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I'm sure by now everyone has had a chance to look at the 2012 schedule for the Fire. As you all know, the MLS has introduced unbalanced schedules this season in order to accommodate the Montreal Impact. I've broken down the Fire schedule so that we can see just how unbalanced it is.

 

AwayTeams2012To start, the season will still contain 34 matches with 17 being played at home. The big difference is how many times we face the other clubs. There are 7 clubs that the Fire face 3 times, 2 clubs that we face 2 times, and 9 clubs that we face only once. Of the 9 clubs we face once, 4 of those matches are away. That means Fire fans will not be able to see Chivas, Portland, San Jose, or Colorado at Toyota Park during the regular season. Another casualty of the 1 match group is the Brimstone Cup. It will make the one match we have against FC Dallas that much more exciting, but it's a shame that we couldn't still face them twice or maybe even 3 times. The remaining single-match clubs are Seattle, RSL, LA, and Vancouver. The Fire will face only 2 clubs in the old format, once at home and once away. These are Montreal and DC United. The Fire will face Philadelphia, Houston, and Columbus twice at home and once away. Toronto, Sporting KC, New England, and New York will be played once at home and twice away.

I'm not a fan of this schedule (or any unbalanced schedule, for that matter). I think it would be much better for the league to just add 2 more matches and make a balanced 36 match schedule... but I won't get started. For now, I'm just excited for the season to start, regardless of how many times we face each club and where.

Club

Total Home Away

Philadelphia Union

3 2 1
Houston Dynamo 3 2 1
Columbus Crew 3 2 1
Toronto FC 3 1 2
Sporting KC 3 1 2
New England Revolution 3 1 2
New York Red Bulls 3 1 2
Montreal Impact 2 1 1
DC United 2 1 1
Seattle Sounders 1 1 0
Real Salt Lake 1 1 0
FC Dallas 1 1 0
LA Galaxy 1 1 0
Vancouver Whitecaps 1 1 0
Colorado Rapids 1 0 1
Chivas USA 1 0 1
Portland Timbers 1 0 1
San Jose Earthquakes 1 0 1