The Columbus Crew announced today it will play its 2011 home opener on Saturday, March 26, at 4 p.m. vs. Eastern Conference rival New York Red Bulls.
The Crew will kick off its 16th Major League Soccer season one week earlier at D.C. United on Saturday, March 19, at 7:30 p.m.
The Crew’s competitive season will begin three and a half weeks earlier with the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal round against Real Salt Lake on February 22 at 8 p.m. ET at Crew Stadium. The return leg will be played at Rio Tinto Stadium on March 1.
All 18 MLS clubs will take the field during the opening “First Kick” week as they embark on a 34-game, balanced regular season in which every club will face each of the other 17 twice – once at home, once on the road. Ten teams will qualify for the MLS Cup Playoffs.
Additional games and national television broadcasts will be announced at a later date. The entire 2011 MLS regular season has not been finalized and will be released by early February.