NEW YORK – Major League Soccer announced on Friday plans to unveil the 2011 MLS regular season schedule next Thursday, February 10.
“Assembling the schedule begins after MLS Cup and involves several interdependent factors, including competitive fairness, international competitions, stadium availability, broadcast windows, and club preferences,” the league said in a statement released Friday. “The 18 home openers were announced December 20, and we have waited until the entire schedule is complete before making it public.”
The 2011 league season will feature a balanced schedule, with each team playing the others once at home and once away.
With the addition of two new expansion clubs, Portland Timbers and Vancouver Whitecaps FC, each club will now play a total of 34 regular season matches. In 2010, teams' season schedules consisted of 30 matches.
“We recognize that the timing of [the schedule’s] release has caused some inconvenience and we appreciate our fans’ continued patience,” MLS said in the statement.
First Kick 2011 starts on Tuesday, March 15, with the nationally televised match between Seattle Sounders FC and LA Galaxy (9:30 p.m. ET, ESPN and possible TSN in Canada?).