Major League Soccer announced the complete 2022 schedule Wednesday.

And for now, every team has a chance at turning that schedule into a collection of special moments. Yes, really, every team. This could be the year.

But until that year actually comes, let’s take a look ahead at what we’re already looking forward to during the 2022 MLS season.

1
No sleep till MLS is back

WHO. IS. READY. FOR. The shortest offseason in MLS history? MLS is Back on Feb. 26 with a full slate of games, starting with Philadelphia and Minnesota United, LAFC and Colorado, and Portland taking on New England. Then once you’ve slept that off, you can wake up and get ready for Atlanta United versus Sporting KC, LA and NYCFC, Seattle welcoming Nashville, and the first game in Charlotte FC history when they take on D.C. United.

That’s a spectacular group of games and you don’t even really have to wait for it. Thank goodness. Last year’s nearly five-month offseason left us with nothing to write about except the ongoing boredom. Will no one consider the bloggers?

2
Some sleep till Decision Day

The entire MLS regular season will play out over 225 days from Feb. 26 to Oct. 9. Things are ending a bit early next year due to some international tournament in November called the World Cup, but things won’t feel too cramped. I’ve always been of the opinion that the fewer midweek games we have the better. Well, this schedule is certainly for the better. Each team will only have to play at most five midweek games this season and no team will play consecutive weeks with midweek games. That’s more tailgating for us and more rest (see: better soccer) for the players.

When we finally get to the end, we’ll wrap things up with potentially massive Decision Day matchups like Atlanta versus NYCFC, LAFC and Nashville, and Philadelphia welcoming Toronto. I mean, because it’s MLS those could all be meaningless and we could be totally overlooking Inter Miami versus CF Montréal as a clash of two titans, but for now, just know there’s plenty to look forward to.

3
Charlotte’s Web (of exciting moments in a club’s first season)

We’ve already mentioned Charlotte FC’s first game on Feb. 26, but that one is in D.C. at Audi Field. Charlotte won’t truly get to welcome their newest team until March 5 when they welcome the Galaxy to Bank of America Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7:30 pm ET on FOX.

The week after their home opener, they’ll head to Atlanta for their first matchup between southeastern teams. And folks, let me tell you, the stakes will be very, very high.

Charlotte seem pretty intent on making Atlanta into an enemy and I’m sure both teams’ fan bases will handle that super, super well. This one will be fun.

They’ll have another chance against a southeastern foe in July when welcoming Nashville to Charlotte. I don’t know if there’s any animosity between the two cities, but Nashville are the standard for mid-market expansion teams right now. It might be a decent barometer for what Charlotte wants to accomplish in year one. Or maybe we’ll find out there’s animosity between musicians and a town with a large contingent of people in the banking industry or something and we’ll get a genuine rivalry on our hands. You never know! The magic of MLS!

4
Nashville’s newest

Speaking of Nashville, they’ll open their brand-new, 30,000-seat soccer-specific stadium on May 1 when they welcome Philadelphia at 4 pm ET on ESPN and ESPN Deportes. Nashville have had fantastic crowds already but a new setup should really elevate the atmosphere around one of the most successful expansion stories in league history. They’re going to be loud, there’s going to be people playing guitars and there’s going to be Soccer Moses. This is going to be an event, opening the largest soccer-specific stadium in the United States.

5
The R word

It’s an MLS schedule post. We’ve got to mention rivalries. Don’t come here clicking on a schedule post and act like you didn’t expect us to talk about rivalries.

Anyway, I for one really do enjoy it when teams and fan bases don’t care much for one another for whatever reason they can find not to care for one another. That will be on full display during Heineken Rivalry Week from July 8 to July 17. That’s right, 10 whole days of rivalry week. You get three extra for free or perhaps because whoever decided to call it “rivalry week” had too much delicious, delicious Heineken.

Either way, the slate is stacked. El Trafico, Cascadia Cup, Cali Clasico, Hudson River Derby, Hell is Real, and the Nicest Rivalry in Sports, all over the span of a few days. That’s a lot of games with names. And games with names are usually a whole lot of fun. They’re even better when you can put them in a truly special setting…

6
The Classic Cali Clasico

For the first time in two years, the Cali Classico is returning to Stanford Stadium. It won’t go down during the actual Heineken Rivalry Week, but Heineken Rivalry Week is more like a state of mind than anything.

On June 25, the Galaxy will travel to Palo Alto to face San Jose. These games are, for some reason, always chaotic and always feel big. Even when both teams are struggling. There’s something special about the game and venue when they come together. And MLS has been missing something without it.

7
Cross country meets

The number of East-West matchups is dwindling as the league grows. It means you don’t get to see every team each year, but it does make it feel like a big deal when you do. Opening weekend matchups like Portland vs. New England or LA vs. NYCFC, along with potential cross-conference rivalries like Nashville and Charlotte throughout the year are all the more special now. These are can’t-miss kinds of games. And the more of those we get to enjoy, the better.

8
It’s MLS

Day 4 of the offseason. Already having issues coping. Actively considered finding a hobby or talking to my family instead of just watching MLS. It’s getting dangerous out here. I’m just going to be glad when it’s back.