The Philadelphia Union released their full 2017 schedule this week. They will start the season on the road in Vancouver on Sunday March 5 at 9:30 p.m. The home opener will be against Eastern Conference champion Toronto FC on Saturday March 11 at 4:30 p.m.
The Union will play most Eastern Conference teams twice (one home and one away). They will play the Montreal Impact, New York Red Bulls, Orlando City FC, and DC United three times. Montreal and NYRB will visit Talen Energy Stadium twice, while the Union will travel to Orlando City and DC United twice.
With the addition of Atlanta United in the East and Minnesota United in the West, the schedule is a little more balanced in the sense that they don’t have to play as many Eastern Conference teams three times. While the unbalanced schedule isn’t ideal (and in my opinion, renders the Supporters’ Shield meaningless), the need for reducing the miles traveled by the Western teams is real and can be considered a necessary evil.
The schedule for the inter-conference games isn’t quite balanced either, with six of the 11 matches played on the road. Union fans will get to see the MLS Cup champions Seattle Sounders in Chester this year, along with the Houston Dynamo, the Portland Timbers, FC Dallas and the Colorado Rapids. If you want to see the Vancouver Whitecaps, the LA Galaxy, Real Salt Lake, Sporting KC, San Jose Earthquakes, or Minnesota United, you will have to travel.
Like last year, this season will have a 2-week break in June, this time during the group stage of the CONCACAF Gold Cup. This is good for the Union as it is possible they would be without the services of Alejandro Bedoya, Andre Blake, Keegan Rosenberry, and/or Chris Pontius during this time period.
The rest of the country will get a chance to see the boys in blue five times this season: four matches on ESPN and one match on Fox Sports 1. This is a big step up from being shut out by ESPN last year in the regular season. Three of the ESPN games will be against New York teams: April 14 at NYCFC, June 18 at home vs. NYRB, and September 7 at NYRB. The other ESPN game will be when Seattle visits Chester on October 1. The Fox Sports 1 game will be on July 2 when New England comes to town.
The 2017 Philadelphia Union schedule:
Sunday, March 5: at Vancouver Whitecaps, 9:30 p.m.
Saturday, March 11: vs. Toronto FC, 4:30 p.m.
Saturday, March 18: at Orlando City, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, April 1: at D.C. United, 7 p.m.
Saturday, April 8: vs. Portland Timbers, 7 p.m.
Friday, April 14: vs. New York City FC, 7 p.m.
Saturday, April 22: vs. Montreal Impact, TBD
Saturday, April 29: at Los Angeles Galaxy, 10:30 p.m.
Saturday, May 6: vs. New York Red Bulls, 7 p.m.
Saturday, May 13: at D.C. United, 7 p.m.
Wednesday, May 17: vs. Houston Dynamo, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, May 20: vs. Colorado Rapids, 7 p.m.
Saturday, May 27: at Real Salt Lake, 8 p.m.
Saturday, June 3: at New York City FC, TBD
Sunday, June 18: vs. New York Red Bulls, 5 p.m.
Saturday, June 24: vs. D.C. United, 7 p.m.
Sunday, July 2: vs. New England Revolution, TBD
Thursday, July 6: at Sporting Kansas City, 8:30 p.m.
Wednesday, July 19: at Montreal Impact, TBD
Saturday, July 22: at Columbus Crew, 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, July 26: vs. Columbus Crew, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, July 29: at New England Revolution, 7:30 p.m
Saturday, August 5: vs. FC Dallas, 7 p.m.
Saturday, August 12: vs. Montreal Impact, TBD
Saturday, August 19: at San Jose Earthquakes, 10:30 p.m.
Wednesday, August 23: at Toronto FC, TBD
Saturday, August 26: vs. Atlanta United, 7 p.m.
Saturday, September 9: at Minnesota United, 8 p.m.
Sunday, September 7: at New York Red Bulls, 1 p.m.
Saturday, September 23: vs. Chicago Fire, 7 p.m.
Wednesday, September 27: at Atlanta United, 7 p.m.
Sunday, October 1: vs. Seattle Sounders, 1 p.m.
Sunday, October 15: at Chicago Fire, 3 p.m.
Sunday, October 22: vs. Orlando City, 4 p.m.