Tuesday, December 19, 2017

NYCFC, Red Bulls Announce Home Openers

NYCFC plays at Yankee Stadium. Photo by Jason Schott.

On Tuesday, the MLS announced the 2018 regular season home openers, including for New York City Football Club and the Red Bulls.

NYCFC's home opener will be on March 11 at Yankee Stadium against the LA Galaxy, while the Red Bulls' season and home opener is the night before, Saturday, March 10 against the Portland Timbers.

NYCFC will open their 2018 Regular Season, their fourth in the MLS, at Sporting Kansas City on Sunday, March 4 at 7:30pm ET.

NYCFC holds a 1-2 all-time record vs. Sporting Kansas City and will look to earn their first points at Children’s Mercy Park when they visit the defending U.S. Open Cup champions in their 2018 MLS regular season Home Opener.

The following Sunday, March 11 at 5 pm, they will host the LA Galaxy at Yankee Stadium.

The LA Galaxy are the first club to win five MLS Cups, and it was NYCFC who came away with a 2-0 win on the west coast last season in their only meeting. The Man of the Match that night went to goalkeeper Sean Johnson in net and wonder goals from Jonathan Lewis and David Villa.

The Red Bulls will open the regular season on Saturday, March 10 against the Portland Timbers at Red Bull Arena. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. ET, with coverage on MSG Networks and New York Red Bulls Radio.

The Red Bulls will open the MLS campaign at home after the Scotiabank CONCACAF Round of 16 home-and-home series against CD Olimpia from Honduras.

Over 22 seasons, the Red Bulls have accrued a 7-8-7 overall mark in season openers and are 5-2-1 when opening the season at home. The Red Bulls won last year's home opener, 1-0 over the Colorado Rapids. In the eight previous home matches to start the season, the Red Bulls have combined for nine goals while allowing just five, including four shutouts.

The Timbers are coming off one of the best regular seasons in franchise history. Portland finished atop the Western Conference for the second time in the club's seventh MLS season while tying the franchise record for wins in a season at 15. Timbers forward Diego Valeri earned the Landon Donovan MLS MVP Award with 21 goals and 11 assists in 32 matches.

On Monday, Portland announced that it has hired Giovanni Savarese as the fourth head coach in club history. Savarese played for the NY/NJ MetroStars from 1996-98 and managed the New York Cosmos from 2013-17.

The Red Bulls own a slight edge in the all-time series against Portland at 3-2-3. They are 2-1-1 at Red Bull Arena against the Timbers, scoring six goals and allowing just four. New York midfielder Felipe is the active leader in total points against Portland with five points on two goals and one assist. Red Bulls goalkeeper Luis Robles is 1-2-2 all-time against Portland with a 1.40 goals-against average and two shutouts.

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