MLS soccer unveiled its 2012 schedule this week, with 323 matches spread over 267 days it is the longest MLS regular season in league history and promises to be action packed. Aimed at reducing the heavy travel burden for the geographically largest league on the planet, local rivalries will heat up as teams within the same divisions play each other more often. Whitecaps FC will play the other Western Division clubs three times this season and each Eastern club only once. While this does reduce the clubs travel miles, which were the leagues highest in 2011, it means fans will have to wait a year to see some of the Eastern clubs who only host Whitecaps this season, like Chicago, Columbus and Toronto.
The Whitecaps kick off their first full season at BC Place on March 10th, by hosting their old USL nemesis, the Eastern Division expansion team, Montreal Impact, a match that is sure to be lively and fired up from the kick off. Unlike last season, hopefully some of the league’s marquee designated players, like David Beckham and Thierry Henry will travel with their clubs when New York crosses the continent on June 20th and LA Galaxy visit, July 18th. Cascadia Cup rivals Seattle Sounders and Portland Timbers’ fans will be able to build on their decades long rivalries as Vancouver hosts Seattle twice and Portland once this season. This means the Vancouver fans will be booking their charter bus to Portland twice and Seattle once. With the second to last home match against Seattle and the last versus Portland the Cascadia Cup won’t be decided until the end of the season. Vancouver wraps up the regular season away to Real Salt Lake but hopefully this year, Whitecaps fans will be treated to some post-season excitement!
See you all at BC Place March 10th! Go ‘caps Go!