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MLS releases 2022 schedule with earliest start date ever

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MLS officially released its 2022 schedule on Wednesday, highlighted by the earliest start in league history to account for the year-ending FIFA World Cup.

At 28 teams with the addition of expansion Charlotte FC, the season will begin Saturday, Feb. 26 with nine games. D.C. United will play host to Charlotte FC’s debut on the league’s opening day.

Also scheduled for Feb. 26: Western Conference-champion Colorado Rapids will play host to Los Angeles FC, while Supporter’s Shield winner New England Revolution plays host to the MLS Cup runner-up Portland Timbers.

Five games will take place a day later, including champion New York City FC on the road at the Los Angeles Galaxy.

The home debut for Charlotte FC is scheduled for March 5 against the Galaxy, with an MLS-record crowd of 74,000 expected at Bank of America Stadium.

In their third year of operation, Nashville SC is scheduled to open their soccer-specific stadium May 1 against the Philadelphia Union.

A total of 68 games are expected to air on ABC/ESPN, as well as Fox Sports platforms, including seven of those games on the FOX network.

The MLS All-Star Game will take place Aug. 10 at Minnesota, while the regular-season ending Decision Day is scheduled for Oct. 9. The MLS Cup title game is scheduled for Nov. 5, more than a month earlier than this year’s MLS Cup won by NYCFC on Saturday.

The early-November ending to the season will clear the way for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, scheduled to take place Nov. 21-Dec. 18 at Qatar.

–Field Level Media

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