MLS to take abbreviated World Cup break as league releases full 2018 schedule

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The league will go on hiatus from June 14-22 during the showpiece event in Russia

MLS released its full 2018 schedule on Thursday, with the league taking an abbreviated break for the World Cup from June 14-22.

In the wake of the U.S. national team's failure to qualify for Russia 2018, the nine-day hiatus marks a slight decrease from the 13-day break the league took for the 2014 tournament in Brazil.

The 2018 campaign will kick off March 4 and conclude Oct. 28, with the playoffs running from Oct. 31 to the MLS Cup final Dec. 8.

MLS, which previously announced each club's home opener for the 2018 season, confirmed the first match between the LA Galaxy and expansion side Los Angeles FC will be held March 31 at StubHub Center.

D.C. United will open its new soccer-specific stadium, Audi Field, against the Vancouver Whitecaps on July 14. The club will play 12 of its first 14 matches on the road before that contest, with two home games set for temporary venues.

LAFC, meanwhile, will play its first match at the new Banc of California Stadium against the Seattle Sounders on April 29. This year's MLS Cup final rematch will see defending champion Toronto FC host the Sounders on May 9 at BMO Field.

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The MLS All-Star Game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta will be held Aug. 1 against an opponent to be announced.

Following the midseason break, MLS will have five matches televised on Fox immediately after World Cup contests.

In addition to three double-headers with round of 16 matches and one with a quarterfinal clash, MLS will feature a match between Atlanta United and the Sounders following the World Cup final July 15.

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