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Toronto FC’s 2017 home and season openers announced

The new season is right around the corner.

MLS: Eastern Conference Championship-Montreal Impact at Toronto FC John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Toronto FC will be back on the road in March to open the new MLS season.

The Reds kick off against Real Salt Lake on Saturday, March 4, with the game at Rio Tinto Stadium scheduled for 4.30pm ET.

They return to BMO Field for a Friday night game under the lights on March 31 against Sporting Kansas City at 7.30pm.

With no stadium renovations scheduled this year, the late start in Toronto is for the benefit of the pitch amid the winter weather. TFC and Montreal are the only clubs north of New York City to play on grass rather than turf, and the Impact will open their season on an artificial surface at the Olympic Stadium instead of Stade Saputo.

After an eight-game road stint in 2016, Greg Vanney’s team should only have to deal with three matches away before their first home clash next year due to the international break at the end of March. A complication on that front, however - and making the Friday night fixture slightly odd - is that the USA play Panama away on March 27, meaning a quick turnaround for Michael Bradley, Jozy Altidore and Armando Cooper.

The full fixture list will be released at a later date.