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In anticipation for the 2009 season, Major League Soccer has released its opening weekend schedule.

Major League Soccer has released its schedule for the opening weekend and the two weeks following, with the Seattle Sounders inaugural game the highlight.

The first game of the season, also Seattle’s first, is scheduled for 9 p.m. ET, Thursday, March 19th in prime time on ESPN when the Sounders take on defending Western Conference Champions New York Red Bulls.

2008 MLS Cup Champions Columbus Crew play their first game on March 21st against previous cup winners Houston Dynamo in Houston at 8 p.m. ET.

Other key fixtures of the first weekend include New England at San Jose, Colorado at Chivas both on Saturday and DC at Los Angeles on Sunday afternoon.

It remains to be seen whether Galaxy players David Beckham and Landon Donovan will have returned from their respective loan deals at AC Milan and Bayern Munich in time for Los Angeles’ first game, if they return at all.

The complete list of fixtures for the first three weeks of the season can be found below.

Thursday, March 19, 2009
New York Red Bulls at Seattle Sounders FC, 9 p.m. (ESPN2/Deportes)
 
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Columbus Crew at Houston Dynamo, 8 p.m. (Fox Soccer Channel/Fox Sports en Español)
Chicago Fire at FC Dallas, 8:30 p.m.
Toronto FC at Kansas City Wizards, 8:30 p.m.
Colorado Rapids at Chivas USA, 10:30 pm (Fox Soccer Channel/Fox Sports en Español)
New England Revolution at San Jose Earthquakes, 10:30 p.m.
 
Sunday, March 22, 2009
D.C. United at Los Angeles Galaxy, 3 p.m. (TeleFutura)

-- Shane Evans, Goal.com

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