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MLS Schedule Announced – Are you ready for Rivalry Week?

Jan 9, 2013, 12:24 PM EST

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Are you ready for Rivalry Week?

That’s the new wrinkle on this year’s Major League Soccer schedule (just announced by the league office). During the third week of the season, eight of the nine scheduled matches will be waged between regional rivals, including …

  • New York vs. D.C. United,**
  • Montreal vs. Toronto,
  • Seattle vs. Portland,*
  • Real Salt Lake vs. Colorado,
  • FC Dallas vs. Houston, and
  • LA Galaxy vs. Chivas USA.

* – to be aired on NBCSN; ** – to be aired on NBC

I love the idea, even if I have little idea if it will work. Rivalry games like the northwest’s Cascadia Cup are starting to draw significant attention, so why not build on (and promote) them? Have a whole week devoted to them early in the season, hopefully giving viewers and ticket buyers a reason to get hooked early?

There’s no downside to this. Even if it doesn’t work, it’s another idea tried and checked off the list.

It’s something that works for college football. Even the NFL is starting to strategically place some of their rivalry games (this season putting division battles on the last day of the season). It’s worth a shot in MLS.

Other schedule features highlighted by MLS:

  • “More than 90 percent of this year’s regular season games are on weekends or holidays”
  • “none will overlap directly with FIFA World Cup Qualifying matches”
  • “During the summer months, most games will kick off no earlier than 4 p.m. local time”
  • “All 323 matches will be televised live – 87 via national network partners ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, NBC, NBC Sports Network, Univision and UniMás in the United States. “
  • “in Canada, at least 30 games featuring Canadian clubs will air on TSN/TSN2 in English and RDS/RDS2 in French”

Later in the day, we’ll try to get you more information on the nationally televised games in the States. For now, here’s the full schedule.

 

  1. rufulk - Jan 9, 2013 at 1:22 PM

    ***Houston v Dallas will be nationally televised on ESPN2 as well.

    Great weekend for MLS fans (and potential fans!). I will be glued to the TV when I’m not at a game myself.

  2. charliej11 - Jan 9, 2013 at 2:54 PM

    That is roughly 2.5 games a week on national TV. Add my Sounders and the hated Timbers and Seattle area is at 4.5 games a week. Subtract overlap and call it 4 games a week.

    Chance of being happy, 100%
    Chance of being happily married, 0%

  3. tylerbetts - Jan 9, 2013 at 3:29 PM

    Yikes. Rought schedule to start the year for the Crew.

    Two on the road to start. Then, the home opener against the defending Supporters Shield winner. Three of the first four on the road, and five of the first seven on the road. That’s a murderous start. And, we didn’t get included in rivarly week (and, please, it would have been Chicago, not Toronto).

  4. marekzyskowski - Jan 9, 2013 at 3:47 PM

    It is a good schedule. Only the home openner at Olympic Stadium for Montreal

  5. pensfan603 - Jan 9, 2013 at 5:27 PM

    I love the rivalry week idea some of the games could of been choosen beter as Fire fans and Sporting KC fans have said they arent rivals and they hate that mls is driving it, i woul dof set up Sporting at Houston and Have revs at chicago since thats what the chicago fans want. Either Move the revs to play montreal and then toronto to play vancouver, philly play columbus, and then san jose play dallas. OR
    Switch ever thing.
    Chicago Vs Revs
    Kansas City Vs. Houston
    New York vs DC
    Colorado vs Salt Late
    Montreal Vs Toronto
    Columbus Vs. Philly
    Whitecaps vs Dallas
    Chivas or San Jose vs Galazy
    Portland Vs. Seattle

  6. jerichowhiskey - Jan 10, 2013 at 12:14 AM

    While it’s nice that the RBNY v DC game will be on NBC, I will be there in person and the starting time is simply awful.

  7. ktktsmith - Jan 10, 2013 at 3:49 AM

    wah.. can not wait for the new XDXDDDD

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