With the release yesterday of the full 2018 schedule for Major League Soccer, fans across the league were officially able to start making travel plans to catch a game or two on the road.
The Union will play 16 teams away from Talen Energy Stadium this season, including two visits to MAPFRE Stadium to play the Columbus Crew SC.
Here’s a look at five road trips we should all consider booking.
5. Columbus Crew | MAPFRE Stadium | Saturday, September 29 at 7:30 p.m.
Hopefully two things happen before September 29 that will make this game less important: 1. The Crew announce that they will be staying in Columbus and 2. The Union will have already clinched a playoff spot.
Since both of these things happening seems unlikely, this could end up being the last chance Union fans have to say goodbye to an MLS original while also rooting for them to lose 4 nill.
If the proposed Austin move doesn’t materialize and the game ends up being just another pointless game in late September for the blue and gold, Orlando City over Labor Day Weekend might be a better choice to consider.
4. Atlanta United | Mercedes-Benz Stadium | Saturday, June 2 at 7 p.m.
Atlanta United became the darlings of the league before ever kicking a ball and by the time they moved into their new massive football/soccer stadium they had gathered enough steam to pack some 70,000 fans in the so-called “not a sports town” of Atlanta. I hate them with a passion for reasons I’ve already explained, but Atlanta is a great city to visit even in June and who doesn’t want to be one of the dozen people there not cheering for the five stripes?
3. Portland Timbers | Providence Park | Saturday, August 4, 8 p.m. local time
The Union will be making two trips to the Pacific Northwest this season with a game at Seattle Sounders also scheduled for September. Both cities have so much to offer for out of town visitors, but I’m giving a slight edge to Portland because of how much I love Powell’s Books and the atmosphere of games at Providence Park. It’s also a last chance to check out the stadium before the $50 million expansion is completed.
2. Los Angeles FC | Banc of California Stadium | Saturday, June 30 at 7:30 p.m. local time
New stadiums are always worth checking out in person. That this one will be in downtown Los Angeles gives Union fans all the more reason to plan a trip to the City of Angels in late June.
Unfortunately, this game isn’t part of LA double header like there was when the Union played LA Galaxy and Chivas USA in one week back in 2014 (the Union have LA Galaxy at home on July 21) but it’s LA so there’s no shortage of things to do beyond the soccer game.
1.D.C. United | Audi Field | Wednesday, August 29 at 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday nights can be bad enough with traffic getting to Talen Energy Stadium so getting to the nation’s capital for this one is going to require taking time off from work. But this will be worth it.
The long wait for a soccer-specific stadium in the District will finally end with Audi Field’s first game on July 14, but this will be the first of many games the Union play against their I-95 rivals without raccoons present. It would be a shame not to have a strong contingent representing, especially since it’s unlikely the Union will be mathematically eliminated from the playoffs yet.
What road trip are you most looking forward to this season?
This poll is closed
D.C. United | Audi Field
Los Angeles FC | Banc of California Stadium
Portland Timbers | Providence Park
Atlanta United | Mercedes-Benz Stadium
Columbus Crew | MAPFRE Stadium