With the start of the 2022 season just 2½ months away, Major League Soccer made a quick turn on Wednesday from last weekend’s championship game to releasing next season’s schedule.

We already knew some of the games on the slate, as last month the league unveiled home openers for a campaign that starts Feb. 26 — the earliest kickoff in MLS history. Now we know the rest, including some tasty home games and even tastier road trips for the Union.

The first Eastern Conference final rematch against New York City will be March 19 at Yankee Stadium, with the new MLS champions set to visit Chester on June 26. The latter contest will be one of five Union games on national TV this year, aired by FS1 and Fox Deportes.

The simmering rivalry with Atlanta United will be renewed late in the season, Aug. 31 at Subaru Park and Sept. 17 in a national TV contest on UniMás.

Local TV broadcasts will again be on a mix of PHL17 and 6ABC. The exact schedule for that isn’t set yet. In-market live streaming should again be through the Union’s website, free of charge. For fans tuning in from outside the Philly area, the games will be available on ESPN+ as part of the platform’s leaguewide package.

Expansion team Charlotte FC makes its first trip to Chester on April 2, and the Union will go to Charlotte on Oct. 1. The new club will play at Bank of America Stadium, home of the NFL’s Carolina Panthers, as both teams are owned by billionaire hedge fund manager David Tepper.

MLS will take a break in June for that month’s big FIFA window, which will include the start of a new Concacaf Nations League campaign. Since the World Cup in Qatar will be played in November, interrupting the European club season, the June stretch will be the big one for participating teams to prepare for the tournament.

The Union have just five Wednesday regular-season matches on deck this year, as the league intentionally limited its midweek fixtures to give players rest. But there will be no escaping the summer’s worst heat for Jim Curtin’s players: they go to Inter Miami on July 13, Orlando City on July 23, and FC Dallas on Aug. 17. (Fortunately, they’re all nighttime kickoffs.)

There will also likely be more midweek matchups at some point in the Leagues Cup, the tournament where the best MLS teams not in the Champions League face Mexican opponents; and the U.S. Open Cup, which is set to return next year after a two-year pandemic hiatus.

What about those tasty road trips? Three of them are in May: at Nashville SC on May 1 to christen their new stadium, at Los Angeles FC on May 7, and at the Portland Timbers on May 22. The Nashville and Portland games will be nationally televised, on ESPN and FS1 respectively (and their sibling Spanish channels).

As for other notable home games, here are two to circle. The Colorado Rapids will visit on Aug. 27, marking the first time that former Union players Auston Trusty and Keegan Rosenberry return here since Ernst Tanner traded them.

Both players didn’t just start their pro careers here, they grew up in the greater Philly area. Trusty, now 23, is from Media and rose through the Union’s academy system. Rosenberry, 28, is from Ronks, near Harrisburg, and was just short of homegrown status after playing collegiately at Georgetown. The Union instead got him with the No. 3 overall draft pick in 2016, and that year he was an All-Star and Rookie of the Year runner-up.

The regular season ends on Oct. 9 with the visit of Toronto FC on Decision Day. The playoffs will start the following weekend, leading up to the championship game on Nov. 5. Then everyone will disperse, and the players set to play in Qatar will head to their national teams.

National notes

A record 48 games will be televised on free-to-air broadcast networks ABC (nine), Fox (seven), Univision and UniMás (32 combined). ESPN and ESPN2 will split 25 games, all simulcast on ESPN Deportes, while FS1 and Fox Deportes will have 27. Many of Univision and UniMas’ games will be simulcast on cable sports channel TUDN, with English commentary available via the SAP function on your remote control and free online via Twitter.

Next season will be the last of MLS’s eight-year deal with ESPN, Fox and Univision. A new rights cycle will start in 2023, leading up to the 2026 men’s World Cup that the U.S., Canada and Mexico will co-host. That deal is expected to bring in-market streaming into the national package, and there’s likely to be some change in the national rightsholders. MLS commissioner Don Garber said earlier this month that he believes the new deals will be announced in the first quarter of next year.

New community service program for fans

Along with announcing the schedule, the Union unveiled a program with a range of local nonprofit groups through which fans can earn merchandise and experiences for doing community service work. Union staff will also participate in the program, and the prizes they earn will be given to local children.

The initial entities on board include Philabundance, the American Red Cross, the American Heart Association, CityTeam Chester, the Ronald McDonald House, and Ryan’s Case for Smiles. More details are available at u-serve.org.

2022 Union schedule

Saturday, Feb. 26: vs. Minnesota United, 1 p.m.

Saturday, March 5: at Club de Foot Montréal, 4 p.m. (at Olympic Stadium)

Saturday, March 12: vs. San Jose Earthquakes, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, March 19: at New York City FC, 1 p.m.

Saturday, April 2: vs. Charlotte FC, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, April 9: vs. Columbus Crew, 6 p.m.

Saturday, April 16: at Toronto FC, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, April 23: vs. Club de Foot Montréal, 3 p.m.

Sunday, May 1: at Nashville SC, 4 p.m. (ESPN, ESPN Deportes)

Saturday, May 7: at Los Angeles FC, 11 p.m.

Saturday, May 14: vs. New York Red Bulls, 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday, May 18: vs. Inter Miami, 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, May 22: at Portland Timbers, 10 p.m. (FS1, Fox Deportes)

Saturday, May 28: at New England Revolution, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, June 18: vs. FC Cincinnati, 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, June 26: vs. New York City FC, 6 p.m. (FS1, Fox Deportes)

Wednesday, June 29: at Chicago Fire, 8 p.m.

Sunday, July 3: at Columbus Crew, 7:30 p.m.

Friday, July 8: vs. D.C. United, 8 p.m. (ESPN, ESPN Deportes)

Wednesday, July 13: at Inter Miami, 8 p.m.

Saturday, July 16: vs. New England Revolution, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, July 23: at Orlando City, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, July 30: vs. Houston Dynamo, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, Aug. 6: at FC Cincinnati, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, Aug. 13: vs. Chicago Fire, 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Aug. 17: at FC Dallas, 9 p.m.

Saturday, Aug. 20: at D.C. United, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, Aug. 27: vs. Colorado Rapids, 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Aug. 31: vs. Atlanta United, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 3: at New York Red Bulls, 7 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 10: vs. Orlando City SC, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 17: at Atlanta United FC, 3:30 p.m. (UniMás)

Saturday, Oct. 1: at Charlotte FC, 7 p.m.

Sunday, Oct. 9: vs. Toronto FC, time TBD