NEW YORK – Mark the calendars, schedule the vacation now. The 2012 MLS schedule is out.
MLS unveiled the schedule for all 323 regular season matches on Thursday, signifying the beginning of the longest season in league history, beginning on March 10.
Each of the league’s 19 teams will play 34 games in 2012, and every regular-season game will be televised live this season. US network partners ESPN, NBC and Univisión (TeleFutura, Galavisión and Univisión Deportes) will broadcast a total of 89 matches this year, while 30 games featuring Canadian clubs will air on TSN/TSN2 in English and RDS/RDS2 in French.
The season begins with First Kick 2012, presented by Dick’s Sporting Goods, which includes five matches on Saturday, March 10. The reigning MLS Cup champion LA Galaxy will begin the defense of their title at home on March 10 against Real Salt Lake, while the Montreal Impact will make their MLS debut on the road against their Canadian rivals Vancouver Whitecaps on TSN.
The Montreal Impact Unveils Its 2012 Schedule
The Impact will kick off its first ever season in the North American first division on Saturday, March 10, against Canadian rivals Vancouver Whitecaps FC, at 6 pm EST, at BC Place, in Vancouver. The team will then host its season opener at home the following Saturday, at Olympic Stadium, on March 17, against the Chicago Fire, at 2pm.
The Impact will then meet the Portland Timers at Olympic Stadium on April 28, at 2pm, the LA Galaxy, 2011 MLS Cup and Supporters Cup champions, on May 12, at 4 pm and the New York Red Bulls and star forward Thierry Henry on May 19, at 2 pm.
Reds Open MLS Season March 17
Toronto FC enters their sixth season in Major League Soccer and will open the 2012 campaign on Saturday March 17 in Seattle against the Sounders. The following week, the Reds will host the San Jose Earthquakes in the 2012 Home Opener at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday March 24.
Whitecaps FC’s Second Season Kicks Off Against Montreal
Whitecaps FC kick off their second season in MLS on Bell Pitch at BC Place when they host Canadian rivals and 2012 expansion side Montreal Impact on Saturday, March 10, at 3 p.m. PT. The season opener will be broadcast live in English on TSN and in French on RDS. Head coach Martin Rennie’s side will play 17 home and 17 away matches over the course of 34 weeks. This includes six afternoon and three evening home matches on a Saturday, five evening home games on a Wednesday, and three afternoon home games on a Sunday.
Vancouver’s final regular season home match will take place on Saturday, October 20, versus Cascadia Cup rivals Portland Timbers at 1 p.m. PT. The ‘Caps conclude their regular season campaign when they visit Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah, on Saturday, October 27, at 6 p.m. PT. All matches will be available live on TEAM 1410 sports radio, as well as Bell mobile devices. The 2012 television broadcast schedule, as well as the schedule of matches for the 2012 Nutrilite Canadian Championship, will be announced in the coming weeks.
As a member of the MLS Western Conference, Whitecaps FC will play each Western Conference opponent three times (24 matches) and all 10 Eastern Conference opponents once each (10 matches). As part of the new schedule format for 2012, the ‘Caps will play four Western Conference clubs twice at home. They include Cascadia Cup rivals Seattle Sounders FC, Colorado Rapids, FC Dallas, and San Jose Earthquakes. Following the March 10 season opener with Montreal, the ‘Caps will host four other Eastern Conference clubs in D.C. United, Houston Dynamo, New York Red Bulls, and Sporting Kansas City at BC Place. The 2012 schedule includes a total of six Cascadia Cup matches versus Portland and Seattle, as well as Vancouver’s lone league clash with Canadian rivals Toronto FC at BMO Field on Wednesday, July 11, at 4 p.m. PT. Whitecaps FC will host defending MLS Cup champions LA Galaxy at BC Place on Wednesday, July 18, at 7 p.m. PT.