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MLS 2015: Fixtures, Live Stream and TV Schedule, Designated Players and Preview

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistMarch 6, 2015

LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 07:  Juninho #19 of the Los Angeles Galaxy stands on the podium and hoists overhead the Philip F. Anschutz Trophy  after the Galaxy defeated the New England Revolution 2-1 in the 2014 MLS Cup at StubHub Center on December 7, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)
Victor Decolongon/Getty Images

Defending champions LA Galaxy kick off the 2015 Major League Soccer season on Friday at the StubHub Center against Chicago Fire, the start of a new term which sees two new clubs enter the division.

Newcomers Orlando City and New York City FC face off against each other on Sunday for the start of their maiden MLS campaigns, with each side looking to make an early impact.

With 20 teams competing in 2015, MLS is bigger than ever, and there will be some appropriately world-class talent on show, with the likes of Kaka and David Villa set to participate from the word go.

Here is the full schedule for Matchday 1 of action in MLS 2015:

MLS 2015: Matchday 1 Fixtures
DateTime (ET/GMT)FixtureTV Info
March 610 p.m./3 a.m. (next day)Los Angeles Galaxy vs. Chicago FireUniMas
March 73 p.m./8 p.m.DC United vs. Montreal ImpactN/A
March 74 p.m./9 p.m.Philadelphia Union vs. Colorado RapidsN/A
March 76 p.m./10 p.m.Vancouver Whitecaps vs. Toronto FCN/A
March 78:30 p.m./1:30 a.m, (next day)FC Dallas vs. San Jose EarthquakesN/A
March 78:30 p.m./1:30 a.m, (next day)Houston Dynamo vs. Columbus CrewN/A
March 710:30 p.m./3:30 a.m. (next day)Portland Timbers vs. Real Salt LakeN/A
March 85 p.m./9 p.m.Orlando City vs. New York City FCESPN2, Sky Sports 3 (UK)
March 87 p.m./11 p.m.Sporting Kansas City vs. New York Red BullsFox Sports 1, Sky Sports 3 (UK)
March 89:30 p.m./1:30 a.m. (next day)Seattle Sounders vs. New England RevolutionFox Sports 1
MLSsoccer.com

A full season fixture list can be found at MLSsoccer.com, with live streaming available via ESPN Player, Fox Sports GoUnivision Deportes and Sky Go.

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A key absentee will be Landon Donovan, MLS' most successful ever player, and a US soccer legend per ESPN's Paul Carr, the 33-year-old having retired after his final Galaxy triumph last season:

Paul Carr @PaulCarrTM

6 days until the @MLS season kicks off*. Landon Donovan is the only player to win MLS Cup 6 times.

Not only will he be missed by his LA teammates and coach Bruce Arena, but by the entire league in which he starred for so long.

However, Galaxy still have star forward Robbie Keane on their books—the Irishman netted 19 times last season per MLS—and will welcome Liverpool and England legend Steven Gerrard in July, with three months of the regular season remaining.

Another Premier League star, Frank Lampard, is also set to join up with New York City FC come the end of the English season, adding genuine world-class quality to the new outfit.

USMNT stars Michael Bradley, Jozy Altidore and DaMarcus Beasley will all be looking to make an impact in the coming season, and they are included in the list of designated players, per MLS:

MLS 2015: Designated Players
PlayerClub
David AccamChicago Fire
Kennedy IgboanaikeChicago Fire
Shaun MaloneyChicago Fire
Gabriel TorresColorado Rapids
Federico HiguaínColumbus Crew
Eddie JohnsonDC United
Fabian EspindolaDC United
Fabian CastilloFC Dallas
Mauro DiazFC Dallas
David TexeiraFC Dallas
DeMarcus BeasleyHouston Dynamo
Alexander LopezHouston Dynamo
Erick TorresHouston Dynamo
Omar GonzalezLA Galaxy
Robbie KeaneLA Galaxy
Ignacio PiattiMontreal Impact
Jerry BengtsonNew England Revolution
Jermaine JonesNew England Revolution
David VillaNew York City FC
Bradley Wright-PhillipsNew York Red Bulls
KakáOrlando City SC
Bryan RóchezOrlando City SC
Maurice EduPhiladelphia Union
Cristian MaidanaPhiladelphia Union
Fanendo AdiPortland Timbers
Liam RidgewellPortland Timbers
Diego ValeriPortland Timbers
Sebastian JaimeReal Salt Lake
Javier MoralesReal Salt Lake
Joao PlataReal Salt Lake
Alvaro SaboríoReal Salt Lake
Innocent EmegharaSan Jose Earthquakes
Matias Perez GarciaSan Jose Earthquakes
Chris WondolowskiSan Jose Earthquakes
Osvaldo AlonsoSeattle Sounders FC
Clint DempseySeattle Sounders FC
Obafemi MartinsSeattle Sounders FC
Matt BeslerSporting Kansas City
Graham ZusiSporting Kansas City
Jozy AltidoreToronto FC
Michael BradleyToronto FC
GilbertoToronto FC
Sebastian GiovincoToronto FC
Matias LabaVancouver Whitecaps FC
Pedro MoralesVancouver Whitecaps FC
Octavio RiveroVancouver Whitecaps FC
MLS

LA Galaxy are the favourites to lift a sixth MLS Cup this term, and despite losing Donovan and Marcelo Sarvas, they are still a very strong outfit who will be a match for anyone in 2015.

Seattle Sounders are similarly fancied to certainly make it to the playoffs at the end of the year as they return as defending Supporters Shield winners.

Brazil star and former AC Milan and Real Madrid player Kaka will draw much attention as a key part of Orlando City's team, and the 32-year-old is clearly expecting a significant test in MLS, per CNN:

There's a lot of good players that could have another team in Europe but they chose to come here. I think it's a good moment to be in this league. In a few years, we will listen a lot about the MLS. 

Last season's league top-scorer, Bradley Wright-Phillips, will be looking to match his contribution from last year when he bagged 27 goals as New York Red Bulls reached the conference final.

HARRISON, NJ - NOVEMBER 23:  Bradley Wright-Phillips #99 of New York Red Bulls and Andrew Farrell #2 of New England Revolution vie for the ball during the Eastern Conference Final - Leg 1 at Red Bull Arena on November 23, 2014 in Harrison, New Jersey. Rev
Mike Stobe/Getty Images

However, the New York outfit will be relying heavily on the 29-year-old Englishman, Thierry Henry having departed MLS last season, and it remains to be seen whether he can take up the mantle of being the go-to man.

There is set to be huge quality on show in this year's MLS, with a number of top-class players from abroad and at home in all 20 sides.

A quick start could be key for building momentum early in the season, and this weekend's matches are sure to be full of action and incident as play gets underway ahead of an exciting season.

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