NEW YORK - Major League Soccer today unveiled the full slate of six matches scheduled for the opening weekend of the 2005 regular season on Saturday, April 2, 2005. The League's 10th season will open with First Kick 2005 and the highly anticipated first game in the history of Club Deportivo Chivas USA as they play host to MLS Cup champion D.C. United at The Home Depot Center in a match to be broadcast live on ABC Sports (3:00 p.m. ET).
CD Chivas USA joins Real Salt Lake as the two expansion clubs to join the League in 2005. The first game in Real Salt Lake history will take place at Giants Stadium as RSL faces the MetroStars (7 p.m. ET). Former U.S. Under-17 National Team Head Coach John Ellinger will coach his first MLS game against Bob Bradley, the all-time winningest coach in League history.
The other matchups scheduled for opening weekend include: the Los Angeles Galaxy taking on the Columbus Crew, winners of the 2004 MLS Supporters Shield with the best regular season record (7:30 p.m. ET); the MLS Western Conference Champion Kansas City Wizards hosting the new-look Colorado Rapids (8:00 p.m. ET); the first game of the Brimstone Cup rivalry between FC Dallas and the Chicago Fire at Soldier Field (8:30 p.m. ET); and the New England Revolution traveling to meet the San Jose Earthquakes (10:00 p.m. ET).
The complete 2005 regular season schedule will be released in January. MLS Cup will be played on November 13 in Frisco, Texas. The listing of the full slate of matches on opening weekend follows below:
SATURDAY - APRIL 2, 2005
D.C. United @ CD Chivas USA (ABC Sports, 3:00 p.m. ET)
Real Salt Lake @ MetroStars (7:00 p.m. ET)
Los Angeles Galaxy @ Columbus Crew (7:30 p.m. ET)
Colorado Rapids @ Kansas City Wizards (8:00 p.m. ET)
FC Dallas @ Chicago Fire (8:30 p.m. ET)
New England Revolution @ San Jose Earthquakes (10:00 p.m. ET)
Prior to the start of the season, MLS Cup finalists D.C. United and the Kansas City Wizards will participate in the CONCACAF Champions Cup, which crowns the best team in the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) since 1962. The two clubs will represent the United States in the competition which will determine the team to represent CONCACAF in the 2005 FIFA Club World Championship to be held in Japan in December 2005 which in turn will crown the world's top club. The CONCACAF Champions Cup quarterfinal series kick off on March 9 with D.C. United hosting Jamaica's Harbour View FC while the Wizards host Deportivo Saprissa of Costa Rica.
Major League Soccer's 12 clubs continue their preparations ahead of the 2005 MLS SuperDraft, which will take place in Baltimore, Maryland on Friday, January 14 in conjunction with the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Convention at the Baltimore Convention Center.