COMPLETE SCHEDULE: To view the 2015 MLS regular season schedule CLICK HERE. For team-specific schedules, visit club web sites.
The 2015 season, the first of an eight-year television and media rights partnership with ESPN, FOX Sports and Univision Deportes, will showcase new, consistent national television schedules, expanded live game streaming and innovative season-ending schedule enhancements – giving fans more opportunities than ever to engage with MLS content.
Univision Deportes’ first MLS game of the week will open the season as the record-setting, five-time MLS Cup champions LA Galaxy host the Chicago Fire on Friday, March 6 live on UniMás at 10 p.m. ET. Following a full slate of six games on Saturday, fans will be treated to an action packed six-and-a-half hour block of MLS programming on Sunday, March 8. First up, MLS’ two new expansion clubs will go head-to-head when Orlando City SC welcomes New York City FC (ESPN2, 5 p.m. ET). Fox Sports 1 will broadcast a star-studded doubleheader featuring 2013 MLS Cup champions Sporting Kansas City vs. the New York Red Bulls at Sporting Park (7 p.m. ET) and the 2014 Supporters’ Shield and Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup winners Seattle Sounders FC take on MLS Cup runners-up New England Revolution at CenturyLink Field (9:30 p.m. ET).
League rivalries – old and new – will be on display twice in 2015 as part of Heineken presents MLS Rivalry Week on June 26–28 and Aug. 28–30. The first installment of Rivalry Week will include the Texas Derby between FC Dallas and Houston Dynamo, kicking off on Friday, June 26 (UniMás, 9 p.m. ET). The first-ever clash at Yankee Stadium between New York clubs New York City FC and the New York Red Bulls will take place on Sunday, June 28 (ESPN2, 5 p.m. ET), while Cascadia Cup foes Seattle Sounders FC and Portland Timbers meet at Providence Park (FOX Sports 1, 7 p.m. ET). The second Rivalry Week will feature historic matchups, including LA Galaxy at the San Jose Earthquakes in the new Avaya Stadium (UniMás, 11 p.m. ET), Seattle Sounders FC vs. Portland Timbers (ESPN2, 5 p.m. ET) and D.C. United visiting the New York Red Bulls for the Atlantic Cup (FOX Sports 1, 7 p.m. ET).
Newly created schedule enhancements will ensure fans have access to the league’s most meaningful games during the season’s climax. MLS and its broadcast partners have introduced flex scheduling for the second-to-last weekend of the regular season which will allow FOX Sports 1, ESPN and Univision Deportes to decide to telecast the matches that matter most to fans late in the season.
The last day of the 2015 regular season will see MLS unveil a new, exciting scheduling format – dubbed “Decision Day” – which will be one final flurry of action to settle the standings and determine who is in, and who is out, of the MLS Cup Playoffs. Games across each conference will be played simultaneously with the most meaningful playoff-race games broadcast nationally. Five games in the Eastern Conference will be played concurrently on Sunday, Oct. 25 at 5 p.m. ET with one game airing on FOX Sports 1 and one game airing on UniMás. Immediately following, all five Western Conference matches will be played at 7 p.m. ET, with one game airing on ESPN2 and one game on Univision Deportes Networks. All other games will be showcased across network and league digital platforms to ensure fans do not miss a minute of the action.
This year, 12 teams will qualify for the MLS Cup Playoffs as the sixth place team in both conferences will now have a chance to vie for a chance at making the arduous trip to MLS Cup 2015, and for the first time ever, every minute of the playoffs will be telecast live on national TV. The Knockout Rounds will now consist of four single-elimination matches taking place on Wednesday, Oct. 28 and Thursday, Oct. 29.
The Conference Semifinals will take place over two consecutive weekends, Oct. 31–Nov. 1 and Nov. 7–8. Following a FIFA break from Nov. 9–17, the Conference Championship matches will begin on Nov. 21-22 and close out Nov. 28–29. The Conference Semifinals and Conference Championship matches will again be a two-game aggregate goal series with away goals serving as the tiebreaker. Of the two clubs that reach MLS Cup, the team with the better regular season record will host the championship game, on Dec. 5–6 or Dec. 12–13. Full playoff schedule details will be announced at a later date.
Non-national TV games will be played on Saturdays, with intermittent mid-week matches, and will be broadcast locally and/or via a subscription to a digital out-of-market package.
Other notable highlights for the 2015 season:
· Conference realignment: With the addition of Orlando City SC and New York City FC in 2015 to the East, the Houston Dynamo and Sporting Kansas City will move to the Western Conference, creating two 10-team conferences.
· Game breakdown: MLS’ 20 teams will each play 34 games during the regular season for a total of 340 matches.
o Clubs will play each team in the opposing conference once for five home and five away matches; each of their nine conference opponents at least twice (one home, one away); and six additional intra-conference games -- three home and three away versus different opponents.
· New Soccer-Specific Stadium Debuts: The San Jose Earthquakes will play the first game in their new home, Avaya Stadium, on Sunday, March 22 against the Chicago Fire (FOX Sports 1 at 7 p.m. ET).
· MLS Cup Replay: In a rematch of the 2014 MLS Cup final, the New England Revolution will welcome Robbie Keane and the LA Galaxy to Gillette Stadium on Sunday, May 31 (FOX Sports 1, 7 p.m.).
· TV in Canada: Nationally in Canada, at least 30 games featuring Canadian clubs will air on TSN networks in English and RDS networks in French. The TSN and RDS schedules will be announced in the coming weeks.
ESPN and FOX Sports 1 Sunday Doubleheader and Univision Deportes Friday Game of the Week Take Center Stage
New Playoff Format, Decision Day, and Flex Scheduling Headline Changes in 2015