Khiry Shelton celebration - Sporting KC - Nov. 20, 2021

We're just over two months from MLS opening day, when Sporting Kansas City heads East to take on Atlanta United FC at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on February 27 to open the 2022 campaign.

Sporting KC released the club's full 2022 schedule earlier on Wednesday, so let's take a look at some highlights to get excited about throughout the year.

10. Sporting has 10 matches that will air on national television

Sporting Kansas City will have 10 matches air on national television in 2022, one more than the 2021 campaign. Five at home, five away. Four on FS1, two on ABC, two on ESPN, and two on the Univision family of networks.

Sporting will open the season with a pair of nationally televised matches at Atlanta United on Feb. 27 (FS1) and home against Houston Dynamo FC on March 5 (Univision), before a playoff rematch with Real Salt Lake on March 26 (UniMas). A road match at LAFC on April 17 (ESPN) is next on the nationally televised docket, before a huge match against Supporters' Shield holders the New England Revolution on June 12 (ABC).

That match kicks off a three-game stretch of nationally televised matches, as Sporting then heads to Nashville on June 19 (FS1) and Seattle on June 25 (ABC). Sporting's national TV schedule is closed out by a trip to Minnesota on July 13 (ESPN), and a pair of home matches against the Portland Timbers on Aug. 21 (FS1) and Seattle Sounders on Oct. 2 (FS1).

9. Sporting's latest kickoff time is 9 p.m. CT

The 2022 MLS schedule provides Sporting fans with a kickoff-time-friendly set of matches, with the latest Sporting match all season kicking off at 9 p.m. CT (May 14 at Portland). One match is set to kick off at 8:30 p.m. CT (July 17 at Real Salt Lake).

The other 32 matches in 2022 all kick off at 8 p.m. CT or earlier. Ten of Sporting's 17 home matches kick off right at the prime time of 7:30 p.m. CT, while the earliest kickoff is 2 p.m. CT - reserved for three nationally televised matches (Feb. 27 at Atlanta, June 12 vs. New England and June 25 at Seattle).

8. Multiple eight hour(ish) drives to road matches

As the Roadron starts planning road-trips all over the country, let's highlight some great opportunities to drive to a road match in eight hours or less.

The first real chance to jump in the car and go comes on March 12 with a road trip to Colorado, though another opportunity arises just a week later when the team heads to Chicago on March 19. One of the most exciting trips comes on June 19 with a visit to Nashville and their brand new stadium that is set to open in May 2022. Your annual visit to St. Paul, Minnesota is set for July 13 before Sporting closes out the 2022 regular season with a trip to face Dallas on Oct. 9.

If you're willing to drive slightly further than eight hours, trips to both Austin (Aug. 13) and Houston (Sept. 10) are well within your wheelhouse. Quick reminder that Sporting KC Season Ticket Members receive complimentary tickets to road matches!

7. Sporting will face seven fresh opponents

Smell that fresh air? After two years of geographically condensed schedules, Sporting KC will play eight matches against the Eastern Conference in 2022 (up from three in 2021), and is set to face seven total teams that Sporting did not face in 2021.

Starting with the season opener against Atlanta on Feb. 27 (last: May 5, 2019), Sporting will then take on Nashville SC on April 9 (last: Oct. 11, 2020) before hosting the Columbus Crew on April 23 (last: June 23, 2019) and taking a trip to New York City on May 7 (last: July 26, 2019).

Sporting will then host the New England Revolution on June 12 (last: April 27, 2019) before traveling to take on Nashville again on June 19. Sporting heads north of the border to face CF Montreal on July 9 (last: March 30, 2019) and is set to host D.C. United on Sept. 13 (last: May 12, 2019).

6. Six theme nights to look forward to

Along with today's schedule announcement, Sporting also announced six theme nights for fans to look forward to throughout the 2022 campaign.

The annual Sporting Sustainability match will take place against Vancouver Whitecaps FC on May 28, with the club's Soccer For All theme to be unveiled in the next match against the New England Revolution on June 12. The club's Independence Day-themed Americana night rolls out on July 3 when the New York Red Bulls come to town before Sporting honors the military at Sporting Salutes on Aug. 6 against the LA Galaxy.

