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D.C. United reveals 2022 MLS schedule

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Games mostly on Saturday night, with only five mid-week matches? We’ll take it!

Caitlin Buckley / Black and Red United

D.C. United, like the rest of Major League Soccer’s 28 teams, today announced their 2022 regular season schedule. United’s 34-game MLS slate, which starts with a previously announced February 26 home game against expansion side Charlotte FC, includes breaks for the FIFA international window in late March, early June, and late September. The regular season runs through October 9, with MLS Cup scheduled for November 5.

United starts the season off with four straight games against teams that either did not exist last year, or that did not make the playoffs. After two years with virtually no meetings with Western Conference opposition due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Black-and-Red will have eight games against teams from the West, including a first-ever clash with Austin FC. They will also feature on national television four times, a slight boost over last year, with two games on ESPN and one each on TUDN/UniMas and Univision.

After years of fan complaints from both sides of the Atlantic Cup about scheduling that made traveling for away fans difficult, United and their oldest rival the New York Red Bulls have for the first time in years been granted two Saturday evening games. D.C. will travel to Harrison, NJ on May 28 for a 7:00pm kickoff, while they will host the Red Bulls on August 6 at 7:30pm. Elsewhere, United will face the new MLS Cup champions NYCFC on April 9, though that game is currently set for Citi Field rather than Yankee Stadium.

The full schedule is as follows:

2021 D.C. United schedule

Game Day Date Home team Away team Time (Eastern) US broadcast
Game Day Date Home team Away team Time (Eastern) US broadcast
1 Saturday February 26 D.C. United Charlotte FC 6:00 PM Local
2 Saturday March 5 FC Cincinnati D.C. United 6:00 PM Local
3 Saturday March 12 D.C. United Chicago Fire 7:30 PM Local
4 Saturday March 19 Toronto FC D.C. United 3:00 PM Local
5 Saturday April 2 D.C. United Atlanta United 7:30 PM Local
6 Saturday April 9 New York City FC D.C. United 5:00 PM Local
7 Saturday April 16 D.C. United Austin FC 7:30 PM Local
8 Saturday April 23 D.C. United New England Revolution 7:30 PM Local
9 Saturday April 30 Columbus Crew D.C. United 7:30 PM Local
10 Saturday May 7 D.C. United Houston Dynamo 7:30 PM Local
11 Saturday May 14 Inter Miami CF D.C. United 8:00 PM Local
12 Wednesday May 18 D.C. United New York City FC 7:30 PM Local
13 Saturday May 21 D.C. United Toronto FC 4:00 PM Local
14 Saturday May 28 New York Red Bulls D.C. United 7:00 PM Local
15 Saturday June 18 Chicago Fire D.C. United 8:00 PM TUDN/UniMas
16 Saturday June 25 D.C. United Nashville SC 5:00 PM ESPN
17 Monday July 4 Orlando City D.C. United 7:00 PM Local
18 Friday July 8 Philadelphia Union D.C. United 8:00 PM ESPN
19 Wednesday July 13 D.C. United Columbus Crew 8:00 PM Local
20 Saturday July 16 Minnesota United D.C. United 8:00 PM Local
21 Saturday July 23 D.C. United CF Montréal 8:00 PM Local
22 Sunday July 31 D.C. United Orlando City 5:00 PM Local
23 Wednesday August 3 Charlotte FC D.C. United 7:00 PM Local
24 Saturday August 6 D.C. United New York Red Bulls 7:30 PM Local
25 Saturday August 13 New England Revolution D.C. United 7:30 PM Local
26 Wednesday August 17 Los Angeles FC D.C. United 10:30 PM Local
27 Saturday August 20 D.C. United Philadelphia Union 7:30 PM Local
28 Sunday August 28 Atlanta United D.C. United 4:00 PM Univision
29 Saturday September 3 D.C. United Colorado Rapids 7:30 PM Local
30 Saturday September 10 Real Salt Lake D.C. United 9:30 PM Local
31 Tuesday September 13 Sporting Kansas City D.C. United 8:30 PM Local
32 Sunday September 18 D.C. United Inter Miami CF 5:00 PM Local
33 Saturday October 1 CF Montréal D.C. United 7:30 PM Local
34 Sunday October 9 D.C. United FC Cincinnati TBD Local
Jason Anderson / Black and Red United

After a pandemic-compressed schedule resulted in an overwhelming number of mid-week games around the league, MLS stated last month that the 2022 schedule would limit each team to a maximum of five such fixtures. Still, for United there will be some difficulty, as two such games fall in a span that will see them play six games in 21 days in August. The other mid-week games come in May, June, and September.

On the other hand, the schedule is still favorable overall, with United playing on Saturday 23 times out of a total of 34 (including 11 straight such fixtures to start the season). Along with the aforementioned prospect of an easier start to the year, United’s final three games — two of which are at Audi Field — come against three teams that finished 10th or lower in the East in 2021. Between those games there is a distinct balance, with United never being home or away for more than two straight games, and with an even split of three two-game homestands and three two-game road swings.

The schedule is complete as far as league play goes, but still comes with questions. United has not officially stated its plans for its friendly invitational Capital Cup tournament, but last year positioned it as something they plan to establish as a recurring summertime event. Last year’s tournament took place during MLS’s Gold Cup break in early July, but with the Black-and-Red facing six games in July this year, the next Capital Cup may have to take place during the international breaks in June or September.

More importantly, the U.S. Open Cup is on course to return after being cancelled due to Covid-19 in 2020 and 2021. Per U.S. Soccer, “approximately half” of MLS’s American clubs will enter the tournament between April 19-21, with the rest entering in the next round in mid-May. United’s finish in 2021 seems to virtually guarantee that they’ll be part of the first group rather than the second.