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Soccer

LAFC to meet Galaxy three times in first MLS season

MLS is giving Southern California’s budding soccer rivalry a push by scheduling three games between the expansion Los Angeles Football Club and the established Galaxy in 2018, two of them at StubHub Center in Carson.

LAFC is the only Western Conference team the Galaxy will face three times, the the first game in the season’s fourth week when the Galaxy are host in a noon start on March 31. The teams will also meet on Thursday, July 26, at Banc of California Stadium in Exposition Park and on Friday, Aug. 24, in an MLS Rivalry Week game at StubHub.

Weeknight games, including Fridays, are traditionally a tough draw in MLS and the schedule makers have given the Galaxy five at home, including three on Wednesday nights. LAFC has five weeknight home games also.

LAFC will open its first MLS campaign on the road March 4 against the Seattle Sounders, the two-time defending conference champions. After six consecutive road games, it will play the Sounders in the first home match in franchise history on April 29.

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LAFC’s schedule includes home dates with New York City FC (May 13), Orlando City (July 7) and the San Jose Earthquakes (Sept. 22) and road trips to Atlanta (April 7), the New York Red Bulls (Aug. 5) and Toronto FC, the defending MLS champion (Sept. 1).

The Galaxy, five-time league champions, are coming off an 8-18-8 season, the worst in their 22-year history. They open 2018 at home against the Portland Timbers on March 4. In addition to the games with LAFC, the team’s home schedule features matches with Atlanta (April 21), the Red Bulls (April 28), San Jose (May 25) and Seattle (Sept. 23). On the road, the Galaxy will visit Yankee Stadium to play NYCFC on March 11, Stanford Stadium to face the Earthquakes on June 30 and BMO Field to play Toronto on Sept. 15.

Here are the full schedules (all times Pacific):

LAFC

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Sunday, March 4 at Seattle, 2 p.m.

Saturday, March 10 at Real Salt Lake, 12:30 p.m.

Saturday, March 31 at Galaxy, noon

Saturday, April 7 at Atlanta United, 2 p.m.

Friday, April 13 at Vancouver, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, April 21 at Montreal, 10 a.m.

Sunday, April 29 vs. Seattle 6 p.m.

Saturday, May 5 vs. FC Dallas, 1 p.m.

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Wednesday, May 9 vs. Minnesota United, 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, May 13 vs. New York City FC, 5:30 p.m.

Saturday, May 19 at Portland, noon

Monday, May 28 vs. D.C. United, 5 p.m.

Saturday, June 2 at FC Dallas, 5 p.m.

Saturday, June 9 at San Jose, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, June 23 vs. Columbus, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, June 30 vs. Philadelphia, 7:30 p.m.

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Tuesday, July 3 at Houston, 6 p.m.

Saturday, July 7 vs. Orlando City, 1:30 p.m.

Sunday, July 15 vs. Portland, 3 p.m.

Sunday, July 22 at Minnesota United, 4 p.m.

Thursday, July 26 vs. Galaxy, 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, Aug. 5 at New York Red Bulls, 3 p.m.

Saturday, Aug. 11 vs. Sporting Kansas City, 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Aug. 15 vs. Real Salt Lake, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, Aug. 18 vs. Colorado, 7:30 p.m.

Friday, Aug. 24 at Galaxy, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 1 at Toronto FC, 5 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 15 vs. New England, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 22 vs. San Jose, 12:30 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 29, at Chicago, 12:30 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 6 at Colorado, 6 p.m.

Thursday, Oct. 18 vs. Houston, 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, Oct. 21 vs. Vancouver, TBA

Sunday, Oct. 28 at Sporting Kansas City, 1:30 p.m.

Galaxy

Sunday, March 4 vs. Portland, 7 p.m.

Sunday, March 11 at New York City FC. 2 p.m.

Saturday, March 24 at Vancouver, 7 p.m.

Saturday, March 31 vs. LAFC, noon

Sunday, April 8 vs. Sporting Kansas City, 6 p.m.

Saturday, April 14 at Chicago, 12:30 p.m.

Saturday, April 21 vs. Atlanta United, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, April 28 vs. New York Red Bulls, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, May 5 at Houston, TBA

Saturday, May 12 at FC Dallas, 12:30 p.m.

Monday, May 21 at Montreal, noon

Friday, May 25 vs. San Jose, 8 p.m.

Wednesday, May 30 vs. FC Dallas, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, June 2 at Portland, 2 p.m.

Saturday, June 9 vs. Real Salt Lake, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, June 30, vs. San Jose at Stanford Stadium, 7 p.m.

Wednesday, July 4 vs. D.C. United, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, July 7 vs. Columbus Crew, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, July 14 vs. New England, TBA

Saturday, July 21 at Philadelphia, TBA

Thursday, July 26 at LAFC, 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, July 29 vs. Orlando City, 6:30 p.m.

Saturday, Aug. 4 at Colorado, TBA

Saturday, Aug. 11 at Minnesota United, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, Aug. 18 at Seattle, 12:30 p.m.

Friday, Aug. 24 vs. LAFC, 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Aug. 29 vs. Colorado, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 1 at Real Salt Lake, TBA

Saturday, Sept. 15 at Toronto FC, 11 a.m.

Sunday, Sept. 23 vs. Seattle, 4 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 29 vs. Vancouver, 7 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 6 at Sporting Kansas City, TBA

Sunday, Oct. 21 at Minnesota United, TBA

Sunday, Oct. 28 vs. Houston, 1:30 p.m.

kevin.baxter@latimes.com

Follow Kevin Baxter on Twitter @kbaxter11


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