy went on to lose 2-1 but it was definitely a wonderful match. The “tiki-taco” style that LA has adopted from the tiki-taka from Barcelona will be on display and we will also have our big international DP signing in Steven Gerrard in our lineup as well. It will surely be a night of stars.
These international friendlies have its pros and cons, but don’t all friendlies have them no matter international or club? These matches will be a big boost in revenue and will be a great test and showing for all the players to get a taste of teams around the world. Yes the stadium usually is filled with the “Eurosnobs” and fans of the opposing team, but honestly, who cares. Go out, have some fun, enjoy seeing a soccer match that you won’t normally see during the MLS season. It’s great experience and exposure for our players, and from previous experience, these matches have actually helped. For example, the 7-0 loss to Manchester United, woke up the team and shot them on a run to win MLS Cup. These games mean nothing, and its a great $$ boost for the club, which can help in many different facets. Yes yes, I understand that there is a chance of injuries and such, but what do you feel about players going to play with their own National Teams during friendlies? They don’t count right? What if they get injured there? There are pros and cons in everything, and I feel that the pros of these friendlies go ahead of the cons.
With the Gold Cup this summer, the 3 MLS Clubs and Club America, could be missing players due to their international obligations. For example, Gyasi Zardes and Omar Gonzalez can possibly be missing on the roster due to the Gold Cup. On another spectrum the big European clubs could also be missing their South American talents due to rest, after a month long Copa America tournament from June-July, which will most likely see their South American talents join their clubs towards the middle to the end of the tournament.
This tournament in its 2 years of existence, the ICC has drawn 1,134,709 fans to its matches, 492,575 in 2013 and 642,134 in 2014. Surely the numbers for 2015 will compete with the numbers of the past 2 years, as fans will flock to see these matches.
The International Champions Cup will be televised as well as it will be seen in over 160 countries across the world. FOX will televise all of the tournament’s 17 matches live on FOX, FOX Sports 1 and FOX Sports 2.
The summer of soccer is back and the LA Galaxy are once again on the forefront of it all.