On Wednesday afternoon, Philadelphia Union announced its entire 2024 MLS Schedule in conjunction with the league. Just like last season, fans can watch every league match with MLS Season Pass on Apple TV!
In anticipation of the season to come, Scouting the Schedule is back for 2024! Take a deep dive into the schedule with a preview of every single matchup, starting with the opening month of play. February and March will see the Union logging loads of miles between MLS and Concacaf Champions Cup play -- here's what to expect.
The Boys in Blue open their 2024 season in Concacaf Champions Cup as they make the nearly 4,000 mile trip to Costa Rica to face off against Deportivo Saprissa. The Union have quite the history with Costa Rican side as they squared off in 2021 and won by a 5-0 aggregate scoreline. This year's matchup will be quite a different atmosphere with El Estadio Ricardo Saprissa Aymá at full capacity for the first leg. The three-time Concacaf champions from Costa Rica earned their 37th appearance as one of two winners of the 2023 Concacaf Central American Cup Play-In.
Head Coach Jim Curtin's squad will return to their beloved Subaru Park fortress to kick off their 2024 campaign against the Chicago Fire on Saturday, February 24th. The Boys in Blue are 5-1-3 in their opening match of the season at Subaru Park under Curtin's direction and look to continue to show the rest of the league just how strong their home-field advantage is.
Chicago Fire will look quite different from the team that the Union went unbeaten against this past season. On the touchline once again is Frank Klopas who returns to the Fire as head coach full-time for the second time in his career. Klopas got the bump from interim manager following Ezra Hendrickson’s departure in May and holds a 49-43-29 regular season record as the Fire’s head coach. On the field, Philly and Chicago were in tight contests with Joaquin Torres netting a 90th minute game winning in the home leg for the Union. In the Windy City, the Boys in Blue had to rally back from a two-goal deficit in the second half to nab a point via Daniel Gazdag and Julian Carranza goals.
The Boys in Blue will welcome Deportivo Saprissa to Subaru Park for the second match of their Concacaf Champions Cup series. The Costa Rican side will brave the cold winter weather on the Chester waterfront in front of passionate Philadelphia fans who've been awaiting the team's return Subaru Park all offseason. The match will mark the Union's second home contest of the year.
Philly opens a five-game stretch against Western Conference opposition with a trip to the midwest as they'll take on Sporting Kansas City in their first road test in league play.
The match will be Kansas City's home opener -- they'll welcome fans back to Children's Mercy Park for the first time since finishing in 8th place in the Western Conference with a 12-14-8 record in 2023.
Should the Boys in Blue get past Deportivo Saprissa in the Concacaf Champions Cup Round One, the Union would have some extra matches added to their March slate with the Round of 16 set to kick off March 5-7. The Union would host the first leg at Subaru Park based upon the pre-determined pairings by the competition's bracket and would take on Liga MX's CF Pachuca.
Philadelphia will bring their Western Conference slate to Subaru Park on Saturday, March 9th against a rebranded Seattle Sounders FC team who will look to impress with their new look in 2024.
Last season, Head Coach Brian Schmetzer's squad finished second in the Western Conference before falling to LAFC in the semifinal round of the playoffs. Philadelphia has played Sounders FC 12 times in club history, leading the all-time series 5-4-3, and they'll look to stay on top in the season to come.
After hosting the Western Conference foe, the Union will be right back on the road if they are in the Concacaf Champions Cup Round of 16. The decisive second leg trip would see the Boys in Blue travel over 2,400 miles for a matchup against the 2022/23 Liga MX champion who accumulated the most points.
Should the Union head to Mexico for the CCC Round of 16, travel will be quite simple as they'll make the trip north to face off against Austin FC for the first time in club history.
In their first trip to Q2 Stadium, the Boys in Blue can expect to face a squad determined to improve. Last year, Austin FC did not make the playoffs, finishing the season at 12th place in the Western Conference with just 10 wins.
Philadelphia Union's extensive Western Conference slate will carry on through March with another cross-country trip, this time to Providence Park to take on the Portland Timbers. It'll be a late-night 10:30 p.m. matchup for those watching at home from the East coast, but it's one fans won't want to miss, as it'll mark the first time the two teams have faced off since May 2022.
The team's March schedule will conclude back at Subaru Park with another Western Conference matchup against Minnesota United, who they'll play for the third-consecutive season.
Last year, Philadelphia Union saw them twice -- first in a club friendly that finished in a draw January, then again in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup in May. In the latter, Minnesota United emerged victorious after the match went to penalties, converting seven to the Union's six.
After finishing below the playoff line at 11th in the west, Minnesota will start fresh in 2024 with interim Head Coach Sean McAuley, who stepped into the role after the club parted ways with Adrian Heath in early October.
A timeline for their head coach search hasn't been announced, but that, among many other parts of their 2024 strategy, could change upon the arrival of newly hired Chief Soccer Officer and Sporting Director Khaled El-Ahmad, who will join the club at the start of the new year.