Union supporters can mark their calendars for Sunday, March 5 and especially for Saturday, March 11, as those are the dates for the first two matches of the 2017 season, as MLS announced today.
Philadelphia is set to begin the new campaign with a Canadian doubleheader, first traveling to BC Place to take on Vancouver Whitecaps FC before returning to Talen Energy Stadium to host Toronto FC in the home opener.
The Union have faced off with Vancouver seven times in club history, indeed only traveling to western Canada three times and playing inside BC Place just twice (Philadelphia's first match at Vancouver in 2011 was played at Empire Field. The Union are 2-3-2 all-time against Whitecaps FC, including a record of 1-1-0 at BC Place. That lone victory came on July 27, 2013, and was fueled by a late Antoine Hoppenot game-winner.
Following that contest, the Union comes home to Talen Energy Stadium to take on a more familar foe: Toronto FC. Of course, the Reds are the team Philadelphia last saw when they took to the pitch, in the 2016 Eastern Conference Knockout Round, but the Union have met Toronto 17 times in all-time regular-season action. Philadelphia holds a 6-6-5 all-time record in those matches, including a 4-2-2 mark at home.
We don't know the entirety of the 2017 schedule quite yet, but Toronto FC has only visited Philadelphia one time over each of the past three seasons, with the Union recording their last home win over the Reds on September 3, 2014. That was another 1-0 win for Philadelphia, this time a Conor Casey 55th minute tally that held up to secure all three points.
Overall, Philadelphia is unbeaten over their last three home openers at Talen Energy Stadium (2-0-1), registering a 4-2-1 record overall in their all-time home-opening matches. The Union are also 4-2-2 all-time against Toronto FC at Talen Energy Stadium. And remember that the best way to secure your spot for the 2017 season opener is through a Holiday Pack, available now.