Wednesday, December 21, 2016

MLS Release Home Openers, Sporting Have Three Games Announced

MLS today announced the home openers for all 22 MLS teams, and with that we know three of Sporting KC's games to start the season.

Sporting KC will once again open the season on the road, starting against DC United at RFK Stadium on March 4th with a 6pm kick off. The game should be the last game KC ever plays in the stadium where they won MLS Cup 2000 as DC United is scheduled to open their new stadium in 2018 and KC's next road trip to DC won't come until the 2019 season. This will actually be the eighth time that KC will play DC in their season opener, KC is 5-2 in the previous seven games (1998 L, 2001 L, 2003 W, 2007 W, 2008 W, 2010 W, 2012 W) including a 2-2 record when opening the season at RFK Stadium (1998, 2001, 2007, 2012).

Sporting will have their home opener just one week later, on March 11th they'll welcome the defending Supporters' Shield winners, FC Dallas to Children's Mercy Park. Kansas City has one of the best records in home openers in all of MLS, with a 13-2-6 record in the first home game of the season. The game will hopefully be a sign of things to come for many Sporting KC fans this season, Saturday night games, as the game kicks off at 7:30 Central time. One of the big complaints I saw last season from a number of fans was the schedule that saw Kansas City have numerous different start times and a lack of Saturday games. Sporting obviously had little to do with this due to their being on national television so much. Hopefully KC will have a few more Saturday night games than the four they had in 2016.

The third game that is already on the schedule for Sporting KC is the fifth week of the season when Sporting KC will travel to BMO Field for Toronto FC's home opener. This will be the second time that KC will play Toronto in their home opener, the last time was when the stadium opened back in 2007, when Kansas City pulled out a 1-0 win on a goal by Eddie Johnson. Playing two Eastern Conference teams on the road so early in the season means that KC will have gotten two of their five or six East Coast road trips out of the way early in the season. This year Sporting is supposed to play DC, Toronto, Columbus, New York City, and Orlando on the road for sure, and could possibly play Atlanta as well, depending on how MLS breaks the schedule down. With getting two out of the way early it'll mean fewer road trips East later in the season.

The rest of the schedule is still scheduled to come out in January, when we'll see the club's first trip to Minnesota and the first time they play Atlanta.

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