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MLS releases 2014 schedule: Sounders open at home with SKC; 4 of 6 Cascadia matches on road

Post by Don Ruiz / The News Tribune on Nov. 25, 2013 at 11:10 am with 2 Comments »
November 25, 2013 11:24 am

SoundersSked2014

Here is the 2014 MLS regular season schedule, released today.

The league retains the 34-game schedule, which will have Western Division teams play each other three times, plus one game against each Eastern team, with the sites reversed from 2013. That means Seattle will play four of its six Cascadia Cup matches on the road.

Here is the release from the club:

The Seattle Sounders FC 2014 regular season schedule was announced today by Major League Soccer, including 13 matches that have been selected to be televised nationally by ESPN or NBC.

March to Soccer Opening Match will be played in Seattle on March 8 as Sounders FC hosts the 2013 MLS Cup finalists Sporting Kansas City on NBC Sports Network, kicking off the league’s 19th season. Three of the first four matches will be played at CenturyLink Field and the first four opponents are Eastern Conference teams.

Seattle’s first Cascadia Cup match of the season is at Portland on April 5 and Sounders FC will play four of six derby matches on the road. The first home Cascadia Cup match is against the Timbers on July 13 and Seattle will host the Vancouver Whitecaps FC on October 10. All three games against Portland will be nationally televised.

Two Sounders FC matches will be televised over-the-air on NBC when the team visits the New York Red Bulls on September 20 and hosts the LA Galaxy in the regular-season finale on October 25. Seattle will play Los Angeles in the final two games of the regular season.

Sounders FC will play the San Jose Earthquakes on August 2 in the first-ever event at the new Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif.

Seattle will face fellow Western Conference opponents three times and Eastern Conference clubs once. The Colorado Rapids, LA Galaxy, Real Salt Lake and San Jose Earthquakes will each visit CenturyLink Field twice while Chivas USA, FC Dallas, Portland and Vancouver will play just once in Seattle.

Eleven of the 17 home matches will be played on Saturday. Seattle will also play two games each on Sunday, Wednesday and Friday. MLS will take a two-week break from June 12 to June 24 for the group phase of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

The first road trip of the season is to Montreal on March 22. Sounders FC has a three-game road trip from April 5 to April 19 and a four-game road trip from June 11 to July 5. There will be five-straight nationally televised matches from July 13 to August 16.

Sounders FC season ticket memberships start at just $414 per seat. Tickets can be purchased by visiting www.SoundersFC.com or by phoning 1-877-MLS-GOAL.

Here is a new release from the league:

Today Major League Soccer and its national broadcast partners announced the 2014 regular season schedule via www.MLSsoccer.com and the club web sites.

The season will kick off on Saturday, March 8 at CenturyLink Field with the March to Soccer Opening Match on NBCSN when Seattle Sounders FC host Sporting Kansas City (3:00 p.m. ET), followed by seven matches that evening and one on Sunday, March 9. The 2014 regular season concludes Sunday, October 26, followed by the MLS Cup Playoffs.

Similar to the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, MLS will take a two-week break during the group phase of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. The last matches before the break are on June 11, one day before the start of the World Cup.

Two weekends stand out for their rivalry matches. Early in the season, April 5-6 will feature Portland Timbers vs. Seattle (NBCSN), Houston Dynamo vs. FC Dallas, a rematch of the upcoming MLS Cup 2013 between Sporting Kansas City and Real Salt Lake, the SuperClasico, LA Galaxy vs. Chivas USA (UniMás), and Columbus Crew hosting Toronto FC. Following the World Cup, the August 2 slate of matches includes Colorado Rapids vs. Real Salt Lake, Montreal Impact vs. Toronto, as well as LA vs. Portland (NBC) and the first-ever event at the new Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., when the San Jose Earthquakes host the Sounders (NBCSN).

NBCSN will showcase all the action on Aug. 2 on MLS Breakaway, the popular whip-around show, which returns again on Sept. 20 covering five live games.

ESPN, a partner since the League’s inaugural season, continues its live coverage of MLS with 20 regular season games. Among the compelling matches are a pair of Cascadia Cup clashes between Seattle and Portland (July 13 and August 24), and I-95 Corridor rivals Philadelphia vs. New York (July 16) and New York vs. D.C. United (Sept. 10). ESPN will also broadcast the one match of the season between LA Galaxy and NY Red Bulls on Sept. 28. The matches on ESPN and ESPN2 will also be available on ESPN Deportes, ESPN3, WatchESPN, and ESPN Deportes Radio.

In the third season of its partnership, NBC Sports Group will open its coverage of the MLS season with six back-to-back Saturday afternoon matches, aligning with NBC Sports Group’s Barclays Premier League coverage. The broadcast package will feature MLS matches on Friday night slots on NBCSN from June 27 through October 24. All told, NBC Sports Group will broadcast 38 regular season games, plus three on NBC. Some of the highlights include two Fourth of July matches, LA vs. Portland and Houston vs. New York Red Bulls, and the California Clasico between San Jose and LA on June 28 at Stanford Stadium, all on NBCSN.

Univision Deportes’ exclusive, Spanish-language broadcasts of 28 MLS regular season games – all on Sundays on UniMás or Univision Deportes Network – begin on March 9 when Chivas USA host the Chicago Fire. The Univision Deportes broadcast package also includes live steaming of select games on Univision’s digital network UVideos.

Nationally in Canada, TSN/TSN2 will air more than 40 matches featuring Canadian clubs in English and RDS/RDS2 will air at least 30 games in French. TSN’s first match of the season will be March 8 in Vancouver when Whitecaps FC host New York. RDS will begin its regular season broadcasts on March 22 in Montreal, when the Impact host the Seattle Sounders FC. The complete TSN/TSN2 and RDS/RDS2 schedules will be announced in the coming weeks.

All non-national TV games will be broadcast locally and/or via subscription to MLS Direct Kick and MLS Live, the digital streaming package for MLSsoccer.com, mobile devices and tablets.

Other select highlights:

Ø Competition – The schedule breakdown follows:

o Each team plays a 34-match schedule, 17 games at home and 17 on the road.

o The 9 Western Conference teams will face each of the other clubs in the conference three times (home teams reversed from 2013) during 2014.

o The 10 Eastern Conference teams will play seven (7) intra-conference opponents three (3) times each (home teams reversed from 2013) and two (2) conference opponents twice each.

o Eastern and Western Conference teams will play each other once in 2014, with the home team reversed from the 2013 schedule.

o Of the two clubs that reach MLS Cup, the one with a better regular season record will again host the championship game.

Ø October is Intra-Conference month – All October matches except the Oct. 4 LA Galaxy vs. Toronto game – a total of 40 matches in a span of three weeks – will be intra-conference match-ups, which contributed to the thrilling finish to the 2013 season.

Ø AT&T MLS All-Star Game and MLS Cup 2014

o The ESPN and Univision family of networks have the exclusive coverage of the 2014 AT&T MLS All-Star Game and MLS Cup. Both dates and specific networks will be announced at a later date.

Ø Numbers

o 323 total regular season matches. All matches will be televised.

o Majority of games on weekends: Nearly 90% of all games will take place on weekends.

Leave a comment Comments → 2
  1. jimkingjr says:

    Typical incompetence by the league- three years in a row MLS couldn’t figure out how to schedule Cascadia Cup games so that each team played three at home, three away. And closing the season with back to back against the Galaxy?

  2. Don Ruiz says:

    Agreed, especially about Cascadia Cup. I asked commissioner Don Garber about that during the season, and he didn’t seem much interested in the issue. And apparently he wasn’t.

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