Game 1. It all begins somewhere.
That place? Orlando's Citrus Bowl. The grass? Turf. 60,000 screaming partisans.
Into that cauldron march the Sky Blues of New York City FC. Eleven men, some from Gotham, many from elsewhere, led by a Spanish legend, will face off against the Lions of Orlando City.
"It's been a long year and several months now since my last coaching job and my last opportunity to coach in a competitive match," head coach Jason Kreis said. "The last match was disappointing for me, since we lost in the MLS Cup finals. It's been a long time, it's been a ton of hard work. I really feel we have a good group put together ó we have a terrific staff and we've all worked extremely hard to get the players prepared for what should be a very fun 2015."
You want to watch. We tell you how. You want the facts, and you want to follow along. We walk along with you. This game is historical in all the ways you want it to be. For the first time in league history, two expansion teams square off against each other in their first-ever match. You better believe Orlando wants to open their account with a win in front of those 60,000 fans. For New York City, a season-opening victory would be made far more sweet were it to send those tens of thousands to wail inconsolately, gnash their teeth, and rend their garments.
HOW TO WATCH
Livestream — http://www.watchespn.com
Head-to-head: First meeting. They met two weeks ago in the first game of the preseason Carolina Challenge Cup. A tetchy game that bore little resemblance to a normal preseason tilt finished 1-1. Kaká scored, like you'd expect your star to score. New York City sub — and second overall MLS draft pick — Khiry Shelton came into the game three minutes after halftime; nine minutes later, Shelton scored the equalizer.
Return matches: You know there's going to be some. New York City hosts Orlando on July 26 at 2:30 p.m. in another nationally-televised game; the season series concludes back here in Florida on October 16, at 7 p.m.
Other facts: Even though this is the first time two expansion teams have played their first-ever games against each other, on three other occasions two expansion clubs have played each other in their first season. 1998 saw Miami Fusion and Chicago Fire; 2005 had Chivas USA and Real Salt Lake, and finally four years ago we had Portland Timbers and Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
MATCH THREAD RULES
This is our first-ever regular season match thread, so: Welcome! We're glad you're here! Wipe your feet, mind the gap, and be sure to check out the other pages at this outstanding site. While you're here, though, we have a few rules and regulations.
- Absolutely no links to illegal streams. They're bad and they get us in trouble.
- We have rules against "relentless negativity." Nobody likes a Negative Nancy, even if the team gets off to an awful start. Don't knee-jerk and post outlandish or hurtful things just because you're frustrated.
- Along those lines, outright abuse of players or match officials is verboten. It's fine to say "wow, that's a bad call, match official," but it's NOT okay to direct copious amounts of abuse in the direction of said official over a call you did not like.
- Treat other people in the match thread the way you would want someone else to treat your grandmother. Be nice. Observe Wheaton's Law. This is a community of fans, not an un-moderated message board.
Have fun. I believe that we can win. Let's see if we get off the year to a fantastic start.