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January 17, 2017
Image: Seattle Sounders lift the 2016 MLS Cup
Major League Soccer has announced its 2017 schedule.
It'll be a record-breaking year with the league staging an all-time single-season high of 374 MLS matches.
Each club will play 34 games - 17 home, 17 away – facing their 10 conference opponents twice and all 11 clubs in the opposite conference once. The remaining three matches on each team's schedule will be against conference foes.
Two new expansion sides have been added and one of those – Minnesota United – will take part in the MLS season opener, when they face the Portland Timbers in their inaugural match on March 3 (9:30pm ET).
Atlanta United are the other new boys and they start on home soil against New York Red Bulls on Sunday, March 5 (7pm ET), while Orlando City will christen their new stadium in Week 1 against New York City earlier on the same day (5pm ET).
“Everyone at PRO looks forward to the new season,” PRO's Assignment and Travel Coordinator Alan Brown said. “It provides us with the opportunities to execute our plans.
“The planning for the 2017 season has been considered for several years with the announcement of the additional teams and consequently additional 34 regular season games.
“The focus on the opening weekend matches will occur immediately after our Preseason camp at the end of January.”
The assignments of match officials for the opening fixtures will be published in early February.
MLS Key Dates
Opening weekend: March 3-5
Heineken Rivalry Week: June 23-25 and August 23-27
Push to Playoffs: October 15
Decision Day: October 22
Gold Cup break: July 7-17