The Portland Timbers are preparing to play as many as 12 consecutive games on the road to begin the 2019 MLS season, club business director Mike Golub recently told Jamie Goldberg of The Oregonian. That would mark the single longest road trip to open a season in MLS history, besting Sporting Kansas City's 10-game road trip before opening Children's Mercy Park in 2011.
Portland were already anticipating a prolonged away spell to open the new season due to the final stage of work to remodel the east side of Providence Park. However, with the Timbers' deep run into the Audi 2018 MLS Cup Playoffs, that work has commenced later than originally planned, and is slated for completion in late May or early June of next year.
Once completed, the redevelopment of the east side of Providence Park will boost the capacity to around 25,000 | Courtesy of Portland Timbers
The Timbers also began this season with a five-match road trip due to an earlier phase of the project. When finished, the $70-million, privately funded expansion will bring the capacity of Providence Park to around 25,000, up about 4,000 from this season.
D.C. United had to wait until July 14 to open their new home, Audi Field, but were not permitted to play entirely on the road for the first four months of the season. Instead, D.C. hosted a pair of "home away from home" matches in suburban Maryland locations. It's unclear whether a June opening would force Portland into a similar fate for one or more of its 17 home matches.