For the third time in their three-year history, the Union will begin the Major League Soccer season on the road.

The Union will open the season Monday, March 12, at Portland against the second-year Timbers. The game is scheduled for 9:30 p.m.

The Union's season is opening a bit earlier. In their inaugural season, the Union opened March 25 in Seattle against the Sounders. Last season, their season began March 19 at Houston against the Dynamo.

The Union are 1-1 in openers, with a 2-0 loss to Seattle and a 1-0 win over Houston.

MLS announced earlier that the Union's first home game will be Sunday, March 18, at PPL Park against an opponent to be announced.

MLS doesn't release its entire schedule at once, which doesn't help teams' marketing efforts. For the second year in a row, the Union will play 34 games.

MLS has a long season. The Los Angeles Galaxy beat the Houston Dynamo, 1-0, for this year's MLS Cup on Nov. 20.

The Union are coming off an 11-8-15 season in which they earned their first playoff berth. After a first-round bye, the Union lost their two-game, aggregate-goal series to Houston, 3-1, in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

Contact staff writer Marc Narducci at 856-779-3225, mnarducci@phillynews.com, or @sjnard on Twitter.