LA Galaxy will play rivals LAFC and SJ Earthquakes in the first six games of regular-season return.
The LA Galaxy and Major League Soccer announced six more games in what will hopefully be an additional 18 in this pandemic affected 25th season of the league. The announcement, released today, has the Galaxy traveling to rivals LAFC on Saturday, August 22, with a nationally televised, over-the-air broadcast, game on FOX to kick things back off (all kick-off and broadcast channels will be announced at a later date).
The Galaxy will play hosts to LAFC on Sunday, September 6, and play games against MLS Cup Defending Champions Seattle Sounders, the San Jose Earthquakes twice, and the MLS is Back finalists Portland Timbers.
That’s a total of six games split evenly between home and away games and being hosted and played within each teams home markets. And in some cases — where local health officials have allowed it — a limited number of fans could be in attendance. Currently, there are no such rules enabling the Galaxy to have fans in their stadium.
MLS is planning on announcing additional games towards the end of September while taking a phased approach to these initial six games that are scheduled to be completed by September 14. Additionally, because of travel restrictions between Canada and the United States, All three Canadian teams will only play each other during this first phase.
For the Galaxy, there is no end in sight to their woes as the unbalanced schedule does them no favors. Currently, in last place in the 12-team Western Conference, the Galaxy will face one game against the third-place Timbers, two games against fourth-place LAFC, one game against the fifth-place Sounders, and two games against the sixth-place Earthquakes.
For all games, travel will be done via chartered flights or busses. For most of the matches, the league will see teams travel to the stadium the morning before the match and depart immediately afterward — thereby eliminating the need to stay overnight in markets.
But the big question for the Galaxy and MLS is whether or not they can continue to play regular-season games outside of the successful bubble they created for the tournament.
In recent days both Major League Baseball and the United Soccer League have postponed or canceled games due to larger outbreaks within individual clubs. And for the Galaxy, they’ve had multiple players test positive for LA Galaxy II in the last couple of weeks. The real world, it seems, provides much less room for error than the bubble.
MLS, in an attempt to boost team revenues for this shortened and interrupted season, has also increased the total number of teams that make the post-season to 18 teams. With the final day of the regular season scheduled for November 8, and the start of the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs kicking off 12 days later. Currently, MLS Cup is scheduled for December 12.
With their worst start in franchise history, the Galaxy have no wins through their first five games of the season, and left the group stage of the MLS is Back Tournament with just one point. They’re also suffering through two injuries to two of their three Designated Players — Jonathan dos Santos (Hernia Surgery), and Javier ” Chicharito” Hernandez (Calf).
And with the transfer window opening on August 12, the Galaxy have a chance to reinforce and replace some of their squad before the regular season’s resumption.
Whether or not they’ll do so, and whether or not those additions can help the Galaxy is another question altogether.