Major League Soccer announced the full 2019 season schedule yesterday afternoon (Monday, January 7th). The Union are fortunate to have a more balanced schedule in 2019, with four-to-six matches per month in the seven month season. The Union season will be long and tough, here’s a first look at the 2019 schedule.
The Philadelphia Union will play 34 games in 2019. 17 will be at home; 17 will be on the road. Unlike past seasons, every team will play all of their conference opponents twice in 2019. Every team will also play the teams outside their conference once. The 2019 season is less than three months away, here’s a look at who the Philadelphia Union will play in 2019!
|Game||Date||Opponent||Kickoff Time (ET)|
|1||Saturday, March 2||TORONTO FC||1:00 p.m.|
|2||Sunday, March 10||@ Sporting Kansas City||3:00 p.m.|
|3||Sunday, March 17||@ Atlanta United FC||TBD|
|4||Saturday, March 23||COLUMBUS CREW SC||TBD|
|5||Saturday, March 30||@ FC Cincinnati||TBD|
|6||Saturday, April 6||FC DALLAS||TBD|
|7||Saturday, April 13||@ LA Galaxy||TBD|
|8||Saturday, April 20||MONTREAL IMPACT||1:00 p.m.|
|9||Saturday, April 27||@ Vancouver Whitecaps FC||TBD|
|10||Wednesday, May 1||FC CINCINNATI||TBD|
|11||Saturday, May 4||NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION||TBD|
|12||Saturday, May 11||@ Toronto FC||3:00 p.m.|
|13||Saturday, May 18||SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC||TBD|
|14||Saturday, May 25||PORTLAND TIMBERS||TBD|
|15||Wednesday, May 29||COLORADO RAPIDS||TBD|
|16||Saturday, June 1||@ Minnesota United FC||TBD|
|17||Saturday, June 8||NEW YORK RED BULLS||TBD|
|18||Wednesday, June 26||@ New England Revolution||TBD|
|19||Saturday, June 29||@ New York City FC||TBD|
|20||Wednesday, July 3||@ Orlando City SC||TBD|
|21||Saturday, July 6||ORLANDO CITY SC||TBD|
|22||Saturday, July 13||@ Real Salt Lake||TBD|
|23||Saturday, July 20||CHICAGO FIRE||TBD|
|24||Saturday, July 27||@ Montreal Impact||8:00 p.m.|
|25||Sunday, August 4||@ D.C. United||7:30 p.m.|
|26||Sunday, August 11||HOUSTON DYNAMO||6:00 p.m.|
|27||Saturday, August 17||@ Chicago Fire||TBD|
|28||Saturday, August 24||D.C. UNITED||TBD|
|29||Saturday, August 31||ATLANTA UNITED FC||TBD|
|30||Saturday, September 14||LOS ANGELES FC||TBD|
|31||Sunday, September 22||@ New York Red Bulls||TBD|
|32||Wednesday, September 25||@ San Jose Earthquakes||TBD|
|33||Sunday, September 29||@ Columbus Crew SC||5:00 p.m.|
|34||Sunday, October 6||NEW YORK CITY FC||4:00 p.m.|
Initial Reactions to the 2019 Schedule:
— PhilaUnion (@PhilaUnion) January 7, 2019
Tough first month:
The Union look to have a very hard schedule to start the season. Kicking the season off at home against a Toronto FC side who will be coming off a mid-week game in the CONCACAF Champions League match may be the best opportunity to get three points in their first three games. After the opener, the Union go on the road to Sporting Kansas City and Atlanta United FC. Philly concludes the first month of the season with a visit from the new-look Columbus Crew, and heading to MLS’ newest team FC Cincinnati. That first month could set Philly up for a long-hard season, or create a true eastern conference competitor.
An April of back-and-forth’s:
The second month of the season the Union swap home games and away games each week. Starting things off at home vs FC Dallas, then heading west to meet Zlatan and LA Galaxy. This is followed with the Union hosting Montreal Impact, then heading to Canada to take on Vancouver Whitecaps. These matches will be telling depending on how the Union navigate the beginning of their season. The end of the first two months means the season is almost a third of the way over, and the Union have already played five away matches.
A stacked May at home, and possible season turnaround:
The Union have five matches at home in May. If they have a tough first third of the season, then May will be the month to get things back on track. While the majority of the games are at home, that does not mean that they will be an easier to win. The Union take on FC Cincinnati and New England Revolution in the same week (the first mid-week and weekend week of the MLS season for Philly in 2019). The next week is a trip to Toronto FC for the only away match of May. Philly then ends the month of May with Seattle, Portland and Colorado coming to town; those three matches occur in a 12 day span.
Road tests to start the summer:
As the calendar turns to June, and summer starts. The Union play three of four matches on the road. The month kicks off at Minnesota United’s new home Allianz Field. The Union then return home the following week to take on their “rivals” New York Red Bulls. After that match the Union, and MLS have a two-week break for the CONCACAF Gold Cup. After the Gold Cup break, the Union play two matches in four days to end the month. Those matches are on the road at New England Revolution and at New York City FC.
The Dog Days of Summer:
When July hits, the Union start off in a home-and-away series with Orlando City SC. The Union head down to Florida on July Third, and have the return match three days later on July sixth. After that quick series the Union play three weekends in a row. First at Real Salt Lake, then returning home to play Chicago Fire and ending the month at Montreal Impact. These dog days of summer will show if the Union are up to snuff and if they can keep pace with the rest of the eastern conference.
The season enters the final third in August and the Union will be challenged. There are five matches that will mean a lot to the organization. The month starts with a Sunday match at DC United. The following week the Union welcome the team that beat them in the US Open Cup Final last season, Houston Dynamo, to Chester. Philly then end the month going to Chicago Fire, and taking on DC United and Atlanta United at home. August will present to all if the Union are truly a competitor or if they are struggling to keep up with their conference.
Fall sprint to the finish line:
The 2019 season will end a lot sooner than previous seasons. September is the last full month of the season, with decision day 2019 falling on the first Sunday in October. This end to the season will be a sprint to the finish line for the Union. The start to this sprint sees LAFC come to Chester for the first time ever. Philadelphia then play three games in eight days on the road at New York Red Bulls, at San Jose Earthquakes and at Columbus Crew. After this three game road-trip, the Union get the season finale at home, taking on New York City FC on decision day.
In-depth previews coming in February!
It’s still way too early to discuss how things will turn out for the Union, but we here at Philly Sports Network plan to do just that in February. We’ll have in-depth season previews of each month of the Philadelphia Union’s 2019 season in February so be sure to come back for that, and any other Union news that comes out as preseason inches closer and closer!
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Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports