MLS Soccer 2014 Schedule: TV Coverage and Rule Changes for Upcoming Season

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MLS Soccer 2014 Schedule: TV Coverage and Rule Changes for Upcoming Season
Colin E. Braley/Associated Press

The 2014 MLS season is scheduled to get underway on Saturday with the Seattle Sounders taking on defending league champions Sporting Kansas City at 3 p.m. ET at CenturyLink Field.

The soccer entertainment won't be limited to that excellent matchup either. In all, there are seven games slated for an action-packed opening day.

The Portland Timbers will host the Philadelphia Union in the day's last game at 10:30 p.m. ET. 

Looking further ahead, circle the calendar for the weekend of April 5-6. That is when fans will get the season's first stab at the rivalries.

Most of that action will come on April 5 with Portland vs. Seattle, Columbus vs. Toronto, Houston vs. FC Dallas and an MLS Cup 2013 rematch with Sporting KC taking on Real Salt Lake. 

On April 6, Chivas USA will take on the Los Angeles Galaxy. 

GUS RUELAS/Associated Press

There are some rule changes for the upcoming league year. MLS Press Box has the new rules and information on the salary cap. 

Using away goals as the tiebreaker is...

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The most notable one alters the playoffs. There will still be five teams from each conference that qualify for the postseason, and the format will be the same as last year. 

The change comes with the tiebreaker. Like it is for most of the soccer universe, when a two-leg match is tied on aggregate, the first tiebreaker will be away goals.

As MLS Press Box reported, this was done to “be consistent with CONCACAF and FIFA practice.” 

Although this is far more consistent with the rest of the world, the change is far from a universal hit. 

ESPN's Jeff Carlisle helps highlight a good reason for reservation over this change:  

Another notable change comes with tiebreakers. This one is for the standings at the end of the league year. Most wins remains the first tiebreaker, but instead of goals scored, goal differential will be the second tiebreaker.  

The other notable change comes with an increased salary cap. This season it will be $3.1 million, which is up from the $2.95 million of last season.

Let's have a look at the TV schedule, and you can view the complete 2014 schedule at the official MLS website

 

2014 MLS TV Schedule

All information via Pro Soccer Talk

* Indicates tentatively schedules. All times ET

Sat., March 8, Seattle Sounders FC vs. Sporting Kansas City, NBCSN, 3 p.m.*

Sat., March 15, New York  Red Bulls vs. Colorado Rapids, NBCSN, 4 p.m.*

Sat., March 22, Real Salt Lake vs. LA Galaxy, NBCSN, 4 p.m.*

Sat., March 29, D.C. United vs. Chicago Fire, NBCSN, 4 p.m.*

Sat., April 5, Portland Timbers vs. Seattle Sounders FC, NBCSN, 3 p.m.*

Sat., April 12, D.C. United vs. New York Red Bulls, NBCSN, 2 p.m.*

Sat., April 19, Chicago Fire vs. New England Revolution, NBCSN, 4 p.m.*

Sun., May 4, Sporting Kansas City vs. Columbus Crew, NBCSN, 4 p.m.

Sun., May 11, Portland Timbers vs. LA Galaxy, NBCSN, 2:30 p.m.*

Fri., June 27, Portland Timbers vs. Sporting Kansas City, NBCSN, 11 p.m. 

Sat., June 28, San Jose Earthquakes vs. LA Galaxy, NBCSN, TBD

Fri., July 4, Houston Dynamo vs. New York Red Bulls, NBCSN, 8:30 p.m.

Fri., July 4, LA Galaxy vs. Portland Timbers, NBCSN, 11 p.m. 

Fri., July 11, San Jose Earthquakes vs. D.C. United, NBCSN, 11 p.m. 

Fri., July 18, Portland Timbers vs. Colorado Rapids, NBCSN, 11 p.m.

Wed., July 23, San Jose Earthquakes vs. Chicago Fire, NBCSN, 11 p.m.

Fri., Aug. 1, Sporting Kansas City vs. Philadelphia Union, NBCSN, 8 p.m.

Sat., Aug. 2, Portland Timbers vs. LA Galaxy, NBC, 2:30 p.m.*

Sat., Aug. 2, MLS Breakaway, NBCSN, TBD

Sat., Aug. 2, San Jose Earthquakes vs. Seattle Sounders FC, NBCSN, 10:30 p.m.

Fri., Aug. 8, LA Galaxy vs. San Jose Earthquakes, NBCSN, 10:30 p.m.

Fri., Aug. 15, Houston Dynamo vs. Philadelphia Union, NBCSN, 9 p.m.

Sat., Aug. 16, Real Salt Lake vs. Seattle Sounders FC, NBCSN, 2:30 p.m.*

Fri., Aug. 22, FC Dallas vs. Real Salt Lake, NBCSN, 9 p.m. 

Fri., Aug. 29, Sporting Kansas City vs. Houston Dynamo, NBCSN, 8 p.m.

Sun., Aug. 31, D.C. United vs. New York Red Bulls, NBCSN, 2:30 p.m.*

Fri., Sept. 5, LA Galaxy vs. Colorado Rapids, NBCSN, 10:30 p.m. 

Fri., Sept. 12, Seattle Sounders FC vs. Real Salt Lake, NBCSN, 10:30 p.m.

Sat., Sept. 13, Philadelphia Union vs. New York Red Bulls, NBCSN, 3 p.m.*

Fri., Sept. 19, Real Salt Lake vs. Colorado Rapids, NBCSN, 10 p.m.

Sat., Sept. 20, New York Red Bulls vs. Seattle Sounders FC, NBC, 2:30 p.m.*

Sat., Sept. 20, MLS Breakaway, NBCSN, TBD

Sat., Sept. 20, Portland Timbers vs. Vancouver Whitecaps, NBCSN, 5 p.m.

Fri., Sept. 26, Sporting Kansas City vs. New England Revolution, NBCSN, 8 p.m.

Sat., Sept. 27, D.C. United vs. Philadelphia Union, NBCSN, 3 p.m.*

Fri., Oct. 3, D.C. United vs. Sporting Kansas City, NBCSN, 8 p.m.

Sat., Oct. 4, New York Red Bulls vs. Houston Dynamo, NBCSN, 6 p.m.

Fri., Oct. 10, Seattle Sounders FC vs. Vancouver Whitecaps, NBCSN, 10 p.m.

Fri., Oct. 17, Portland Timbers vs. Real Salt Lake, NBCSN, 10 p.m.

Sat., Oct. 18, Colorado Rapids vs. FC Dallas, NBCSN, 3 p.m.*

Fri., Oct. 24, Chicago Fire vs. Houston Dynamo, NBCSN, 8 p.m.

Sat., Oct. 25, Seattle Sounders FC vs. LA Galaxy, NBC, 2:30 p.m.*

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