There is plenty going on today for fans of Portland soccer — signings, more signings, and the NWSL College Draft — but Major League Soccer waits for no man (or, clearly, woman), so it comes as no surprise that the league’s schedule has been released in the middle of this already busy day.
After a quick look, the Portland Timbers’ 2017 regular season schedule looks fairly well constructed, but as we are still in the era of uneven scheduling there are plenty of quirks to be found, particularly with expansion sides Atlanta United and Minnesota United entering the league.
In 2017 the Timbers will once again play 34 games over the course of the regular season. They will be facing off once against each Eastern Conference side, twice against seven Western Conference sides, and three times against three Western Conference sides.
Surprising no one, the sides that the Timbers face most frequently will be their Cascadian rivals the Vancouver Whitecaps and Seattle Sounders, as well as Heritage Cup nemeses the San Jose Earthquakes. The Timbers will play home twice against the Caps — including in the final match of the regular season, away twice against the Sounders, and away twice against the Quakes.
From the East, the Timbers will host Atlanta, getting a home look at the newcomers, as well as the New England Revolution, Chicago Fire, New York Red Bulls, Orlando City SC, and D.C. United. The Timbers will be on the road against Eastern Conference sides the Columbus Crew, Philadelphia Union, Montreal Impact, Toronto FC, and New York City FC.
Other notes from the schedule:
- The Timbers will play three Wednesday home games, two Friday home games, four Saturday home games, and eight Sunday home games.
- The Timbers’ first week without a match comes between their Wed. home match against the Fire on 7/5 and their Wed. home match against Real Salt Lake on 7/19.
- There are four matches whose time is listed as “TBD”, including the Timbers’ first home match against the Whitecaps on 4/22.
- The Timbers do have two stretches of three games in eight days, 6/18 to 6/25 and 8/20 to 8/27.
- The Timbers have back to back home games five times in 2017, including the final two games of the season.
- The Timbers have back to back away games five (technically six) times in 2017, including a run of three away games from 8/27 to 9/16.
- The Timbers will have seven games broadcast on FS1, four on ESPN, and one each on ESPN2, UniMas, and FOX.