This time around, Major League Soccer supporters will have two weekends to consider purchasing the MLS Direct Kick television package.
The league announced via its official website on Wednesday that MLS Direct Kick will be offered free on March 2-3 and also March 9-10. The package is available on both DirecTV and Dish Network, and also on most American cable providers. Those looking for more information or individuals who want to see if MLS Direct Kick is available in their area can click here or call 1-888-SPORTS-IN. MLS Direct Kick cost $79 per season for residential customers.
Below is a schedule of MLS games that will take place during the first two weekends of the 2013 regular season.
All times listed below are ET
List of games on MLS Direct Kick on March 2
Philadelphia Union vs. Sporting KC at 4:00 pm: Kansas City lost some key figures during this past offseason, but they are still among the favorites to again win the MLS East. Philadelphia, on the other hand, are trying to avoid another slow start like the one that crippled their 2012 season before it could even get off the ground.
Vancouver Whitecaps vs. Toronto FC at 6:30 pm: This could be a Canadian Cup Final preview. TFC have to be looking forward to the start of a new season. Things can't possibly get any worse for that franchise, so that's a plus.
Houston Dynamo vs. DC United at 8:00 pm: This game will air on NBC Sports Network.
Seattle Sounders vs. Montreal Impact at 10:30 pm: Will this be the year Seattle put it all together and win a title? Did Montreal make a mistake in letting Jesse Marsch go? We'll find out.
Chivas USA vs. Columbus Crew at 10:30 pm: New manager Chelís is sure taking Chivas in a, well, a different direction. Columbus seem to be right on the cusp of something special. They could, when all is said and done, be one of the more intriguing teams to follow this season.
List of games on MLS Direct Kick on March 3
LA Galaxy vs. Chicago Fire at 5:00 pm: This game will be on national TV via UniMas.
San Jose Earthquakes vs. Real Salt Lake at 10:00 pm: RSL begin the campaign playing their first five of seven contests on the road. They get what may be the most difficult one out of the way on the first Sunday of the season.
List of games on MLS Direct Kick on March 9
Toronto FC vs. Sporting KC at 1:30 pm.
Colorado Rapids vs. Philadelphia Union at 6:00 pm.
DC United vs. Real Salt Lake at 7:00 pm.
Vancouver Whitecaps vs. Columbus Crew at 7:30 pm.
List of games on MLS Direct Kick on March 10
One thing you may want to check on is if MLS Direct Kick games will be shown in HD in your area. My TV provider offers five MLS Direct Kick channels in HD. Those stations, along with NBC Sports and the ESPN family of networks, will allow me to watch almost every league contest in HD in 2013. Not everybody is so lucky. One fan I spoke with this week told me that his television provider does not offer any HD Direct Kick channels. Contact your cable or satellite TV provider to learn more.
Zac has been covering New York Red Bulls, Major League Soccer, Tottenham Hotspur, the USMNT and other soccer leagues for Yahoo! Sports since 2010.