Yes, you heard right. The 2014 MLS Schedule is not late because they released it 2 months earlier than usual.
Saturday March 8th @ Portland Timbers
Saturday March 15th vs New England Revolution
Saturday March 22nd @ Columbus Crew
Saturday March 29th vs Montreal Impact
Saturday April 5th @ Chicago Fire
Saturday April 12th vs Real Salt Lake
Wednesday April 16th @ New York Red Bulls
Saturday April 19th vs Houston Dynamo
Saturday April 26th @ Montreal Impact
Saturday May 3rd @ Seattle Sounders
Saturday May 10th vs DC United
Wednesday May 14th @ Sporting Kansas City
Saturday May 17th vs New England Revolution
Sunday May 25th @ LA Galaxy - Univision
Saturday May 31st @ Chivas USA
Saturday June 7th vs Vancouver Whitecaps
Saturday June 28th @ New England Revolution
Friday July 4th @ FC Dallas
Saturday July 12th vs Colorado Rapids
Wednesday July 16th vs New York Red Bulls - ESPN2
Saturday July 19th @ Chicago Fire
Friday August 1st @ Sporting Kansas City - NBCSN
Saturday August 9th vs Montreal Impact
Friday August 15th @ Houston Dynamo - NBCSN
Sunday August 24th vs San Jose Earthquakes - Univision
Wednesday September 3rd vs Toronto FC
Saturday September 6th @ Toronto FC
Saturday September 13th vs New York Red Bulls - NBCSN
Saturday September 20th vs Houston Dynamo
Saturday September 27th @ DC United - NBCSN
Thursday October 2nd vs Chicago Fire - ESPN2
Saturday October 11th vs Columbus Crew
Saturday October 18th vs Sporting Kansas City
Sunday October 26th @ Columbus Crew
*Dates subject to change
Now, we'd like to analyze the team matchups - who the Philadelphia Union are facing in what order, and how well it would go - but MLS hasn't even finished the 2013 MLS Cup match yet, and the off-season drafts are only just beginning. All we can really do is see how the schedule could effect the team and any expectations.
1) A season of halves - Before the World Cup break in June,the Union would have played 16 games. 7 home games and 9 away. Of those 16 games, they will have played 6 Western Conference teams, 4 of them being away matches. None of these matches consist of back to back home games, although there are 2 back to back away games - Montreal followed by Seattle, and LA followed by Chivas.
After the break for the World cup, the Union's schedule is more Eastern Conference and home heavy, consisting of 18 games: 10 home, 8 away. 15 games are against Eastern Conference clubs: 8 home, 7 away. There are 4 blocks of consecutive home games, 9 in total .
In total the Philadelphia Union will play 13 Eastern Conference home matches, 4 Western Conference home matches, 12 Eastern Conference away, and 5 Western Conference away.
2) Non-Saturday Games - The Union have 4 Wednesday games, 3 of which fall directly between weekend matches. Their final Wednesday match occurs after a week break, facing TFC home and away within 3 days of eachother.
There are 3 Friday matches, all being away games, and one Thursday match on October 2nd which is at home.
3) The end season stretch - Of the last 10 games of the season 7 games are at home. The last 9 games of the season are played against only Eastern Conference teams, and in those matches the Union play 2 teams twice. If there is any point during the season that could make or break the Philadelphia Union, assuming they did as well as this past year and are in the running for a playoff spot, this would be that time.
The Philadelphia Union also play New England, Montreal, Houston and New York twice at home, while playing Columbus, Chicago, and Kansas City twice away.
The Union should also have, at least as of now, 8 national television spots - 4 being on NBCSN, 2 on ESPN2, and 2 on Univision Deportes.