2018

2018 MLS Schedule Release

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Everyone has a team that they love, multiple teams they dislike to varying degrees and the rest of them are just there because they need to be played (editor's note: Hi, San Jose).  During the season, obsessing over the team you love, actively despising the teams you hate and ignoring the teams that you don’t care about.  The offseason is a different story.  There’s always a down period between the end of the season and the player movement period, whether you call it Free Agency or the opening of the Transfer Market.

However, there is one other critical date that fans anxiously await for, and it’s a floating one.  It’s schedule release date.  The date in which fans start actively planning their away days and inundating their bosses with vacation requests.  In the past number of years, the Cascadia Cup scheduled has been balanced, with each team playing the same number of matches against the other two teams.  When LAFC was announced as an expansion team entering the league in 2018, there was a concern that the Cascadia Cup schedule would suffer.  When the schedule was officially released, our fears were realized and now it’s up to the Cascadia Cup Council (1 representative from the Vancouver Southsiders, Timbers Army and Emerald City Supporters) to decide which matches do and don’t count towards the Cup.

Some partners were advised ahead of time that this was likely to happen, therefore we have had some time to digest this.  We do not like this development as the derby matches are the most anticipated dates on the calendar for some of our partners.  We hope that the league will flip this for next season so that we will benefit from having an extra derby match.

Looking specifically at our Caps schedule, the 5 week run out goes as follows:
Mar 4 – home to Montreal
Mar 10 – away to Houston
Mar 17 – away to Atlanta
Mar 24 – home to LA Galaxy
Mar 31 – away to Columbus

The run-in goes as follows:
Sept 29 -  away to LA Galaxy
Oct 6 – away to Toronto FC
Oct 17 – home to Sporting KC
Oct 21 – away to LA FC
Oct 28 – home to Portland.

Notable dates:
Apr 13 – LAFC’s first trip to BC Place – return of Jordan Harvey
July 14 – away to DC – opening of Audi Field in DC
July 21 – away to Seattle
Aug 11 – away to Portland
Sept 15 – home to Seattle
Oct 28 – home to Portland – Decision Day

Cascadia Dates:
May 13 – Seattle at Portland
June 30 – Portland at Seattle
Aug 26 – Seattle at Portland

Voyageurs Cup Dates:
July 18 - Vancouver at Montreal
July 25 - Montreal at Vancouver
August 8 - Final (Leg 1)
August 15 - Final (Leg 2)

For many fans and fellow supporters who don’t work a standard Monday-Friday shift or travel a significant distance, what day the match is played on and the posted kickoff time of utmost importance.  With the World Cup break, more midweek matches were to be expected, however, it’s not as bad as it could have been.  This year, Caps supporters will make 2 Wednesday (May & Oct), 3 Friday {April and May), 8 Saturday and 4 Sunday trips to BC Place.  Of note, the Caps will play their first ever home match on Canada Day (Sunday, July 1) vs Colorado.  As for kickoff time, the earliest is 1:30pm (Decision Day vs Portland) and the latest is 7:30pm (4 times, San Jose, LAFC, RSL, Chicago) 

It should also be noted that the Caps have no extended road trips this year, with them making multiple 2 game trips, most likely in part to other teams having extended spells away from home.  Portland, LAFC and DC United all see extended roadtrips to start the season with Providence Park (Apr 14), Banc of California (Apr 29) and Audi Field (July 14) all in various stages of completion.  The World Cup break is from June 14 – 22nd.  Should one of the Whitecaps players make it all the way to the Final, 4 games would be missed (@ Philadelphia, home to Colorado and Chicago, away to DC) with the potential availability in question for the July 21st match vs Seattle.