Last week, some jerk ruminated on what the CONCACAF Champions League dates might be for D.C. United, knowing that Arabe Unido (Panama) and Montego Bay (Jamaica) would be the other two teams in the group. The list of group dates has been made official, and the dates are:
- 8/19 (Wednesday) - D.C. United at Arabe Unido
- 8/25 (Tuesday) - Montego Bay at D.C. United
- 9/15 (Tuesday) - Arabe Unido at D.C. United
- 9/22 (Tuesday) - D.C. United at Montego Bay
First and most importantly, I'll take being right in three out of four windows for games, woooo!
Second, as to the stuff that effects D.C., it seems fairly certain that D.C. wants to get their Group opponents as early into their seasons as possible; while not announced that I know of, last year's Jamaican Premier League began on September 7 and the 2014-15 Panamanian Apertura on July 18, so perhaps the thought (assuming the team had a choice in the matter) was to get them while they good.
As far as how this may affect D.C in Major League Soccer, we've already talked about how the 8/19 and 8/25 dates would slot into the schedule in the link above. D.C. stays home, stays on the East Coast, and has some time to play with to do those August dates. 9/15 isn't an issue because D.C. will be between games at the Colorado Rapids and home with Columbus Crew SC.
The 9/22 date COULD (underlines, all caps, etc.) prove to be the stickiest situation for D.C. Sure, they'll be between games with the Crew and at the Montreal Impact on 9/26. But the problem comes in if D.C. goes far in U.S. Open Cup play. The final is 9/29, and given D.C.'s proclivity against hosting these things in the non-Kevin Payne era, would presumably be an away date to one of eight Western Conference teams (Colorado, Sporting Kansas City, Houston Dynamo, FC Dallas, Real Salt Lake, Portland Timbers, San Jose Earthquakes or LA Galaxy). They would then return home and host New York City FC on 10/2.
So August gives us six games (3 at home) in 29 days, and we'll definitely see five games (two home) in 14 days in September, with the potential for seven (3 home) in 21 between September 12 and October 2. The good news is October only has three dates scheduled...so far.