Friday Kickoff: La Liga schedule released; Pinto resigns from Los Ticos; and more

Friday Kickoff: La Liga schedule released; Pinto resigns from Los Ticos; and more

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Friday Kickoff: La Liga schedule released; Pinto resigns from Los Ticos; and more

GarethBaleRealMadrid1-BarcelonaCopaDelReyFinal2014 (Getty)

By DAN KARELL

Fans of La Liga only have to wait one more month until the start of the 2014/2015 season.

The Spanish league announced their schedule on Thursday, with the first weekend of games set to take place 30 days from today. The Big Three of Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, and Barcelona start off the season against Cordoba, Rayo, and Elche, respectively.

The first big match of the season comes in the third weekend, Sept. 14, when Real Madrid and new signings Toni Kroos and James Rodriguez host their city rivals and defending champion Atletico Madrid.

Barcelona made waves this summer when they completed the signing of controversial forward Luis Suarez, and adding juice to the fire is that Suarez could make his Barcelona debut in the first El Clasico of the season, on October 25/26. Suarez was banned by FIFA for four months due to biting Italy’s Georgio Chiellini, but the ban is completed on Oct. 25. If the match is scheduled on Oct. 26, Suarez could theoretically make his debut, though he’ll surely be far from match fit.

Here are some more stories to start off your Friday:

COSTA RICA MANAGER PINTO RESIGNS

The man who led Costa Rica to a record finish at the 2014 World Cup will no longer coach the team.

Manager Jorge Luis Pinto has decided to resign from his position after reaching an impasse in negotiations for a new contract, ending his second spell as Los Ticos boss. Pinto took over the Costa Rican squad in 2011 and guided them to second place in the Hexagonal round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying as well as taking Costa Rica farther than they have ever gone at the World Cup.

Los Ticos shocked everyone by winning their group at the World Cup, filled with three former champions, and going undefeated in the process. Costa Rica beat Greece in penalty kicks to advance to the quarterfinals but fell to the Netherlands in penalty kicks in that round.

REUS RETURNS TO TRAINING

Borussia Dortmund received a boost this week as Marco Reus returned to training ahead of schedule.

The 25-year-old midfielder suffered a poorly-timed ankle ligament injury just days before the start of the World Cup last June, losing his place in the squad and being forced to watch the tournament from home. However, just 46 days after the injury, Reus was on the field to start light training ahead of a full return.

If the rehabilitation continues, Reus could be back as soon as September, according to Kicker.

QUICK KICKS

Olympique Marseille have announced that they will not play their home matches in the Stade Velodrome this season. (REPORT)

Former El Tri boss Javier Aguirre has been appointed as manager of the Japan National Team. (REPORT)

Jeremy Mathieu has admitted that he took less money to move to Barcelona. (REPORT)

AS Roma have completed the loan signing of defender Davide Astori and young forward Tonny Sanabria. (REPORT)

Swansea City have signed Ecuadorian winger Jefferson Montero on a four-year contract. (REPORT)

Everton are nearing the signing of Bosnia and Herzegovina midfielder Muhamed Besic. (REPORT)

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What do you think of these reports? Do you see Suarez making his Barca debut against Real Madrid? Do you see Costa Rica missing Pinto in the next World Cup? Glad to see Reus back on the field?

Share your thoughts below.

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