NYCFC 2017 Schedule – Quick Thoughts

The 2017 MLS schedule was released in full last week along with the national TV broadcast schedule.  Let’s see what’s in store for NYCFC:

– Things are more balanced than 2016.  Season ticket holders will recall that last year’s schedule was front-loaded with home games leaving a huge gap mid-to-late summer. Four straight on the road in the middle of May, otherwise it’s broken up nicely.

– The new kids are both coming to town. The arrival of Minnesota and Atlanta means NYCFC is reclassified as an “established” MLS franchise; the novelty is gone, along with that new car smell. The newcomers both went with the unity theme which is welcome in these turbulent times. Minnesota has a cool logo, Atlanta doesn’t, we’ll get to see both on display in their shiny new uniforms this year. Atlanta visits Yankee Stadium on May 7 for the first of two meetings, Minnesota will make the trip June 29.

– No Red Bulls until the midway point of the season and it’s their year to host twice. The first meeting will be on June 24, NYC’s 17th game of the season. Followed by two games in three weeks in August – Sunday the 6th at home, Friday the 25th in Harrison. Red Bull Arena has been a house of horrors for NYC thus far, but the atmosphere is fun and it’s worth the (slightly inconvenient) trip.

– August looks brutal on paper – Red Bulls (H), Galaxy (A), Revolution (H), Red Bulls (A). The July 30 trip to Toronto figures to set the tone for a late-summer grind.

– No LA Galaxy home game this year which is a bummer, but the lineup of visiting Western Conference teams is solid – San Jose (April 1), Seattle (June 17), Kansas City (Sept 6), Portland (Sept 9), Houston (Sept 23) along with Minnesota. Dallas is the other notable omission.

– DC and Philly, the two most convenient road destinations (aside from Red Bulls), are stacked right on top of each other. DC away is Saturday, April 8, with the Philly trip on the following Friday, April 14. Would be nice to make one of these trips this year but both seems unlikely given their close proximity.

– NYCFC is still a national TV broadcast darling with 15 games spread across ESPN (6), Fox (6) and Unimas (3). The total is tied for second most in the league, behind only LA (16 games). Fans tuning in around the country will have ample opportunity to experience the sad spectacle that is televised soccer at Yankee Stadium. Thank God for season tickets.

With the schedule and the draft out of the way there are only a couple other pending news items ahead of the 2017 season – the official release of the new home kit (although it’s already leaked), finalizing the roster – which may linger into the season, especially if they’re planning on adding a third DP who’s currently playing abroad – and sending out season ticket packages.

The plan here is to figure out a format that’s consistent and manageable given time constraints. Looking forward to Year 3 for NYC.

*Photo from Digital Gingerbread’s Flickr

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