Our long national nightmare is over. The MLS schedule is out.
About a month before the beginning of the season, MLS finally released the entire schedule for all 18 MLS teams. Previously, only each team’s first home game was known, and some clubs like the LA Galaxy got an early jump on releasing the schedule by leaking the dates and opponents of some key matches. But finally, you can plan your life around your favorite team’s schedule and start buying your plane tickets for those away trips. See the league schedule here.
As for the long awaited television deal… it will be a bit longer of a wait. But MLS did release the ESPN schedule for the year. ESPN will broadcast 21 matches, 17 on ESPN2 and 4 on the Worldwide Leader. All of them fortunately will be available on ESPN3.com and ESPN Deportes. Eight matches will feature the Red Bulls, six the Galaxy, and five Seattle, including the opening match pitting the Galaxy at the Sounders. Absent from the TV schedule? New MLS team Vancouver, rebuilding Columbus, new management Toronto, and MLS Cup contender Dallas. Odd that MLS couldn’t fit a new club and one of its better clubs on the TV schedule. See when your favorite team is on ESPN here.
The schedule also goes out of its way to emphasize regional rivalries. We knew ahead of time about the Cascadia Cup pitting Seattle, Vancouver, and Portland, but the league didn’t schedule the games back-to-back as promised. In addition to this Northwest rivalry, the league has created a I-95 Corridor rivalry (D.C. United, Philadelphia Union, New York Red Bull, and New England Revolution), the SuperClasico (the Los Angeles derby), the Rocky Mountain Cup (Real Salt Lake and Colorado Rapids), and the Battle for El Capitan (Houston Dynamo and FC Dallas).
So what do you think? Do you like your team’s schedule? Excited for the Rocky Mountain Cup or sad your team isn’t involved in a Cup contest? Sound off below.