Amidst all the European transfer rumors, loans & signings, Major League Soccer announced their 2012 schedule. This features many talking points from First Kick on March 10 to the last regular season game on Sunday, October 30th. Here's a couple things to look out for.
L.A. Galaxy's Fully Booked Dance Card
2 CCL matches with Toronto FC a week apart starting on March 7th in Toronto with the return leg a week later at home. In between those fixtures Galaxy will feature in a First Kick season opener at home replaying the 2011 West Final versus Real Salt Lake. A week and a day later they take on Golden Boot winner Dwayne DeRosario and D.C. United. 4 Games in 11 days for Beckham, Donovan, Keane & co.
The Rookie vs. Sophomore Challenge
On the first day of the season, 2 former USL teams who have made the upgrade to MLS will face each other. Vancouver Whitecaps have plenty of room to improve after their first year in the league. Hopefully, this game they can show new boys Montreal Impact the ropes with a friendly cross-country clash.
The Brian Ching Cup
In the expansion draft Houston Dynamos management left their coveted and fan-favorite Brian Ching off the protected list. They thought that there would be no way the Montreal Impact would choose the USMNT striker. They were wrong and disappointed, now after threats of Ching retiring deemed empty, the 2 games Impact & Dynamo have scheduled are destined for controversy. Mark your calendars for June 23rd in Montreal & the epic return in Houston on July 21st.
NBC National Coverage
So brokering a deal with NBC and MLS have a commitment of 41 matches on their network, which is mainly cable featured. The highlight of this deal is the 3 games shown on national television in the fall season. The first shown is a great choices considering all the regalia of the Cascadia Cup between two great supported sides in the same region. Portland Timbers vs. Seattle Sounders will be shown September 15th 3:30pm EST. The remaining 2 NBC showcases will feature the New York Red Bulls taking on Chicago Fire before the season closer versus Philadelphia Union that could potentially decide a playoff spot in the East Conference.
Along with the major Regional Match-Ups,this should be another exciting MLS season. Make sure that you order your Futbolr to match your favorite teams in the MLS to double your support!