2017 Texas MLS Team Schedule Analysis

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Now that Week 1 is in the books, it would be a good time to look at the rest of the 2017 schedule for both FC Dallas and the Dynamo. FC Dallas, because of their extraordinary 2016 results and quarterfinal win in the ScotiaBank CONCACAF Champions League (CCL), clearly have a much more challenging road ahead of them. There is some good news for Dallas though. The 2017-18 reformatted CCL structure will provide some late season schedule congestion relief, since U.S. MLS teams (FC Dallas is one of four) no longer participate in the qualifying stages of this competition. Dallas will now join the next CCL in February 2018.  I doubt that they will miss the October trips to Guatemala.

MLS Regular Season:

Both teams play a 34 game schedule, split evenly home and away.  Each of the other Western Conference teams are played at least once home and away (20 games) and each Eastern Conference team is played once per season-home or away in alternate years (11 games). 2 of the remaining 3 games are against a rotating cast of Western Conference opponents. The remaining game to complete both Dallas and Houston’s 34 game regular season schedule- is against each other.

Longest Home Stretch:  Dallas (3 games-May 14 to May 28); Houston (2 games-4 times)

Longest Road Trip:  Dallas (3 games-June 10 to June 23); Houston (3 games-May 17 to May 28)

Midweek games:  Dallas (4 games-3 home and 1 away); Houston (6 games-3 home and 3 away)

Afternoon games:  Dallas(4 games-1 home and 3 away); Houston (5 games-2 home and 3 away)

Most challenging back to back travel:  Dallas ( 2 Pacific Northwest trips on June 10 and 17 followed by a Friday, June 23 night game in Houston);  Houston (9:30 Saturday night, September 16 in San Jose followed by 3:00 Saturday afternoon at NYCFC on September 23)

Eastern Conference Home opponents:  Dallas (5-New England, NYCFC, Toronto, DC United, NYRB);  Houston (5-Columbus, NYRB, Orlando, Montreal, Chicago)

Additional Western Conference opponents:  Dallas (Houston and Colorado at home-Sporting KC away);  Houston (San Jose and Minnesota at home-Dallas away)

Notes:

All MLS teams will take a mid-season break between July 5th and July 19th for the group stages of the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Houston plays 7 of its first 10 games at home.  Between May 17th and July 22, the Dynamo play only 3 of 11 games at home.

Between April 22 and May 28, FC Dallas plays 5 of 6 games at home.  When the season resumes on July 22 in Montreal (after the Gold Cup break), FC Dallas will alternate home and road games (12 game stretch) until October 15.

FC Dallas plays at Toyota Park on July 4 against DC United.

The dates of the Texas Derby between FC Dallas and Houston Dynamo are Sunday May 28 at 7 p.m. in Dallas, Friday June 23 at 8 p.m. in Houston and Wednesday August 23 at 8 p.m. in Dallas

Both teams finish the season at home on Sunday, October 22 at 3 p.m….Dallas vs. LA Galaxy and Houston vs. Chicago Fire.

CONCACAF Champions League:

Dallas has already completed a two-legged Quarterfinal series against Arabe Unido from Panama to advance to the semifinals. The series against Pachuca from Mexico will take place on Wednesday, March 15 at Toyota Field and on Tuesday, April 4 at Pachuca.  If FC Dallas should advance to the Finals against the winner of the Vancouver Whitecaps-Tigres UANL series, it would be played  in the final two weeks of April.

Houston is not involved in this competition.

U.S. Open Cup:

FC Dallas won this competition in 2016.  In 2017, both FC Dallas and Houston will enter in the Fourth Round…scheduled to be played on June 14.  To secure this trophy, either of these teams would need to win 5 games between June 14 and the final on September 20. Because this is essentially a regional competition in the early stages, Dallas and Houston would likely face each other in the Round of 16 (like last year) if they were to win their opening game.  Other remaining Texas teams participating in this tournament include San Antonio FC (USL), NTX Rayados (local qualifier) and Dutch Lions FC (NPSL at-large).  Rio Grande Valley FC, the Dynamo USL Hybrid affiliate, is not allowed to participate in this competition, as are other MLS Affiliates in the USL.

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