One of the best days of the year is the day that the MLS schedule is released. The light at the end of the long off-season tunnel is in sight and you can begin preparing your Saturday nights for the next 9 months.
Today the FC Dallas Schedule was released and let's take a closer look at the schedule which is about the best that I can remember for FCD. Here's my highlights from the schedule:
Quick Out of the Blocks
FCD has a chance to jump out of the blocks really quickly in 2013 and gain some huge momentum.
The first 6 games: vs Colorado, at Chivas USA, vs Houston, vs RSL, at NE, at TFC
Four games vs non-playoff opponents and the two games against playoff opponents are both at home. Could FCD get 12 points out of these first four games? It would be a huge start to the campaign.
Very Good Balance
Whereas things were front-loaded majorly against FC Dallas last year, this year's schedule is very very balanced in terms of home and away. 9 of the first 17 at home and 8 of the final 17 at home, you can't really ask for better balance than that.
Lack of Midweek Games
For me, this may be the biggest positive. Just once in 2013 does FC Dallas have to play a Saturday-Midweek-Saturday schedule. Last year, Dallas was forced to do it five times, a point of frustration that Schellas Hyndman mentioned many, many times throughout the season.
10 of the 17 home games are on Saturday nights, a huge number. Of those six that aren't, one game is July 4, one is the season finale, one is the Texas Derby vs Houston and two others are against the Galaxy so you're looking at only Wednesday May 8 vs Portland and Sunday, September 29 vs Columbus that are non-Saturday night, non-drawing games. A very good schedule for attendance purposes.
Late July and early August could be very difficult for FCD with a stretch of @LA, vs RSL, @MTL, @Sounders, vs LA, @Portland. I'm particularly looking forward to that Portland game that STARTS at 10PM.
Really really good schedule for FCD. No crazy cross-country in three days type stuff and a schedule where they are on the road more in the summer and at home in the spring/fall with no crazy afternoon games. Bravo MLS, very well done.