Home Global Game CONCACAF MLS schedulemaker gives huge boost to TFC’s CONCACAF Champions League hopes

MLS schedulemaker gives huge boost to TFC’s CONCACAF Champions League hopes

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Toronto FC has just been handed a massive advantage ahead of its CONCACAF Champions League ties against the Los Angeles Galaxy.

MLS unveiled its 2012 schedule Thursday, and aside from the MLS Cup moving to Dec. 1, the latest point in the year that the championship game will ever be contested, the thing that jumps out at Canadian fans is the fact that Toronto FC gets a bye for the opening weekend.

That changes the complexion of the CONCACAF Champions League quarter-final entirely. The Galaxy goes to Toronto March 7 for the first leg of the quarter-final, then jets back home to face Real Salt Lake March 10. On March 14, the Galaxy hosts Toronto FC for the second leg of the CCL quarter-final.

Meanwhile, TFC will have the weekend off between CCL matches.

With the Galaxy likely to have 36-year-old David Beckham back as part of the team, three games in a week is a tough ask for the veteran. And, any player will tell you that it takes more recovery time after playing on artificial turf than a game on grass. And the first leg of the CCL, at Rogers Centre, is going ahead on the fake stuff. While the Galaxy has to get up and play again, TFC can rest its legs.

As well, forward Landon Donovan and defender of the year Omar Gonzalez have gone off to Europe for loan spells, so there will be wear and tear on them — and then they’ll be asked to play three games in a week.

Make no mistake. Had this sort of schedule been announced in a European or South American league, you would get threats of lawsuits and claims of favoritism hurled at the schedule-maker.

It’s a massive advantage for the Reds.

As for the Impact and Whitecaps, we already knew that their only encounter of the season would occur March 10 in Vancouver.

We now know the Impact will host the Reds two times for MLS matches in 2012, on April 7 and June 27 (a Wednesday, which will make it tougher for traveling fans to attend). Montreal won’t come to BMO Field for an MLS match until Oct. 20. But, as it stands, the Impact and TFC are slated to face each other in the first round of the (NEW SPONSOR NAME HERE) Canadian Championship (which we’ve had confirmed by multiple sources), so there should be other chances for the teams to see each other.

With the Whitecaps hosting Montreal, it makes sense that the club goes on the road for its one MLS match this season with Toronto FC. That goes on a Wednesday night, July 11.

NBC announced it will air 41 MLS regular-season matches in 2012, but only three of them will be seen on the big network. Thirty-eight will go on to NBC Sports Network, which means they will likely be out of sight, out of mind, for Canadian viewers, as CRTC regulations forbid U.S. based all-sports channels from broadcasting on Canadian cable and satellite providers. To see most of those matches, fans will need to hope for simulcasts on Canadian stations such as TSN, TSN2 or GolTV Canada.

MONTREAL IMPACT SCHEDULE (CLICK)
TORONTO FC SCHEDULE (CLICK)
VANCOUVER WHITECAPS SCHEDULE (CLICK)

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