Club's 18th season features 13 nationally-televised matches
Sporting Kansas City released the club's 34-game regular season schedule on Wednesday for the 2013 Major League Soccer season.
The list is highlighted by 13 matches that will be carried on national television networks across the United States.
Sporting Kansas City, a charter member of Major League Soccer and first place finishers in the Eastern Conference each of the last two years, will begin its 18th season on March 2 at Philadelphia with the earliest regular season match in club history.
Sporting KC boasts an MLS-best 11-4-2 record all-time in season openers and has suffered just one loss to start the season in the last 11 years.
Two weeks later, the team opens its home schedule on March 16 by welcoming the Chicago Fire live on the NBC Sports Network as part of MLS’s Rivalry Week. The match-up will mark the fifth time in club history that the two teams have met in Kansas City's regular season home opener.
Sporting Kansas City's home opener is the first of eight games in which the team will be showcased on the NBC Sports Network, including five home fixtures.
ESPN will broadcast two of Sporting Kansas City's most anticipated road rivalries — at Houston on May 12 and at Chicago on July 7 — while UniMas has three telecasts featuring Sporting KC in 2013, including the team's visit to Supporter's Shield holders San Jose on Aug. 18.
Every Sporting Kansas City regular season MLS match will be shown live in 2013.
KSMO-TV, the team's official broadcast partner, will again carry all non-nationally televised regular season matches and will provide a 30-minute pre-game show prior to each of its matches.
Sporting Kansas City will play 20 of their 34 regular season matches on Saturdays in 2013, including 10 home dates that fall on a Saturday. Of the remaining 14 MLS matches, six will be played on Sundays, four on Fridays and four on Wednesdays.
Sporting Kansas City, who boasted the best road record in MLS last season, plays no more than two consecutive road MLS matches at any point during the regular season, but will start and end the campaign with three of four games away from home.
In addition to the MLS regular season, Sporting Kansas City will defend it's U.S. Open Cup title in 2013 and are expected to enter this year's centennial tournament in the third round of the competition.
The club will also participate in the 2013-14 CONCACAF Champions League, which has group stage match dates tentatively scheduled for Aug. 6-8, Aug. 20-22, Aug. 27-29, Sept. 17-19, Sept. 24-26 and Oct. 22-24.
Sporting Kansas City will travel to Tucson, Ariz. and Orlando, Fla. for the team's 2013 pre-season starting on Jan. 20.