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MLS Unveils First Matches of 2011 Season

 MLS Unveils First Matches of 2011 Season

The cold days of winter have gotten a little sunlight – MLS today unveiled their schedule for “First Kick 2011″, the first home games for every MLS team in the upcoming season.  The week will be the first week of the new balanced scheduling and offers some tantalizing match-ups for American soccer fans.

First up again is the Seattle Sounders, who for the third year in a row will kick off the MLS season, this time against the LA Galaxy.  The game can be seen at 9:30 PM Eastern on ESPN on March 15.

Saturday, March 19 is when most of the other clubs will begin the season and the schedule has some tantalizing games.  Expansion Vancouver will host fellow countrymen Toronto on the first weekend to christen the new MLS club.  Colorado will begin its defense of its MLS Cup against the expansion Timbers at 9 PM Eastern that day.  And in what may be the marquee match-up of the weekend, San Jose hosts Real Salt Lake in one of two matches featuring two 2010 playoff teams (the other is Seattle flying to New York to face the Red Bulls).

The weekend of March 26 allows many of the first weekend’s visiting teams to return home and play in front of home crowds.  The 2010 Eastern Conference top seeds face off at Columbus Crew Stadium at 4 PM.  The sexy match-up undoubtedly is Real Salt Lake’s first home match, where they will host the LA Galaxy in an early season battle of possible 2011 MLS Cup contenders.

The only two teams without a home opener in March are Portland (April 14) and Kansas City (June 9).  You can see the entire home opening slate here.

What do you think?  Is RSL/LA the best game of the first two weeks?  What do you think about your club’s opener?

13 Responses to MLS Unveils First Matches of 2011 Season

  1. Charles says:

    $20 million for a season ?!?!
    What is MLS thinking, the first week is worth that !!!

    Sounders opening day are like Cowboys and Lions on Thanksgiving.
    Galaxy-Sounders at QWest, still the greatest stadium in the world to watch a game, is the right way to kick of a very exciting season.
    I was in the 300 level for the Seahawks yesterday. They need to open that up for the Timbers and Whitecaps games that place is insane when full.

    Has anyone seen the local TV contracts for the Timbers and Whitecaps ? I am hoping they stay with Fox Sports Northwest and we get all of those games in Seattle too. I can’t be alone in my thinking.

    • Robert says:

      Charles=Sycophant

      • Charles says:

        Robert,
        Please take the lead of all the other anti-MLS people. They don’t post on the real articles. The articles about the actual games are not in yours or their wheelhouse. If you notice the are only really two people posting.
        Please in the future just post on the articles that say MLS is holding players, TV stations, fans, etc hostage.

        Thanks.

    • amy says:

      Yea Sounders!!!! We love the Sounders here. They are the best thing to happen to Seattle in a long time! And if I remember correctly…..didn’t we have a match against LA for the playoffs? (the bf is the real fan, i just watch too, but am really getting into it) What a great way to start a season!!! The Sounders is the first team in Seattle that seems to not drop the proverbial ball at the end of a game….lol. you know what I mean? If you like Seattle teams, I am sure you do. So glad Portland is in MLS now too. Wish they had an earlier game. Can you tell me if FSC (Yuck!) will be airing MLS this year or maybe (pray to the soccer gods) we will get lucky and get to watch games on Versus?

  2. Robert says:

    MLS Schedule? Who cares? MLS is a joke. They should have clubs not franchises. What a joke.

    • You are self-flagellant person says:

      The fact you took the time to go to this website and postroll this is a joke in itself. You are pathetic.

    • amy says:

      i personally think you are a closet MLS fan….why the self hate? “MLS Schedule? Who cares? MLS is a joke” hon, if you didn’t care you wouldn’t waste time reading about it. It’s okay to come out of the closet.

  3. Lysander says:

    The game I am most excited for…

    Seattle – LA of course! 36k screaming loud fans, Supporters Shield champs, Open Cup Champs, 6 DPs, what more could you ask for?

    Charles,
    I have not heard if PDX will be on Fox sports NW. I would love it if they were. I caught a few of their games last year in Seattle which i think were on Fox sports NW so I would hope it continues. I have never seen a vancouver team on that channel though so I doubt the caps will but I would expect they would show up on that canadian channel we get in Seattle. I do not think i get that channel in HD though. :(

    • Charles says:

      Lysander,
      First of all don’t listen to Robert, he said the Sounders will not increase the attendance cap…which they have done…twice. There is a good chance they do it again, which would mean close to 40k fans at “capacity”, not 36k.

      You are describing exactly what MLS and the Cascadia teams should be pushing for, IMHO.
      The Mariners, when they were good, had Portland as part of their TV viewing audiance. It was somewhere around 13th best baseball market in the US….as their secondary market. They signed up Fox Sports NW to an insane contract, one of the best in baseball….then proceeded to be terrible. ;-)
      Having Seattle be able to watch the Whitecaps and Timbers games has to be a plus to who ever can offer that….FSN, CBC.

      Plus I want to watch 1/3 of the MLS teams every weekend. It might cause divorce, but the kids will understand at least.

      • Robert says:

        Everyone needs to listen to me! I have all the answers! The trunk of my car (which I also live in) is jammed full of graphs, chart, and projections for how well the club model would work here! I’ve told Garder and Gulati to come read my comments on this blog dozens of times, mostly through notes left on their windshields. SOMEONE LISTEN TO ME!!

  4. Flores says:

    LA at Salt Lake is going to be a blast.

  5. Clampdown says:

    Great matchup to start the season. Tuesday night is a bit of a headscratcher, though.

    If Seattle fans are planning on visiting NY for the March 19 match, you may want to arrive a couple of days earlier and catch the amazing sh*tshow that is NYC on St. Paddy’s Day.

    • Charles says:

      Actually it is not a headscratcher.
      Last year they had it on the Thursday. The “real” first round of the NCAA tourney watching was cut in half for me.
      Tuesday is WAAAAY better !!! The Huskies are almost a lock to make the tourney, they don’t need to double book Seattle viewers. No need.

      Flores: LA-Salt Lake is the game. Everyone keeps talking about NY like they are automatically the second best team. I am not even going with the assumption that LA is the first best team, much less that NY is second best.

      I see Salt Lake, Dallas, and LA as the favorites, with Seattle and NY not far behind. There is still a LONG way to go before the season however. Some of the studs coming out of college are going to make an impact.

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