The 2019 regular season schedule for Major League Soccer and Minnesota United is out.
The Loons play their first five games on the road while March Madness and the NCAA Final Four hit Minneapolis. They open new Allianz Field in St. Paul on April 13 against New York City F.C. and conclude it Oct. 6 in Seattle.
Those five consecutive road games start with the March 2 season opener at Vancouver. Next are games March 9 at San Jose, March 16 at L.A. Galaxy, March 30 at New England and April 6 at New York Red Bulls.
Starting with the home opener, nine of their next 12 games are at home, concluding that stretch with a July 3 game against San Jose.
The league's new condensed season is designed to reward regular-season performance with more home-field advantage in a new single-elimination playoff format. The playoffs will proceed without disruption from Oct. 19 through the MLS Cup final Nov. 10. That's nearly a month earlier than this past season just completed in December.
The schedule includes a 27-day break, after a June 2 game until a June 29 game, because of a customary international break. Allianz Field is hosting a CONCACAF Gold Cup doubleheader featuring the U.S. national team on June 18.
Other highlights for Minnesota United:
• The Loons play five games on ESPN or ESPN2 and one on Fox Sports 1. The ESPN games: June 29 vs. expansion F.C. Cincinnati, Aug. 4 vs. Portland, Aug. 22 at Kansas City, Sept. 22 at Portland and the April 13 home opener on ESPN2. The FS1 game is April 28 vs. D.C. United, led by star Wayne Rooney.
• They'll play their lone game against the defending MLS champions at Atlanta on May 29.
• They play Midwest rival Sporting K.C. on Aug. 22 in Kansas City and Sept. 29 at Allianz Field.
• They'll play L.A. Galaxy twice before April's end — the March 16 game in L.A. and an April 24 home game, too. They play LAFC, with former Loon fan favorite Christian Ramirez, until twice in the season's final five weeks: Sept. 1 in Los Angeles and the home regular-season finale Sept. 29.
The Loons play those first five games on the road before they come home for the reveal of their new $250 million, soccer-specific stadium. That's nothing, though, compared to Portland, which doesn't play at home until June 1 while its stadium is renovated.
Complete schedule on C7