Major League Soccer unveils home openers for 2015 season, featuring six games on national networks

Orlando City SC will host New York City FC at the Citrus Bowl on Sunday, March 8 (5 pm ET; ESPN2), the first match of the league’s new nationally televised weekly doubleheader on Sunday nights.

NEW YORK – Major League Soccer’s two expansion franchises will make their league debut against one another when the 2015 season opens next March, one of 10 opening weekend matchups revealed by the league on Friday.

Orlando City SC will host New York City FC at the Citrus Bowl on Sunday, March 8 (5 pm ET; ESPN2), the first match of the league’s new nationally televised weekly doubleheader on Sunday nights.

Sporting Kansas City will host in the New York Red Bulls in Sunday’s nightcap (7 pm ET; FOX Sports 1), a rematch of the dramatic Eastern Conference knockout round clash in October won by the Red Bulls.

FOX Sports 1 will cap the opening weekend with a bonus match when the reigning Supporters’ Shield champion Seattle Sounders host the MLS Cup runners-up New England Revolution at CenturyLink Field on Sunday (9:30 pm ET).

The 2015 season is the first of an eight-year landmark television and media rights partnerships with ESPN, FOX Sports and Univision networks.

All three partners will feature an exclusive MLS Match of the Week for the first time in league history. The Univision family of networks will televise a game of the week on Friday evenings – primarily on UniMás.

The first such Friday night match of 2015 will also double as the first game of the new season on March 6, featuring the defending MLS Cup champion LA Galaxy at home against the Chicago Fire (10 pm ET; UniMás).

“The opening week of our 20th regular season will be one of the most exciting in recent memory,” said Gary Stevenson, president and managing director, MLS Business Ventures. “Thanks to the commitment of our broadcast partners, who have committed to delivering consistent appointment viewing, our fans will have the opportunity to see some of best athletes and match-ups in our sport today.”

On Saturday, March 7, D.C. United, FC Dallas, Houston Dynamo, Philadelphia Union, Portland Timbers, and Vancouver Whitecaps FC will all play their respective home openers.

Canadian broadcast partners TSN and RDS will carry rivalry match Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs. Toronto FC (6 pm ET; TSN1 and RDS2), and RDS will carry Montreal’s visit to RFK Stadium when the Impact take on D.C. United (3 pm ET, RDS1).

MLS will welcome the 15th soccer-specific stadium in League history when the San Jose Earthquakes inaugurate their new home, Avaya Stadium, on Sunday, March 22 against the Chicago Fire.

Other home openers of note include New York City FC’s debut at Yankee Stadium against the Revolution on March 15, while Toronto FC will play their first home game on May 10, after renovations at BMO Field are completed to make it the largest soccer-specific stadium in the league.

Additional information on times and broadcast details for these games and others will be revealed in the coming weeks as part of the complete 2015 regular season schedule announcement.

Dates and match ups for the 2015 home openers are below (home teams listed first).

All matches subject to change

WEEK 1

Friday, March 6
LA Galaxy vs. Chicago Fire (StubHub Center) – 10 pm ET, Unimas

Saturday, March 7
D.C. United vs. Montreal Impact (RFK Stadium) – 3 pm ET, RDS1
Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs. Toronto FC (BC Place) – 6 pm ET, TSN1 and RDS2
Houston Dynamo vs. Columbus Crew SC (BBVA Compass Stadium)
Philadelphia Union vs. Colorado Rapids (PPL PARK)
Portland Timbers vs. Real Salt Lake (Providence Park)
FC Dallas vs. San Jose Earthquakes (Toyota Stadium)

Sunday, March 8
Orlando City SC vs. New York City FC (Orlando Citrus Bowl) – 5 pm ET, ESPN2
Sporting Kansas City vs. New York Red Bulls (Sporting Park) – 7 pm ET, FOX Sports 1
Seattle Sounders FC vs. New England Revolution (CenturyLink Field) – 9:30 pm ET, FOX Sports 1

WEEK 2

Saturday, March 14
Chicago Fire vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC (Toyota Park)
Real Salt Lake vs. Philadelphia Union (Rio Tinto Stadium)
Columbus Crew SC vs. Toronto FC (Columbus Crew Stadium)

Sunday, March 15
New York City FC vs. New England Revolution (Yankee Stadium)

WEEK 3

Saturday, March 21
New England Revolution vs. Montreal Impact (Gillette Stadium)
Colorado Rapids vs. New York City FC (Dick’s Sporting Goods Park)

Sunday, March 22
New York Red Bulls vs. D.C. United (Red Bull Arena)
San Jose Earthquakes vs. Chicago Fire (Avaya Stadium)

WEEK 4

Saturday, March 28
Montreal Impact vs. Orlando City SC (Olympic Stadium)

WEEK 10

Sunday, May 10
Toronto FC vs. Houston Dynamo (BMO Field)*

*Home opener to follow BMO Field renovations

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