F.C. Edmonton will travel further than any other team in North America’s three professional leagues during this year’s regular seasons despite playing three fewer away games than Major League Soccer franchises.
The North American Soccer League side will travel almost 50,000 miles to fulfill its 14 away games. The Eddies open the season on April 12 with a 4,700-mile round trip to the Tampa Bay Rowdies. Edmonton returns to Tampa on Oct. 4 and closes out the season three weeks later with a 5,100-mile round trip to the Fort Lauderdale Strikers.
Houston Dynamo is the most-traveled MLS team with almost 43,000 road miles. Portland Timbers, Chivas USA and Vancouver Whitecaps will also break the 40,000-mile barrier during the MLS season.
The Soccer Observer used the www.dateandtime.info website to determine the distances between cities in the respective leagues. It is assumed that teams will not return home when faced with lengthy travel itineraries between weekend and midweek games.
Houston faces back-to-back road games at D.C. United on May 21 and the San Jose Earthquakes on May 25, for example. It is assumed in this instance that the Dynamo would travel directly to Northern California rather than returning to Texas from Washington.
Such is Edmonton’s seclusion from its NASL rivals that the Canadians face at least a 1,000-mile journey to reach every away venue. Minnesota United provides the closest opposition at a distance of 1,082 miles from Alberta’s “City of Champions.” The Eddies will travel 50 percent further than any other team in the league with second-ranked San Antonio Scorpions clocking up just over 33,000 miles.
Los Angeles Galaxy’s new second team outstrips the rest of the United Soccer Leagues Pro Division with an estimated 27,000 road miles. The Galaxy II schedule contains only one instance where the team would be expected to remain on the road between games – the visits to Harrisburg City Islanders on July 30 and the Pittsburgh Riverhounds on Aug. 2.
The Wilmington Hammerheads, conversely, will undertake a three-game West Coast swing within five days in August at the Sacramento Republic, Orange County Blues and Galaxy II to minimize the club’s financial burden. Wilmington and the Charlotte Eagles are the only clubs estimated to travel fewer than 12,000 miles.
New England Revolution will undertake the longest round-trip in North American league soccer next month – 5,364 miles from Boston to San Jose and back for the March 29 game at the Earthquakes.
All distances are calculated as the crow flies. Actual mileage will vary depending on air and road routes. The full ranking of all 43 league clubs from the MLS, NASL and USL PRO leagues by expected mileage is shown beneath.
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