A new season for FC Barcelona presents a chance to continue making history. Retaining the Champions League is one objective, a feat not achieved by any team. Another is completing the sextuple for the second time, something no team has done (in fact, Barcelona are the only team to do it even once.)
It all starts somewhere, and that somewhere is a friendly match against the Los Angeles Galaxy as part of the team's US tour.
The match is ostensibly part of the International Champions Cup, an impressively-named but basically irrelevant friendly competition. For what it's worth (not much one would assume), Barcelona have never won this competition, and it may be fun to claim to have won 7 (or 8) trophies in 2015.
Barcelona will be without Lionel Messi, Neymar, Dani Alves, Javier Mascherano, and Claudio Bravo as they rest after participating in the Copa America tournament.
Arda Turan suffered a light injury, but his possible availability for a match is academic as he and Aleix Vidal cannot play any matches - including friendlies - until January due to FIFA's ban.
Other than that, everyone's pretty much fit. Even Thomas Vermaelen.
While this is Barcelona's first match of the preseason, the Galaxy are in midseason form. Currently, they are second in their division and on track to reach the MLS playoffs again.
They will be without Brian Perk, a goalkeeper who is out for the season, and also in all likelihood will miss Jose Villarreal and Mika Vayrynen.
Steven Gerrard has already made his debut for his new club after spending his entire career at Liverpool. He will be reunited with his ex-Scouser teammate Luis Suarez as they represent opposite clubs.
Recent signing and former Barcelona man Gio Dos Santos won't feature as he is with the Mexican national team. Other players sure to be missing due to the Gold Cup are Jamie Penedo (Panama) and Omar Gonzalez and Gyasi Zardes (USA).
Other than that, they are a team that should be up for the special challenge of playing against the world's best.
Barcelona: None yet
LA Galaxy 1-2 Barcelona - 1 August 2009 - Friendly
Pedro opened the scoring for the Blaugrana from a messy rebound goal before David Beckham equalized through a classic free kick. Barcelona would take the win, however, after Sergio Busquets played in Jeffren Suarez, who finished coolly to make it 2-1.
Barcelona (4-3-3): Ter Stegen; Douglas, Pique, Vermaelen, Adriano; Sergi Roberto, Samper, Iniesta; Rafinha, Suarez, Pedro
LA Galaxy (4-2-3-1): Rowe; Gargan, Leonardo, DeLaGarza, Rogers; Walker, Juninho; Husidic, Gerrard, Lletget; Keane
It's just a friendly, and let's face it - LA Galaxy have a lot more motivation to win this match as they can claim to raise their stature by knocking down the European champions. Barcelona will seek to stretch their legs only, giving fringe and youth players plenty of chances. Even still, I think Barcelona will win again, 2-1.