Fans of the Los Angeles Galaxy celebrate a goal in 2011
Major League Soccer unveiled its 2012 schedule on Thursday, with 19 North American clubs kicking off the longest season in MLS history on March 10 and finishing with the playoff final on December 1.
The 17th season will feature 323 matches and include the league’s newest team, the Montreal Impact. Nine matches on April 28 will make that date the busiest in league history.
Five matches will be featured on opening night, including Real Salt Lake at defending champion Los Angeles Galaxy, which could see English midfielder David Beckham return after turning down an offer from Paris Saint-Germain.
Other March 10 games find Kansas City at DC United, New England at San Jose, Columbus at Colorado and Montreal making its MLS debut at Vancouver.
A regular season of 34 matches for each club will conclude October 28 with one of the playoff finalists hosting the MLS championship match on December 1, a full 267 days after the openers.