Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Sporting KC Release Schedule

Today the MLS schedule was released, which means it's time to plan the rest of the year.  The entire schedule is below, but here are some highlights for you.

In regards to home games, KC has 9 Saturday night games, 1 Saturday afternoon game, 2 Sunday afternoon games, 2 Wednesday night games, and 3 Friday night games.  On the road, KC have 3 Saturday night games, 2 Saturday afternoon games, 2 Saturday games that are TBD right now (both of KC's trips to Canada due to Canadian television), 1 Friday night game, 3 Sunday afternoon games, 1 Sunday night game, and 1 Wednesday night game.

The US Open Cup will kick off around June most likely and the CONCACAF Champions' League will kick off in August.  With the Open Cup running through July that could make for a busy stretch for KC.  And while September is a little lighter, August could be rough with the Champions League.

Some other rough patches from eyeballing KC's schedule is on April 17th through the 20th where they play in New York on a Wednesday and then play in LA on that Saturday.  The other rough stretch will be in October when KC plays 3 of their 4 on the road against Eastern Conference opposition, at Columbus and Houston before closing out their home schedule against DC and closing the regular season on the road at Philadelphia.

After early June, KC was done with Western Conference opposition, this year not so much, KC have 4 games against Western Conference teams after June.  But the last 2 months of the season see them playing strictly Eastern Conference teams.

National broadcast wise, KC will be on national TV 13 times between ESPN, NBC Sports, and Unimas.  Both of KC's ESPN appearances will see them on the road.  6 of KC's 8 appearances on NBC Sports will be from the friendly confines of Livestrong Sporting Park.  On UniMas, KC will only have 1 home game broadcasted there, the Cinco de Mayo game vs Chivas USA, the other 2 will be on the road.

This year we get the reverse of many of the games from last year.  While Vancouver, Seattle, Portland, Chivas, and Colorado travel to KC, Sporting get to make trips to San Jose, LA, Salt Lake, and Dallas this year.  In the East, KC flops their 3 game schedule with Chicago, Houston and Toronto, traveling to those 3 cities twice this year instead of once, while Columbus and Montreal are the opposite, visiting Kansas City 2 times this year after only 1 trip last year.  KC will play DC 3 times this year, twice at home after only playing them twice last year.  They're travel to Philadelphia twice and once at home after only having 2 games against them last year.  Meanwhile, KC will only have two games, one home, one away against both New England and New York

One worry that I mentioned earlier this week, was the potential for conflicts with national team duty, with it being a busy qualifying year.  And sure enough there are conflicts.  The first is the March 23rd game at New England.  The USA play the day before against Costa Rica, while Sierra Leone play Tunisia.  That could potentially see the likes of Graham Zusi (and potentially Matt Besler and Benny Feilhaber) and Kei Kamara miss the match up against the Revolution.  The US also has a game in Mexico on the 26th that could potentially cause problems for the 30th against Montreal.

Another conflict could come on June 2nd when the US will host Germany in a friendly.  The day before, Kansas City is set to host the Impact so another potential call up for Zusi and other KC players.  The next potential conflict is in July when the CONCACAF Gold Cup takes place.  The tournament takes place form July 7th through the 28th.  Sporting have 4 games during that stretch, including at Chicago, home vs Toronto, at Salt Lake, and at Montreal.  Add in a short camp before hand and players could miss the July 3rd home game vs Vancouver.  This list for the Gold Cup could include Peterson Joseph (Haiti) and a few US players depending on how Jurgen Klinsmann plays the tournament (Besler, Feilhaber possibilities, also CJ Sapong and Chance Myers).

September brings more conflicts, as the day before Kansas City hosts Columbus on September 7th, the US travels to Costa Rica for a World Cup qualifier and Sierra Leone play Equatorial Guinea so another potential chance to lose Zusi and Kamara, along with others.  That could be the end of the conflicts, although the US does play in Panama 3 days before the home finale against DC on the 18th.  There is also a potential conflict in November with the playoffs.  The 15th through the 19th is set aside for international matches and the intercontinental playoff that the US COULD be playing in if they finish 4th in the Hex.

Here's the entire schedule.

Saturday, March 2 at Philadelphia 3:00pm
Saturday, March 9 at Toronto 12:30pm
Saturday, March 16 vs Chicago 2:00pm NBC Sports
Saturday, March 23 at New England 3:00pm
Saturday, March 30 vs Montreal 7:30pm

Friday, April 5 vs DC 7:30pm
Wednesday, April 17 at New York 6:30pm
Saturday, April 20 at Los Angeles 9:30 NBC Sports
Saturday, April 27 vs Portland 7:30

Sunday, May 5 vs Chivas USA 4:00pm UniMas
Wednesday, May 8 vs Seattle 7:30pm
Sunday, May 12 at Houston 3:00 ESPN
Sunday, May 19 at DC 4:00pm UniMas
Sunday, May 26 vs Houston 2:30 NBC Sports

Saturday, June 1 vs Montreal 7:30pm
Saturday, June 22 at Dallas 7:30pm
Saturday, June 29 vs Columbus 7:30pm

Wednesday, July 3 vs Vancouver 7:30pm
Sunday, July 7 at Chicago 2:00pm ESPN
Saturday, July 13 vs Toronto 7:30pm
Saturday, July 20 at Salt Lake
Saturday, July 27 at Montreal TBD

Saturday, August 3 vs New York 7:00pm NBC Sports
Saturday, August 10 vs New England 7:30pm
Sunday, August 18 at San Jose 10:00pm UniMas
Friday, August 23 at Chicago 7:30pm NBC Sports
Saturday, August 31 vs Colorado 7:30pm

Saturday, September 7 vs Columbus 7:30pm
Saturday, September 21 at Toronto TBD
Friday, September 27 vs Philadelphia 7:00pm NBC Sports

Saturday, October 5 at Columbus 6:30pm
Wednesday, October 9 at Houston 7:30pm
Friday, October 18 vs DC 7:00pm NBC Sports
Saturday, October 26 at Philadelphia 2:00pm NBC Sports

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