For the first time in the 25-year history of Major League Soccer, the month of February will mark the start of regular season play. On Saturday, clubs across the United States and Canada will step between the white lines with hopes of collecting three points to begin 2020.
A delectable opening day of MLS action will see Sporting Kansas City visit Vancouver Whitecaps FC at 9:30 p.m. CT, giving supporters their first real look at Manager Peter Vermes’ side since last October.
As the anticipated date approaches, SportingKC.com is rolling out a 28-day countdown to first kick, offering a comprehensive preview of the season ahead. From key storylines and positional breakdowns to new fan initiatives and perks at Children’s Mercy Park, our Countdown to Kickoff series highlights the many reasons to be pumped for Sporting’s 2020 campaign. To visit the series homepage as it expands, head to SportingKC.com/countdown.
As the crow flies, Sporting Kansas City's longest MLS road trip of the season comes straight off the bat.
Manager Peter Vermes' men will embark on a 1,557-mile flight this week ahead of Saturday's showdown at BC Place, one of nine Sporting Kansas City voyages that eclipse 1,000 miles over the course of 2020.
The three furthest MLS opponents from Kansas City are situated Pacific Northwest, with Vancouver followed by Seattle (1,489 miles) and Portland (1,482 miles). California destinations San Jose (1,479 miles) and Los Angeles (1,363 miles) round out the top five.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, six Sporting opponents are within 600 miles of Kansas City. In an interesting schedule quirk, half of those short trips come in the final three away matches of the season. Minnesota United FC is geographically the closes (393 miles), followed by Chicago (405 miles), Dallas (460 miles) and expansion side Nashville SC (491 miles).
Sporting's full regular season travel log is listed below, not taking into account potential mileage for Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup matches or playoff games. Taking round trips into account, the club is slated to travel approximately 30,632 miles during the 2020 campaign.
|DATE||TIME (CT)||OPPONENT||ONE-WAY DISTANCE
|Saturday, Feb. 29||9:30pm||at Vancouver Whitecaps FC||1,557|
|6pm||at Atlanta United FC||692|
|at San Jose Earthquakes||1,479|
|9:30pm||at LA Galaxy||1,363|
|7pm||at Nashville SC||491|
|Saturday, May 16||6:30pm||at Philadelphia Union||1,038|
|Saturday, May 30||7:30pm||at FC Dallas||460|
|Saturday, June 13||4pm||at Portland Timbers||1,482|
|Wednesday, July 1||9pm||at Real Salt Lake||920|
|Saturday, July 18||7pm||at Minnesota United FC||393|
|Saturday, Aug. 1||6pm||at Montreal Impact||1,166|
|Saturday, Aug. 8||2:30pm||at Seattle Sounders FC||1,489|
|Saturday, Aug. 22||6:30pm||at New England Revolution||1,256|
|Saturday, Sept. 5||2:30pm||at Chicago Fire FC||405|
|Saturday, Sept. 12||8pm||at Colorado Rapids||533|
|Sunday, Sept. 27||6:30pm||at Houston Dynamo||559|