Sounders FC

Sounders will visit Yankee Stadium, host Timbers twice

Seattle Sounders FC’s first visit to Yankee Stadium is among the highlights of the club’s 2015 MLS schedule, which was released Wednesday.

The Sounders will be in the Bronx on May 3 for their first meeting with New York City FC. The league’s other expansion newcomer — Orlando City FC — will visit CenturyLink Field for the first time Aug. 16.

The Sounders’ seventh MLS regular season begins March 8 when MLS Cup runner-up New England visits CenturyLink Field. It ends Oct. 25 with a visit from Western rival Real Salt Lake. In between, the Portland Timbers will visit twice, while the Sounders will travel to Vancouver twice. On Sept. 12, the Sounders will play their first game at San Jose’s new soccer-specific Avaya Stadium. The MLS Cup champion Los Angeles Galaxy will make its only scheduled appearance at CenturyLink Field on Oct. 4.

The Sounders will take two three-game road trips: to New York, Columbus and Vancouver in May, and San Jose, Vancouver and Kansas City in September.

Seattle will play 18 matches on Saturdays, 13 on Sundays, two on Wednesdays and one on a Friday.

The addition of Orlando and New York City brings MLS to 20 teams for its 20th season. Both expansion clubs have been placed in the Eastern Conference. The league balanced the alignment by moving Houston and Sporting Kansas City into the West. The top six finishers in each conference will make the playoffs.

The traditional 34-game schedule was retained by having each team play one game against the 10 teams from the other conference, home-and-away games with each team from its own conference, along with six additional in-conference games.

The MLS season opens March 6 with the Chicago Fire visiting Los Angeles. Rivalry weeks will be played June 26-28 and Aug. 28-30.

The regular season concludes Oct. 25.

The playoffs will begin with four knockout games Oct. 28 and 29. Those will be followed by the conference semifinals and semifinals, running from Oct. 31 to Nov. 20. The MLS Cup will be played at the home of the higher-seeded finalist on Dec. 5, 6, 12 or 13.

This is the first season of MLS’ eight-year broadcast deal with ESPN, Fox Sports and Univision. Twelve Sounders games are scheduled for national telecast. The club’s regional broadcast partner hasn’t been announced.