The Union's 2015 schedule has been unveiled.
It features at least nine national TV games, with kickoff times for the last two weeks of the season still to be fully determined.
First up is a home game against the Colorado Rapids on March 7. It's just the second time since the team launched in 2010 that its season opener is at home.
Highlights later in the season include a back-to-back with expansion team New York City FC in April. The Union play City three times this year in total. Unfortunately for traveling fans, the only game at Yankee Stadium is on a Thursday night, but David Villa and company make two trips to PPL Park.
You'll notice that I didn't mention Frank Lampard, City's other big name, in that paragraph. If Lampard ever actually does come to New York, the Union won't see him in the regular season. He likely wouldn't take the field in sky blue until July, and the Union's last meeting of the year with City is on June 6.
The Union face their traditional rivals, D.C. United and the New York Red Bulls, three times each this year. Both teams visit PPL Park once and host Philadelphia twice.
Orlando City, the other expansion team this year, faces the Union twice. The first game is at the Citrus Bowl on August 8, and the second is the regular season finale on October 25 at PPL Park.
Both of those games are surely big for Union fans, as Orlando features Brazilian star Kaká and former Union stalwart Amobi Okugo.
One can only wonder what kind of reception Okugo would get if both teams are fighting for a playoff berth on the last day of the season. With the playoffs expanding to six teams per conference this year, that's a very real possibility.
The Union also play Chicago, Columbus, New England and Toronto three times each, and Montréal twice.
MLS realigned its conferences this year, moving Houston and Kansas City to the West in order to accomodate Orlando and New York City. So the Union only see those two old foes once this year, as teams from one conference only play teams from the other once each season.
Colorado, Dallas, Houston, Portland and Seattle visit PPL Park. The Union travel to Los Angeles, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Real Salt Lake, San Jose and Vancouver.
It may disappoint some Union fans that the Galaxy, who signed Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard in January, is not coming here. But it may be consolation that the Union's trip to southern California takes place before Gerrard's expected debut in July.
That season-ending matchup against Orlando is made even more dramatic by the fact that for the first time ever, the last day of the regular season has all five Eastern Conference games kicking off at 5:00 p.m. Fox Sports 1 and UniMás will each televise one of those games, and will make their picks toward the end of the season.
In the next-to-last week of the campaign, MLS has flexible scheduling for the first time in its history. That means the league's national TV partners - UniMás, ESPN and Fox Sports - will pick the games they want in their time slots. This seasonmarks the debut of MLS' new eight-year, $720 million rights deal with those networks.
UniMás has the Union's first national TV game of the season, when FC Dallas comes to PPL Park on Friday, March 20. There won't be a simultaneous broadcast on a local station, because UniMás's coverage includes an English-language audio feed accessible via the SAP button on your remote control.
ESPN2 and Fox Sports 1 are each carrying four Union games. The season's full national TV schedule is available here.
All games not on national TV will be broadcast locally. As of now, WPVI-6 gets four games, Comcast SportsNet gets seven, and The Comcast Network gets 14, though that may change based on flex scheduling considerations at the end of the season. J.P. Dellacamera, Peter Pappas and Tony Limarzi return as the on-air talent.
Here's the Union's full 2015 schedule, with a few kickoff times still to be confirmed:
Saturday, March 7: vs. Colorado Rapids, 4:00 p.m. (WPVI-6)
Saturday, March 14: at Real Salt Lake, 9:30 p.m. (TV TBA)
Friday, March 20: vs. FC Dallas, 7:00 p.m. (UniMás)
Sunday, March 29: at Chicago Fire, 5:00 p.m. (ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes)
Sunday, April 5: at Sporting Kansas City, 7:00 p.m. (Fox Sports 1 and Fox Deportes)
Saturday, April 11: vs. New York City FC, 4:00 p.m. (WPVI-6)
Thursday, April 16: at New York City FC, 7:30 p.m. (The Comcast Network)
Sunday, April 19: vs. New England Revolution, 5:00 p.m. (ESPN2, ESPN Deportes)
Saturday, April 25: at Columbus Crew SC, 7:30 p.m. (Comcast SportsNet)
Saturday, May 2: vs. Toronto FC, 4:00 p.m. (WPVI-6)
Saturday, May 9: at Vancouver Whitecaps, time TBA (The Comcast Network)
Sunday, May 17: vs. D.C. United, 7:00 p.m. (Fox Sports 1, Fox Deportes)
Sunday, May 24: at New York Red Bulls, 5:00 p.m. (Fox Sports 1, Fox Deportes)
Saturday, May 30: at D.C. United, 7:00 p.m. (The Comcast Network)
Wednesday, June 3: vs. Columbus Crew, 7:00 p.m. (The Comcast Network)
Saturday, June 6: vs. New York City FC, 7:00 p.m. (The Comcast Network)
Saturday, June 20: at Los Angeles Galaxy, 10:30 p.m. (Comcast SportsNet)
Wednesday, June 24: vs. Seattle Sounders, 7:00 p.m. (Comcast SportsNet)
Saturday, June 27: vs. Montréal Impact, 7:00 p.m. (WPVI-6)
Saturday, July 11: vs. Portland Timbers, 7:00 p.m. (WPVI-6)
Saturday, July 18: at Toronto FC, time TBA (Comcast SportsNet)
Sunday, July 26: at D.C. United, 5:00 p.m. (ESPN2, ESPN Deportes)
Saturday, August 1: vs. New York Red Bulls, 7:00 p.m. (WPVI-6)
Saturday, August 8: at Orlando City, 7:30 p.m. (Comcast SportsNet)
Sunday, August 16: vs. Chicago Fire, 7:00 p.m. (Fox Sports 1, Fox Deportes)
Saturday, August 22: at Montréal Impact, time TBA (The Comcast Network)
Saturday, August 29: vs. New England Revolution, 7:00 p.m. (Comcast SportsNet)
Saturday, September 5: at San Jose Earthquakes, 10:30 p.m. (The Comcast Network)
Saturday, September 12: vs. Columbus Crew, 7:00 p.m. (The Comcast Network)
Sunday, September 20: vs. Houston Dynamo, 7:00 p.m. (Fox Sports 1, Fox Deportes)
Saturday, September 26: at New England Revolution, 7:30 p.m. (The Comcast Network)