If any competition signals the beginning of a new season, the International Champions Cup (ICC) has surely taken that particular mantle.
Hailing from the World Football Challenge (2009-2012), the past two pre-seasons have witnessed true European giants take their campaign's first steps on North American soil. Real Madrid were the inaugural winners of the ICC in 2013, followed by Manchester United last summer.
This year, the tournament has expanded further; more heavyweights are planning to indulge spectators in four continents and seven countries over the next 25 days.
It begins with the MLS' Los Angeles Galaxy hosting Liga MX's Club America on July 11.
Date: Saturday, July 11 (USA) / Sunday, July 12 (UK)
Time: 11:30 p.m. EST/4:30 a.m. BST
Venue: StubHub Center, Carson, California
TV Info: Fox Sports 1 / ESPN Deportes / Sky Sports 1
|Last 5 Results|
|Los Angeles Galaxy||Club America|
|W 4-0 Toronto FC||L 3-4 Pachuca|
|W 0-1 San Jose Earthquakes||L 3-2 Pachuca|
|L 3-1 San Jose Earthquakes||W 1-2 Atlas|
|W 5-0 Portland Timbers||W 3-1 Toluca|
|W 5-1 Philadelphia Union||W 3-1 Montreal Impact|
|@danieltiluk // Google|
Team News / Starting XIs
Player to Watch
Steven Gerrard is scheduled to make his debut for LA Galaxy in the International Champions Cup, according to the Liverpool Echo's Ian Doyle, and more than a few around the planet will be tuning in just to see the Liverpool legend.
He is set to appear in a sizable cameo, reported to be around one half. The 35-year-old Englishman has only been seen in a Liverpool shirt at club level; getting used to Gerrard in a colour other than Anfield's red should take longer than 45 minutes—if the feat is even possible.
Figuring out new team-mates, finding fitness and acclimating to southern Californian weather, Gerrard's first LA Galaxy outing should be one to remember.
In Gerrard's first match for the Galaxy, the rekindled partnership with former Tottenham Hotspur and Celtic forward Robbie Keane pitted against Club America's back four is the primary matchup to watch.
The Mexican outfit have not played a competitive match since May 17, whereas Los Angeles are in the midst of the 2015 MLS season. To make matters worse, some of America's key footballers—primarily centre-forward Oribe Peralta and right-back Paul Aguilar—are with Mexico at the 2015 Gold Cup.
As CF America are without a key individual up top, but more importantly in their defence, the British Isle connection between Gerrard and Keane (which had less than one season at Anfield) could receive a timely jump-start.