Major League Soccer officially announced the complete schedule of the upcoming 2024 season. The North American division will begin on Wednesday, February 21st, the earliest start date in the history of the competition. The 29th MLS campaign is also set to remain with 29 total teams. It is the first year that the division has not introduced a new expansion club since 2016.

Much like this past campaign, every club will play 34 total regular season fixtures. 17 of these games will be played at home, with the remaining 17 matches on the road. Each team has to face their respective conference foes twice and then six or seven clubs from the opposite division.

Messi’s Miami set to start 2024 MLS schedule at home

In perhaps the most unsurprising news regarding the schedule release, Inter Miami is set to help kick off the 2024 MLS season. Lionel Messi’s club will host Real Salt Lake on the opening night of the campaign. It will be the only MLS matchup of the day. The season opener is currently scheduled to start at 8 p.m. (ET) and will air exclusively on Apple TV’s MLS Season Pass.

The decision to start the 2024 season with Messi’s Miami is hardly surprising. Messi is undoubtedly the face of the league now, ever since signing with the Floridian side back in the summer. MLS even used a photo of the Argentine in their official press release of the 2024 schedule.

Messi mania took over the United States during July and August. This came as the superstar led his new club to the Leagues Cup title. Messi managed to score in all seven matches of the tournament. It was Miami’s first-ever trophy since its establishment in 2018. Although the Argentine triumphed in the Leagues Cup, he could not help dig Miami out of a major hole to qualify for the MLS playoffs.

MLS Rivalry Week coming in mid-May

Along with allowing Messi to raise the curtain, MLS also announced a rivalry week during the middle of May. The league will feature heated rivalries starting on Saturday, May 11, and continuing until May 18. The week kicks off with Columbus Crew hosting in-state rivals FC Cincinnati. Other fixtures throughout this timeframe include Portland Timbers vs. Seattle Sounders, Orlando City vs. Miami, and a battle of Canada between Toronto and Montréal.

LA Galaxy and LAFC will also continue their rivalry for a second consecutive season on Independence Day at the Rose Bowl. The 2024 El Trafico is set to be played on Thursday, July 4th at 10 p.m. (ET). The 2023 version of the matchup set an all-time MLS attendance record, as 82,110 fans watched the epic game.

Columbus is then also set to host the 2024 MLS All-Star game three weeks later. The match, which typically pits the top MLS players against a foreign club, will be played on Wednesday, July 24th. The opponents for the North Americans are set to be revealed at a later date.

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Decision Day, the final day in the MLS regular season is then scheduled for Saturday, October 19th. In total, 14 matches will be played on that day. All Eastern Conference matchups are set to be played simultaneously at 6 p.m. (ET), with the Western Conference fixtures starting at 9 p.m. (ET).

All 2024 matches can be streamed on Apple’s MLS Season Pass

Every single match of the 2024 MLS season will be streamed on Apple TV’s MLS Season Pass. The streaming service was available during the 2023 campaign for two different prices. For those users already with Apple TV+, the MLS Season Pass costs $12.99 per month (or $79 annually). Soccer fans without Apple’s streaming service can access MLS Season Pass for $14.99 each month (or $99 for the year).

Along with having every MLS game on the streaming service, select matches will also be accessible on the FOX networks in the United States. Television network FOX will air 15 total matches throughout the season. FS1, on the other hand, is set to broadcast 19 total games as well. Canadians can also catch handpicked fixtures on TSN and RDS.