NEW YORK – Major League Soccer Wednesday announced the complete regular season schedule, including broadcast details for the 2022 MLS season.
The inaugural campaign of the league’s 28th club, Charlotte FC, Nashville SC’s opening of the largest soccer-specific stadium in the United States, several rivalries renewed and the most extensive slate of national broadcasts in league history headline the 2022 regular season match calendar.
As previously announced, to best align with the 2022 international soccer calendar, the MLS regular season will begin earlier than ever before in its 27-year history, kicking off on Saturday, Feb. 26 and running through Decision Day, the regular season finale, on Sunday, Oct. 9. The 2022 MLS Cup Playoffs directly follow the regular season, with three consecutive weeks of action leading up to the 2022 MLS Cup on Saturday, Nov. 5, more than two weeks prior to the start of the World Cup in Qatar on Nov. 21.
The 2022 MLS regular season broadcast schedule features the largest network coverage in league history. A record 48 matches will air on network television across ABC, FOX, Univision and UniMás. MLS action will air on ABC nine times in 2022 with a total of 34 matches aired across ABC, ESPN, and ESPN2, all of which will also be available in Spanish on ESPN Deportes. FOX Sports will showcase 34 matches in the upcoming year, highlighted by 27 on FS1 and seven on FOX, with twice as many primetime windows as the network’s 2021 slate of games. Additionally, all 34 matches will air in Spanish on FOX Deportes. Thirty-two matches will be broadcast in Spanish across Univision and UniMás.
In Canada, eight matches will be broadcast to a national audience on CTV, and TSN and TVA Sports will once again return with extensive coverage of Major League Soccer. TSN will carry all matches played by Toronto FC and Vancouver Whitecaps FC, with TVA Sports serving as the broadcast home for CF Montréal. TSN will also televise select CF Montréal matches, as well as additional MLS games between U.S.-based clubs throughout the season.
In addition, ESPN+ will stream all regional broadcasts nationally, out-of-market, in the U.S. and a ny nationally televised matches not aired by an English-language network will again be streamed live in English on Twitter.
MLS returns on Saturday, Feb. 26, as 18 teams take the pitch in their 2022 debuts. Univision’s coverage of the 2022 season opens with last season’s top seed in the Western Conference, the Colorado Rapids, squaring off against Los Angeles Football Club at Banc of California Stadium (3:30 p.m. ET). A pair of Canadian teams will be featured on TSN on Saturday, with the Vancouver Whitecaps FC traveling to Columbus (3:30 p.m. ET) and Toronto FC visiting FC Dallas (5:30 p.m. ET). The opening-day slate concludes in primetime as the 2021 Supporters’ Shield winner New England Revolution travel to Providence Park to face the Portland Timbers on FOX/FOX Deportes (7:30 p.m. ET).
The following day – Sunday, Feb. 27 – the reigning MLS Cup champion New York City FC begins its title defense against the LA Galaxy at Dignity Health Sports Park (5 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN Deportes). TVA Sports coverage of the 2022 MLS season begins with CF Montréal traveling to Orlando City SC (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET), with coverage also airing on TSN.
The complete 2022 MLS regular season schedule can be found here.
The Queen City set to shine under the lights for Charlotte FC debut
Charlotte FC, which opens its inaugural campaign on Feb. 26 against D.C. United at Audi Field, will debut to their home fans on March 5 under the lights at Bank of America Stadium against the LA Galaxy (7:30 PM, FOX/FOX Deportes) in front of an expected 74,000 fans. This figure would set a new all-time single-match attendance record for MLS, breaking the previous high of 72,548 set on August 3, 2019, when the LA Galaxy faced Atlanta United at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
New digs in Nashville open on May 1
On Sunday, May 1, Nashville SC Stadium, a state-of-the-art, 30,000 seat facility, will open its doors for the first time, as Nashville SC welcomes the Philadelphia Union at 4 p.m. ET on ESPN/ESPN Deportes. Nashville SC Stadium becomes the 25th stadium built or renovated for an MLS club, with another soccer stadium scheduled to be completed in St. Louis in late 2022.
Rivalries renewed during Rivalry Week with 11 games in 10 days
Featuring national broadcasts of 11 matchups across 10 days, Heineken Rivalry Week will take center stage from Friday, July 8 through Sunday, July 17. Rivalry Week opens with an exciting Friday night doubleheader on ESPN/ESPN Deportes, as the Philadelphia Union host D.C. United (8 p.m. ET), followed by El Tráfico as the LA Galaxy take the short trip north on I-110 to face Los Angeles FC (10 p.m. ET). Cascadia takes the spotlight the following day as the Seattle Sounders host the Portland Timbers (July 9, 4:30 p.m. ET, FOX/FOX Deportes), the first of four matches airing across FOX and FS1 in an eight-day period that concludes with the Columbus Crew hosting FC Cincinnati (July 17, 7:30 p.m. ET, FS1/FOX Deportes). North of the border, CF Montréal welcomes Toronto FC to Stade Saputo on Saturday, July 16 (7:30 p.m. ET, TSN/TVA Sports), prior to the week’s action concluding on July 17 as the Red Bulls welcome NYCFC to Red Bull Arena (5 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN Deportes).
The league’s best take to the Twin Cities for the 2022 MLS All-Star Game
Minnesota United’s Allianz Field will play host to the 2022 MLS All-Star Game on Aug. 10. The 2022 MLS All-Star Game presented by Target marks the culmination of a week-long series of events across Minneapolis and Saint Paul, including community initiatives, concerts, parties, the MLS All-Star Skills Challenge and more. ESPN, UniMás, TSN and TVA Sports will provide live match-day coverage of the 2022 MLS All-Star Game, which kicks off at 8 p.m. ET.
Decision Day sets the stage for the MLS Cup Playoffs
In a culminating day of action on Sunday, Oct. 9, all 28 teams will face intra-conference opponents on Decision Day in a battle for playoff spots and seeding. In two back-to-back broadcast windows on ESPN/ ESPN Deportes and FS1/FOX Deportes, each conference will see their games kick off simultaneously to determine who is in and who is out of the Audi 2022 MLS Cup Playoffs. TSN and TVA will provide coverage of regular-season finales throughout Canada.
This year’s edition of Decision Day saw 11 teams remaining in contention for six final spots – three in each conference – entering Decision Day 2021. Kickoff times and broadcast details will be announced at a later date.
Other schedule highlights include:
* The California Clásico, featuring the San Jose Earthquakes vs. LA Galaxy from Stanford Stadium, returns on June 25 following a two-year hiatus (UniMás, 10 p.m. ET).
* Four exclusively Canadian matches will be televised, beginning with Montréal CF vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC on April 16. TSN and TVA Sports will air both matchups between Montréal CF and Toronto FC on July 16 and Sept. 4.