The wait is finally over. Seriously. Major League Soccer took a ton of heat for not releasing their 2011 schedule until today. Not the complaining can be able other things.
Each of the League’s 18 clubs will play 34 matches, facing each of the other clubs once at home and once on the road. The 16th regular season in MLS history will consist of a total of 306 matches, all of which will be broadcast live.
ESPN will televise 21 matches live – 17 on ESPN2, four on ESPN, and all 21 on ESPN Deportes, ESPN3.com, and ESPN Deportes Radio.. That is five less than a year ago. Thought FC Dallas, Toronto, Columbus and Vancouver all have no games on ESPN this season. Very odd for Dallas considering they are still a favorite to do well in 2011.
The Univision family of networks will broadcast 30 MLS regular season games live: 20 on Galavisión and 10 on TeleFutura. Expect to see a lot of New York and Kansas City games on those stations due to Rafa Marquez and Omar Bravo.
A few notes on the schedule:
- About 82% of all MLS games will take place on weekends or holidays, with every day of the week having at least one scheduled match during the year.
- A record nine MLS games are scheduled for Saturday, March 26 – the most on one day in League history, and the only time in 2011 that all 18 clubs are in action on the same day.
- MLS has not scheduled games on Aug. 10, Sept. 3-4, and Oct. 8-9, which are FIFA fixture dates.
The league put a big emphasis on rivalries this year. No rivalry week like we thought but I think the league did a good job of getting rivalry games out in the forefront this season.
Saturday, March 26 – New England Revolution vs. D.C. United, 4:30 p.m.
Saturday, April 9 – Philadelphia Union vs. New York Red Bulls, 7 p.m. (ESPN2, Deportes, ESPN3.com)
Thursday, April 21 – D.C. United vs. New York Red Bulls, 8 p.m. (ESPN2, Deportes, ESPN3.com)
Saturday, June 11 – New York Red Bulls vs. New England Revolution, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, July 9 – New York Red Bulls vs. D.C. United, 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, July 20 – D.C. United vs. New England Revolution, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Aug. 20 – New England Revolution vs. New York Red Bulls, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, Aug. 28 – Philadelphia Union vs. New England Revolution, 7 p.m. (Galavisión)
Thursday, Sept. 29 – Philadelphia Union vs. D.C. United, 8 p.m. (ESPN2, Deportes, ESPN3.com)
Thursday, Oct. 20 – New York Red Bulls vs. Philadelphia Union, 8 p.m. (ESPN2, Deportes, ESPN3.com)
Saturday, May 21 – Chivas USA vs. LA Galaxy, 10 p.m. (ESPN2, Deportes, ESPN3.com)
Sunday, Oct. 16 – LA Galaxy vs. Chivas USA, 9 p.m. (ESPN, Deportes, ESPN3.com)
Rocky Mountain Cup
Wednesday, April 13 – Real Salt Lake vs. Colorado Rapids, 9 p.m. ET
Friday, Oct. 14 – Colorado Rapids vs. Real Salt Lake, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN2, Deportes, ESPN3.com)
Battle for El Capitán (Texas rivalry)
Saturday, May 28 – Houston Dynamo vs. FC Dallas, 8:30 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 24 – FC Dallas vs. Houston Dynamo, 4 p.m. (TeleFutura)
Saturday, May 14 – Seattle Sounders FC vs. Portland Timbers, 11 p.m. (ESPN2, Deportes, ESPN3.com)
Saturday, June 11 – Seattle Sounders FC vs. Vancouver, 10 p.m.
Sunday, July 10 – Portland Timbers vs. Seattle Sounders FC, 5 p.m. (ESPN, Deportes, ESPN3.com)
Saturday, Aug. 20 – Portland Timbers vs. Vancouver, 10 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 24 – Vancouver vs. Seattle Sounders FC, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 2 – Vancouver vs. Portland Timbers, 4:30 p.m.
To view the month-by-month 2011 MLS regular season schedule click here.
I’ll break down the schedule more later on this week.