Sporting's final two home matches of the 2022 season sees the return of Kick Childhood Cancer night when the team hosts Minnesota United FC on Sept. 17 before the annual Fan Appreciation Night on Oct. 2 against Seattle Sounders FC.

5. My Five ticket contest presented by Hollywood Casino live now

Want five free tickets to Sporting KC home matches in 2022? Enter the My Five ticket contest presented by Hollywood Casino now.

Fans can enter the My Five contest presented by Hollywood Casino in which you tell us which five home matches you are most looking forward to in this upcoming season. One winner will be selected and they will receive two free tickets to each of those five home matches.

4. Reunions with four Sporting Legends

Eleven names are currently etched on the wall at Children's Mercy Park after being inducted into the Sporting Legends hall of honor, and Sporting will cross paths with four of those men in 2022.

On March 19, Sporting will face off against Chicago Fire FC which will mark a reunion with former MLS MVP and Wizards goalkeeper Tony Meola who is a member of Chicago's broadcast team. Sporting will see two-time MLS MVP and club legend Preki - now an assistant with Seattle Sounders FC - on June 25 at Lumen Field and Oct. 2 at Children's Mercy Park.

Sporting will exchange pleasantries with 2019 inductee Josh Wolff, along with club icon Davy Arnaud, twice in the space of three weeks when the team hosts Austin FC on July 30 before traveling to Q2 Stadium on Aug. 13. Wolff and Arnaud are head coach and assistant coach of the 2021 expansion team. Finally, Chris Klein - who won the 2000 MLS Cup and the 2004 U.S. Open Cup with the Wizards - is now President of the LA Galaxy and will bring his squad to KC on Aug. 6 before hosting the return fixture at Dignity Health Sports Park on Sept. 4.

3. Just three midweek matches in 2022

In a welcome change from the previous two seasons, Sporting Kansas City will play just three midweek matches over the course of the 2022 regular season.

In 2021, Sporting played a whopping nine of their 34 regular-season matches on Wednesdays, while the team had seven midweek games out of 21 total in 2020 - meaning 29 percent of the teams matches from 2020-2021 were played midweek. Compare that to just under nine percent in 2022 and you get a significantly more balanced schedule this upcoming year.

2. Sporting will visit two stadiums for the first time in 2022

There's a pair of new destinations on the docket for Sporting Kansas City in 2022, as Major League Soccer continues to expand and build stunning new stadiums.

First, on May 7, Sporting KC will visit reigning MLS Cup champions New York City FC. In their three previous visits to NYC in 2015, 2017 and 2019, Sporting has faced off against the Pigeons at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx. However, this year New York City will host the party at Citi Field, marking the first time Sporting has played at the New York Mets baseball stadium.

Six weeks later on June 19, Sporting heads to Nashville for the first time in club history. The 2020 expansion team will move from Nissan Stadium of the NFL's Tennessee Titans to the brand new Nashville Fairgrounds Stadium in early May 2022.

1. One Sporting Way

One Sporting Way - the home address for Children's Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kansas. Sporting will play all 17 home regular-season games at the magnificent venue, starting with Houston Dynamo FC on March 5 and ending with Seattle Sounders FC on Oct. 2. Fifteen of the club's 17 home games will come on weekends with kickoffs ranging from 2 p.m. CT to 8 p.m. CT.

Sporting KC are 15-3-8 all-time in regular season home openers, including just one loss in the 11 held at Children’s Mercy Park since the state-of-the-art stadium opened in 2011. Sporting went 9-3-5 at home in 2021 and holds a 121-46-54 mark in all competitions throughout the stadium's history.

Season tickets for Sporting Kansas City’s 2022 campaign feature exclusive Season Ticket Member benefits, including complimentary away match tickets, and are available by calling 888-4KC-GOAL or visiting SportingKC.com. Sporting also offers a variety of ticket packages and promotions such as the Home Opener PackMarquee Match Pack and Captain’s Flex Pack with two additional ticket packages to launch on Friday with the release of the Summer of Sporting Pack and No Mercy Pack.