2009 regular season kicks off March 19 featuring inaugural game for Seattle Sounders FC and
14 of 15 MLS clubs in action opening weekend
NEW YORK (Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2008) – Major League Soccer's 14th season begins with ""First Kick,"" the weekend of March 19-22, 2009, when 14 teams kickoff the 2009 MLS regular season. Highlights of First Kick include the inaugural game for 2009 expansion team Seattle Sounders FC. Seattle, the League's 15th team hosts the New York Red Bulls, MLS Cup 2008 finalists, on Thursday, March 19 at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes.
The home opener for each MLS club is included below. Games could be added to Weeks 2 and 3 at a later date. Major League Soccer's complete 2009 schedule, including local and national broadcast details, will be announced by early February 2009.
The 2008 MLS Cup Champion Columbus Crew kick off their season in one of five games on Saturday, March 21 when they travel to face the Houston Dynamo at 8 p.m. ET on Fox Soccer Channel and Fox Sports en Español. Fox Soccer Channel and Fox Sports en Español's opening weekend double header continues Saturday evening with Chivas USA hosting Western Conference foe the Colorado Rapids at 10:30 p.m. ET.
Also squaring off on Saturday, March 21 in First Kick action are Eastern Conference foes Toronto FC traveling to face the Kansas City Wizards at 8:30 p.m. ET, the Chicago Fire traveling to face FC Dallas at 8:30 p.m. ET, and the New England Revolution who travel to face the San Jose Earthquakes at 10:30 p.m. ET.
First Kick action closes on Sunday, March 22 when the Los Angeles Galaxy host D.C. United at 3 p.m. ET on TeleFutura.
Real Salt Lake is the only club that is not in action during First Kick weekend. In its first MLS game since hosting the Western Conference Championship, Rio Tinto Stadium will open its doors to host the Columbus Crew in Week 3 in primetime on ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes April 2 at 9 p.m. ET.
Each team will play a 30-game regular season. Of the 15 teams that will compete in 2009, seven will be in the Eastern Conference and eight will be in the Western Conference, where Seattle Sounders FC is the newest addition. Each team will play every other MLS team home and away, for a base of 28 games. Two additional games against intra-conference rivals will complete each team's 30-game schedule. The regular season ends on Oct. 25.
The complete opening weekend schedule, as well as the home opener for each of the 15 teams, is listed below.
(Game dates, times and venues are subject to change. All times eastern)
REGULAR SEASON – WEEK 1 (FIRST KICK)
Thursday, March 19, 2009
New York Red Bulls at Seattle Sounders FC, 9 p.m. (ESPN2/Deportes)
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Columbus Crew at Houston Dynamo, 8 p.m. (Fox Soccer Channel/Fox Sports en Español)
Chicago Fire at FC Dallas, 8:30 p.m.
Toronto FC at Kansas City Wizards, 8:30 p.m.
Colorado Rapids at Chivas USA, 10:30 pm (Fox Soccer Channel/Fox Sports en Español)
New England Revolution at San Jose Earthquakes, 10:30 p.m.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
D.C. United at Los Angeles Galaxy, 3 p.m. (TeleFutura)
REGULAR SEASON – WEEK 2
Saturday, March 28, 2008
Toronto FC at Columbus Crew, 4 p.m.
San Jose Earthquakes at D.C. United, 7:30 p.m.
New England Revolution at New York Red Bulls, 7:30 p.m.
Kansas City Wizards at Colorado Rapids, 9:30 p.m.
REGULAR SEASON – WEEK 3
Thursday, April 2, 2009
Columbus Crew at Real Salt Lake, 9 p.m. (ESPN2/Deportes)
Saturday, April 4, 2009
Seattle Sounders FC at Toronto FC, 3 p.m.
FC Dallas at New England Revolution, TBD
Sunday, April 5, 2009
New York Red Bulls at Chicago Fire, 3 p.m. (TeleFutura)
ABOUT MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER
Headquartered in New York City, Major League Soccer is the top-flight professional soccer league in the United States and features many stars from the U.S. and around the world. Having recently finished its 13th
season, MLS will have 15 teams in the 2009 season, which begins March 19: the Chicago Fire, Colorado Rapids, Chivas USA, Columbus Crew, D.C. United, FC Dallas, Houston Dynamo, Kansas City Wizards, Los Angeles Galaxy, New York Red Bulls, New England Revolution, Real Salt Lake, San Jose Earthquakes, Toronto FC and, in its inaugural season, Seattle Sounders FC. A Philadelphia expansion team will debut in 2010. For more information about MLS, log on to the League's official Web site at www.MLSnet.com