On Thursday the 4th January in the middle of one of the busiest off seasons in league history, the 2018 Major League Soccer (MLS) Regular Season schedule was released in full, in a special live show on MLSsoccer.com.
There are now 23 teams with the opening weekend set for the 3rd and 4th March. Each club will play 34 games which includes 17 home games and 17 away games, with teams facing each of their conference opponents (10 in the East, 11 in the West) twice during the season (1 home, 1 away).
The Audi 2018 MLS Cup Playoffs will begin Wednesday, October 31 and run through MLS Cup Saturday, December 8.
The opening match will be between Toronto and Eastern Conference Championship opponent Columbus Crew SC, followed by Houston Dynamo and Atlanta United.
On the Sunday Seattle will host LAFC, Sporting Kansas City will host New York City FC, LA Galaxy will host Portland Timbers, whilst Vancouver Whitecaps FC will host their cross-Canadian rivals, the Montreal Impact.
Some of the most of promising encounters will be between the following teams:
March 17 | Real Salt Lake vs. New York Red Bulls
April 13 | Philadelphia Union vs. Orlando City
April 21 | Montreal Impact vs. LAFC
June 24 | Atlanta United vs. Portland Timbers
July 1 | Toronto FC vs. New York Red Bulls
July 14 | D.C. United vs. Vancouver Whitecaps
July 26 | LAFC vs. LA Galaxy
Aug. 4 | Atlanta United vs. Toronto FC
Oct. 28 | New York Red Bulls vs. Orlando City
Oct. 28 | Columbus Crew SC vs. Minnesota United
The first of two new MLS stadiums to open in 2018 will be LAFC’s Banc of California Stadium. The expansion club will play its first home game against the Seattle Sounders on April 29, a nationally-televised contest on FS1, starting at 9 p.m. ET.
D.C. United will follow suit when they open Audi Field against the Vancouver Whitecaps on July 14 (7:30 pm ET; MLS LIVE).