Union stadium to open June 27

Well, here it is: the Union's full schedule for the 2010 season. Not too surprisingly, it's front-loaded with road games so that the Union can play as many home games in Chester as possible. 

PPL Park will open on June 27, when the Union play Seattle. The Union formally announced it a few moments ago, but team president Tom Veit basically gave it away on his Twitter feed a few hours before the schedule was releaased:

June 27th isn't my birthday, but it's going to feel like it.

Pretty subtle, I'd say.

That means the Union will play a total of two games at Lincoln Financial Field: April 10 vs. D.C. United and May 15 vs. FC Dallas.

(No, MLS does not align its divisions the way the NFL does, but having those two teams in particular is rather amusing.)

Tickets for the two games at the Linc will go on sale in early March. Ttickets for the other games will go in sale later in the season.

With an even 16 teams in MLS this year, the league will have a balanced 30-game schedule for the first time in its history. Teams will play each other home and away once each. 

A total of 17 Union games will be televised nationally. Five will be on ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes, including the season opener and the first game at PPL Park - both against Seattle.

Seven will be on Fox Soccer Channel and Fox Sports Espanol, including the home opener against D.C. United at Lincoln Financial Field. Five will be on Telefutura, a Spanish-language network that is owned by Univision.

Philadelphia's Telefutura affiliate, WFPA, is available over the air on Channel 28. But it's a low-power station, so you're probably better off getting it by cable or satellite.

A few notable dates to start. The game at New York on April 24 will be the Red Bulls' third at their new arena in Harrison, N.J. If you've taken the train to New York or points north recently, you've seen Red Bull Arena behind the Harrison PATH station. It's pretty spectacular.

The game at D.C. on August 22 will be a mid-afternoon kickoff in brutally hot weather. But it's great timing for the Sons of Ben to take a day trip to RFK Stadium.

You'll notice a big gap in June. MLS will shut down during the group stage of the World Cup, and there will be no games played on the days of the semifinals or final.

Eight of the Union's first 10 games are on the road, and six of their last eight are at home. That will be a huge advantage if the team is in the playoff race.

One of the October games will be against the Los Angeles Galaxy. Who knows if David Beckham (or perhaps even Landon Donovan?) will still be on the Galaxy by then.

Here's the full schedule. Home games are in italics. Start planning your road trips and viewing parties now.

Thursday, March 25: at Seattle Sounders, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN2/ESPN Deportes)
Saturday, April 10: vs. D.C. United at Lincoln Financial Field, 6:00 p.m. (FSC/FSE)
Thursday, April 15: at Toronto FC, 7:00 p.m. (ESPN2/ESPN Deportes)
Saturday, April 24: at Red Bull New York, 4:00 p.m. (Telefutura)

Saturday, May 1: at Los Angeles Galaxy, 10:30 p.m.
Saturday, May 8: at Real Salt Lake, 9:00 p.m.
Saturday, May 15: vs. FC Dallas at Lincoln Financial Field, 4:00 p.m. (Telefutura)
Saturday, May 29: at Houston, 8:30 p.m. (FSC/FSE)

Saturday, June 5: at Chicago Fire, 8:30 p.m.
Thursday, June 10: at Kansas City Wizards, 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, June 27: vs. Seattle Sounders, 5:00 p.m. (ESPN2/ESPN Deportes)

Saturday, July 3: at Chivas USA, 10:30 p.m. (FSC/FSE)
Saturday, July 10: vs. San Jose Earthquakes, 5:30 p.m. (FSC/FSE)
Saturday, July 17: vs. Toronto FC, 3:30 p.m.
Wednesday, July 21: at Colorado Rapids, time TBA
Saturday, July 31: vs. New England Revolution, 3:30 p.m.

Thursday, August 5: vs. Columbus Crew, 8:00 p.m. (ESPN2/ESPN Deportes)
Sunday, August 8: at FC Dallas, 7:00 p.m. (FSC/FSE)
Wednesday, August 11: vs. Real Salt Lake, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, August 14: vs. Colorado Rapids, 4:00 p.m. (Telefutura)
Sunday, August 22: at D.C. United, 2:00 pm.
Saturday, August 28: at New England Revolution, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, September 4: vs. Kansas City Wizards, 3:30 p.m.
Saturday, September 11: vs. Chicago Fire, 6:00 p.m. (FSC/FSE)

Saturday, September 18: at San Jose Earthquakes, 10:00 p.m.
Saturday, July 25: vs. Chivas USA, 4:00 p.m. (Telefutura)

Saturday, October 2: vs. Houston Dynamo, 4:00 p.m. (Telefutura)
Thursday, October 7: vs. Los Angeles Galaxy, 8:00 p.m. (ESPN2/ESPN Deportes)
Saturday, October 16: vs. Red Bull New York, 6:00 p.m. (FSC/FSE)

Sunday, October 24: at Columbus Crew, 4:00 p.m.