MLS releases 2014 regular season schedule

The league will take a two-week break for the World Cup but play through FIFA fixture dates in September, October.
With the soccer world's gaze undoubtedly centered on Brazil, MLS will go on a two-week hiatus during next summer's World Cup.

MLS unveiled its full 2014 schedule Monday, with the regular season kicking off March 8 — one week later than this past season — and ending Oct. 26. It was the earliest schedule announcement in league history.

The World Cup break, which will start following three games June 11 and end with a single midweek match June 25, roughly coincides with the June 12-26 group stage. Although the season will start after the March 5 FIFA date, the league will once again play through international fixtures in September and October.

The opening weekend is highlighted by matchups involving this year's MLS Cup participants, as Eastern Conference champion Sporting Kansas City travels to face the high-spending Seattle Sounders and Western Conference champion Real Salt Lake visits the LA Galaxy in a playoff rematch.

With the season ending in late October and Nov. 10-18 set aside for FIFA fixtures, MLS will once again have to decide between scheduling postseason games during the international dates or having a lengthy break in the middle of its playoffs. For the 2013 season, the league scheduled two weeks off between the two legs of the conference finals.

Follow GOAL.COM on