MLS announced its 2023 schedule today. The season begins February 25 and ends October 20, with a break between July 15 and August 20 for the mid-season Leagues Cup with Liga MX (schedule yet to be announced). Here’s some takeaways, from a Minnesota United perspective:
- The season opener is February 25, at Dallas; the home opener is March 11, against the New York Red Bulls, in a night game (which should be silly and frozen).
- They have three “national TV” games - home against Seattle on FOX (8/27), plus home against Dallas (4/30) and away against LAFC (10/4) on FS1.
- Nashville is back in the Eastern Conference, and Chicago stayed in the East, so at least the map makes sense. With 15 teams in the East and 14 in the West, MLS basically has two leagues with occasional crossover games; the Loons will play seven games against the Eastern Conference this year, but 27 against the Western Conference.
- The Loons’ extra conference game is at Sporting Kansas City, which is horrible for them because they lose 4-0 every time they play in Kansas (playoffs excepted).
- The Loons don’t play March 4, the odd team out in the 29-team league.
- Minnesota will play during the March FIFA international window (home against Vancouver, March 25) and the June window (at Montreal, June 10), but the entire league will break for the windows in September and October. All four of Minnesota’s July games, which take place between July 1 and July 15, will fall into the span of the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
- The crossover games are against NYRB, Orlando City, at Chicago, Toronto, at Montreal, New England, and at New York City FC. Apart from Orlando City, there’s a certain NHL flavor to that crossover schedule.
- The Loons did not win the “home game against Inter Miami after the summer transfer window” lottery, with those spots going to LAFC and St. Louis City.