Major League Soccer announced the home openers for 2012 today. The most significant change is that there is NO Thursday First Kick, there is also a new twist with a Monday night game. For the Seattle Sounders specifically they will open at home. Nine of the nineteen teams will open at home that weekend and at this time at least one of the other CONCACAF Champions League teams will also open at home. Both the Los Angeles Galaxy and Seattle will not rest like Real Salt Lake of 2011, but at least they will be at home. For Toronto FC, if they play in the opening weekend they will be on the road, after hosting LA in the first leg of their knockout phase.
Guessing who gets the ESPN, NBC season debuts starts to get fun as Seattle, LA and the Portland Timbers are at home on that weekend. Two of those seem assured to get the national exposure launching the season. The Canadian TV game will almost certainly be the Vancouver Whitecaps in BC Place against one of their Canadian brothers. Sunday traditionally goes to the US Spanish language TV deal and two teams that market extensively to Hispanics both play at home that day. Chivas USA or FC Dallas should get that TV time. Indications from the Supporters Summit are that early season games will be mainly out of conference. New York Red Bulls fans should expect to see their team on the West Coast for one of those prime TV slots agains the Sounders, Galaxy or Timbers.