The 21st season of Major League Soccer kicks off on March 6th with all 10 matches, including four nationally broadcast marquee matches. We’ll get a rematch of the 2015 MLS Cup Final, pitting the Timbers against Columbus Crew. The Seattle Sounders FC face rivals Sporting Kansas City. Vancouver Whitecaps FC’s open at home opener against Montreal Impact in a Canadian duel. LA Galaxy and historic rivals DC United close out the opening night.
The rest of the season plays out methodically. Each team plays inter-conference opponents 2-3 times, and intra-conference 1 time. All in all, the teams with the poorest road results in 2015 are predicted to have the toughest schedule, with Colorado and LA topping the list, and NYCFC having the ‘easiest’ of times.
The two 2016 editions of Rivalry Week will take place on the weekends of May 20-22 and August 26-28.
Heineken Rivalry Week: May 20-22
May 20: Philadelphia Union vs. D.C. United (7 pm ET, UniMás)
May 21: NYCFC vs. NY Red Bulls (3 pm ET, FOX) — part of FOX’s double-header along with the FA Cup Final.
May 22: Portland Timbers vs. Vancouver Whitecaps (4:30 pm ET, ESPN)
May 22: LA Galaxy vs. San Jose Earthquakes (7 pm ET, FS1)
Heineken Rivalry Week: Aug. 26-28
Aug. 26: Real Salt Lake vs. Colorado Rapids (8 pm ET, UniMás)
Aug. 27: Houston Dynamo vs. FC Dallas (TBD)
Aug. 27: Toronto FC vs. Montreal Impact (TBD)
Aug. 28: NY Red Bulls vs. New England Revolution (2:30 pm ET, ESPN)
Aug. 28: Portland Timbers vs. Seattle Sounders (5 pm ET, ESPN)
Aug. 28: Orlando City vs. NYCFC (7 pm ET, FS1)
The AT&T MLS All-Star game in Avaya Stadium during the final week in July, will be back on ESPN, as well as UniMas, TSN and RDS.
MLS action will air nationally on FOX with four matches on FOX and another 30 games on FS1, most of which are on Sundays. ESPN’s MLS coverage on Sunday afternoons with 28 games on ESPN and five on ESPN2 as well as on ESPN Deportes and streamed live on WatchESPN and in Spanish on ESPN Deportes+.
How’d the teams fare in terms of coverage for tv audiences? Seattle, LA, DC, NY, KC, Portland, Orlando and San Jose all get their fare share but many are once again left out in the cold – including RSL, Columbus, Colorado, Chicago, Philly, New England, Dallas and the Canadian MLS teams who should be covered by TSN.
Vancouver: 1 Unimas, 1 ESPN, 1 FS1, 3 total
Seattle: 0 Unimas, 7 ESPN, 7 FS (Incl. 1 FOX), 14 total
Portland: 0 Unimas, 8 ESPN, 7 FS (Incl. 2 Fox), 15 total
San Jose: 7 Unimas, 1 ESPN, 2 FS, 10 total
LA: 4 Unimas, 7 ESPN, 6 FS, 17 total
RSL: 3 Unimas, 0 ESPN, 1 FS, 4 total
Colorado: 1 Unimas, 1 ESPN, 0 FS, 2 total
Houston: 6 Unimas, 2 ESPN, 0 FS, 8 total
Dallas: 2 Unimas, 1 ESPN, 1 FS, 4 total
Kansas City: 2 Unimas, 6 ESPN, 6 FS(incl. 1 FOX), 14 total
Chicago: 4 Unimas, 1 ESPN, 1 FS, 6 total
Columbus: 0 Unimas, 1 ESPN, 2 FS, 3 total
Toronto: 0 Unimas, 2 ESPN, 2 FS, 4 total
Montreal: 0 Unimas, 2 ESPN, 1 FS, 3 total
New England: 1 Unimas, 3 ESPN, 1 FS, 5 total
NYRB: 4 Unimas, 5 ESPN, 7 FS(incl. 2 FOX) 16 total
NYCFC: 4 Unimas, 6 ESPN, 6 FS(incl. 2 FOX) 16 total
Philly: 2 Unimas, 0 ESPN, 1 FS, 3 total
DC: 6 Unimas, 3 ESPN, 1 FS, 10 total
Orlando: 5 Unimas, 5 ESPN, 5 FS, 15 total
Non-national TV games will be played on Saturdays, with intermittent mid-week matches, and will be broadcast locally and/or via a subscription to a digital out-of-market package. Select games will also be broadcast internationally to more than 140 nations.
Download the entire schedule here: http://soc.cr/WM4zM
Let’s get this show on the road!