The Portland Timbers today released their full slate of 34 games for the 2022 regular season, giving fans who are still smarting from their MLS Cup loss plenty to look forward to in just a few short months.
As previously announced, the Timbers will open their 2022 season at home on February 26, where they host the New England Revolution. The regular season will then run until October 9, when it will culminate on Decision Day - a full month earlier than the final regular season match day in 2021.
Unlike 2021, the playoffs will immediately begin with three weeks of games that will produce two conference champions, who will play in MLS Cup, slated for November 5. The full MLS season will conclude more than two weeks prior to that start of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar which is set to begin on November 21.
As for the schedule itself, the Timbers are facing a more balanced schedule than they did in the past two seasons. After having a very Western Conference-heavy 2021, where they faced only two Eastern Conference foes, the Timbers will square off against eight of the 14 teams from the East. Four of those games will be at home and four will be on the road. Notably, the Timbers will not face their 2021 MLS Cup Final opponents NYCFC during the regular season.
The Timbers will face each team in the Western Conference twice - once at Providence Park and once in an away fixture. That means, for the first time since the 2019 season, the Timbers will face their Cascadia foes Seattle and Vancouver just twice during the regular season. The first rivalry matchup will come at Vancouver on April 9 and then at Seattle on July 9. Home Cascadia matches are set for July 17 against Vancouver and August 26 against Seattle.
Other scheduling notes to point out are that Portland will only have four midweek MLS games this season. They also will only have one Saturday-Wednesday-Saturday stretch of games over the course of the season. Limiting midweek games and quick rest between games was a point of emphasis for Major League Soccer going into the 2021 season and it will hopefully lead to more consistent play and less injuries across the league.
The Timbers schedule is mostly balanced between the eight months of the regular season with August presenting itself as the team’s busiest month, when they will play six matches over the span of four weeks. Portland will, as of now, have 13 matches broadcast on national television.
You can read the team’s press release and check out the full schedule for yourself here.
What are your thoughts on the schedule? Which dates are you circling on your calendar as must-attend matches? Let us know in the comments!