Wednesday, January 07, 2015

2015 Schedule Released

MLS released the 2015 MLS schedule today, and now comes the fun part for all fans, planning the rest of the year, planning their vacations, planning their trips home, planning their road trips.

With Sporting's move to the Western Conference, Sporting gets a completely different make up of games than they have the last few years. The format still stays the same, with Sporting playing every team in conference at least twice, six of the teams in the West (Colorado, Dallas, Houston, Portland, Salt Lake, and Seattle) KC will play three times this year. Three will have two games in KC (Colorado, Dallas, and Seattle) the other three will get to host KC two times this year. The other three teams (LA, San Jose, and Vancouver) will play KC home and away.

For the most part though, the schedule breaks down well for Sporting KC, except for one stretch. From August 22nd through September 13th, Sporting KC play four straight games on the road all over the country. KC starts in Columbus on the 22nd, then goes to Colorado on the 29th. After being off for Labor Day weekend, Sporting hits the really hard part of this trip. They'll travel to Portland on September 9th for a Wednesday night game before flying across country to play expansion side Orlando City in Orlando on Sunday the 13th. A brutal stretch where the team will play in every time zone but their own, and the last two are on opposite sides of the country. A stretch that will be hard for the team in the late season run.

The rest of the schedule is quite nice with a lot of alternating home and away games that don't lead to a lot of home burn out. Eighteen of Sporting's games will be played on Saturdays, with eight of those being at home. Five of Sporting's eight Sunday games are at Sporting Park as well. The final eight games are on Wednesdays and Fridays (four each) with two each of those being at Sporting Park, so a fairly balanced home schedule with the majority of games on the weekend. Like last year, Sporting will again be a focus of national broadcasts with 10 games on national TV, with seven of those 10 games being at Sporting Park. Sporting will appear on Fox Sports 1 four times (twice at home), ESPN2 three times, all at home, and three times on UniMas (two at home). One odd thing is that Sporting is not playing on either the weekend of July 4th or on Labor Day weekend in September, a bit surprising with those long weekends that Sporting plays, neither home or away for those two.

One thing that Sporting will again have to be mindful of is international call ups. Along with the Gold Cup this summer there are a number of US national team friendlies already announced that could see Graham Zusi and Matt Besler called up. And with Jorge Claros and Roger Espinoza in the squad Honduras' call ups could hurt too. The first ones are in late March when the US travels to Denmark on the 25th and Switzerland on the 31st. Meanwhile, Honduras has their final Gold Cup qualifiers against French Guiana on the 25th in French Guiana and in Honduras on the 29th. That could potentially affect KC's games against Portland on the 21st and their game against Philadelphia on April 5th. It'll definitely affect Sporting's first trip to Yankee Stadium on March 28th if any of KC's internationals are called up by their national team. Come June, Sporting could be down internationals for their game on June 6th at home against the Sounders as the US will be playing the Netherlands on June 5th.

The good news for Sporting is that come this summer when the Gold Cup hits, Sporting players will miss at most three games. And that's a good thing because along with KC's two US internationals and two Honduran internationals, James Marcelin could possibly be called up to represent Haiti in the federation competition. Players called up would definitely miss the July 12th game at Vancouver, and depending on advancement could miss games against Montreal on the 18th and at Salt Lake on the 24th. Certainly not an easy stretch to be down as many as five players (potentially more if more players get called up).

Here is this year's full schedule, plan your road trips accordingly.

Sun., March 8 vs NYRB 6pm (FS1)
Sat., March 14 @ Dallas 7:30pm
Sat., March 21 vs Portland 7:30pm
Sat., March 28 @ NYCFC TBD
Sun., April 5 vs Philadelphia 6pm (FS1)
Sat., April 11 vs Real Salt Lake 7:30pm
Sat., April 18 @ Los Angeles 9:30pm
Sat., April 25 @ Houston 7:30pm
Sun., May 3 vs Chicago 4pm (ESPN2)
Sat., May 9 @ DC 6pm
Sat., May 16 vs Colorado 7:30pm
Wed., May 20 vs New England 7pm (ESPN2)
Sat., May 23 @ Seattle TBD
Fri., May 29 vs Dallas 8pm (UniMas)
Sat., June 6 vs Seattle 7:30pm
Sun., June 21 @ Real Salt Lake 9pm (FS1)
Sat., June 27 vs Colorado 7:30pm
Sun., July 12 @ Vancouver TBD
Sat., July 18 vs Montreal 7:30pm
Fri., July 24 @ Real Salt Lake 10pm (UniMas)
Sat., Aug 1 vs Houston 7:30pm
Sat., Aug 8 @ Toronto TBD
Sat., Aug 15 vs Vancouver 7:30pm
Wed., Aug 19 vs San Jose 7:30pm
Sat., Aug 22 @ Columbus 6:30pm
Sat., Aug 29 @ Colorado 8pm
Wed., Sept 9 @ Portland 9:30pm
Sun., Sept 13 @ Orlando 6pm (FS1)
Fri., Sept 18 vs Dallas 6pm (UniMas)
Wed., Sept 23 @ Houston 7:30pm
Sun., Sept 27 vs Seattle 4pm (ESPN2)
Sat., Oct 3 @ Portland 9:30pm
Fri., Oct 16 @ San Jose 10pm
Sun., Oct 25 vs Los Angeles 6pm


Anonymous said...

Thanks for putting this together but you have two errors. The July 24 and Aug 8 games are away not home.

Christian Sinclair said...

Why is the Friday game against Dallas at 6pm? Might need to take the day off work!