LA Galaxy Gain Ground; Manchester City, Barcelona Start Seasons With Wins

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - AUGUST 19: Samir Nasri of Manchester City celebrates scoring his team's third goal with team mate Yaya Toure (R) during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Southampton at Etihad Stadium on August 19, 2012 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

This was a big weekend in the soccer community, as European soccer launched on ESPN, Fox Soccer, and beIN Sport. NBC Sports also continued its MLS broadcasts, hoping to keep the audience it got to the channel with its Olympic coverage. The Galaxy got some help, as no.1, no. 2, and no. 4 in the West all went down in defeat.

Sunday saw DC United draw the Philadelphia Union on NBC Sports, but it was Saturday's matches that had the biggest impact on the Galaxy's drive to make the playoffs. Those with MLS Live accounts got to see Real Salt Lake go down 2-1 to a resurgent FC Dallas. Dallas has taken over sixth in the west from a disappointing Chivas side, and now sit five points behind the Galaxy.

Seattle is the only team ahead of the Galaxy that won on Saturday, taking out Vancouver Whitecaps 2-0. The Galaxy and Vancouver are currently tied on points at 37 a piece. San Jose went down 3-1 to Montreal, but still have a sizable lead on the rest of the West. Five points separate second from fifth.

Across the pond, Manchester City was able to begin this season the way they did last year with a come from behind 3-2 victory against an opponent they were expected to beat. Carlos Tevez celebrated with a shout out to an Argentine neighborhood on his opening goal, but then Sunderland was able to come back with two of their own. Samir Nasri had the match winner, the French born Muslim revealing a greeting reserved for the end of Ramadan.

Barcelona began their season with a big bang, beating Sociedad 5-1. Real Madrid wasn't as lucky, finishing their match in a 1-1 draw with Valencia.

Kickoff week continues with Manchester United at Everton on Monday, then Reading and Chelsea kick off next week on Wednesday; both matches are broadcast on ESPN. Clint Dempsey's situation will continue to develop, and the Galaxy will kick off CONCACAF Champions League play as things start to pick up around the world.

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