With the level of television coverage MLS gets in the United States, often with three nationally televised matches a week I’ll attempt to narrow down the must-see dates for you.
We begin the list with perhaps the two most high-profile rivalry matches:
1.) June 24th: New York Red Bulls vs NYCFC on FOX
In what has quickly become one of the most significant and must see dramas in MLS, the Hudson River derby is one of constant entertainment. Red Bull has dominated the serious winning five of six to this point including a 7-0 drubbing. This year both New York clubs are primed to build on their successful 2016 seasons with yet another push toward the playoffs.
2.) May 27th: Seattle vs Portland on FOX
Seattle vs Portland, say no more. This is the best rivalry in MLS and with these clubs lifting the last two MLS Cups, there will be extra incentive for a rough and tumble match.
3.) September 27th: Seattle vs Vancouver (no national television in US)
This might be the most significant star player returning home since Landon Donovan went back to San Jose with the Galaxy. Freddy Montero is the player in question and many of the Seattle faithful along with the players won’t soon forget that Montero chose a rival to return to.
4.) July 30th: Atlanta United vs Orlando on FOX
The opening of Mercedes-Benz arena will be a sight to behold. Add in Kaka and the rest of Orlando City and a nationally televised game, look out.
5.) March 12th: Minnesota United vs Atlanta United on ESPN2
Just the second match week of the season and we are treated to the expansion bowl. Minny will be opening their home season and many storylines and theories of expansion roster building will be put to the test.
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6.) May 6th: Toronto FC vs Seattle on ESPN
MLS Cup rematch. I don’t need to say more.
7.) May 28th: Houston vs Dallas: on FS1
The Texas Derby is always spicy and with Dallas loaded for a run at perhaps four trophies.
8.) May 27th: L.A. vs San Jose on UDN
The California Clasico is one of the oldest rivalries in MLS and shouldn’t be left off any list of must-see television. The match is often contentious with bad blood on both sides.
9.) March 5th: Orlando vs NYCFC on ESPN
This is the opening of Orlando’s unique new stadium. For those familiar with the Yellow Wall of Borussia Dortmund, prepare for a miniature version of that in Orlando, check it out.
10.) August 12th: Chicago vs Columbus: no national television
I couldn’t leave off my Columbus Crew SC and this rivalry might regain some former. Chicago with their offseason additions might be a player for the playoffs and Columbus look to bounce back after a disappointing Eastern Conference defense last season.
MLS is back this weekend folks, Portland and Minnesota kick off the 3rd on FS1