Major League Soccer released its full schedule of games for 2018 today, so now we know when, where, and how often Orlando City will play each MLS team this season. Once again, it's time to plan those road trips and those days off for early tailgating for mid-week games.
We already knew about the March 3 home opener against D.C. United — the fourth consecutive time the Lions will open at home and the second home opening match in the club’s downtown stadium. Now we know the entire schedule in all its glory. The Lions will close the season on Sunday, Oct. 28 at the New York Red Bulls.
Speaking of the Red Bulls, Sacha Kljestan will face his old club for the first time on Saturday, March 31 at Orlando City Stadium. Orlando visits MLS Cup champion Toronto FC on Friday, May 18, and hosts the Reds on Saturday, July 14. Dom Dwyer will return to Kansas City on Saturday, Sept. 8.
The Lions have to get off to a good start in 2018, as they’ll be playing at home in five of the first seven games. Orlando will play three of its final five away from home. Among the team’s travels, the Lions must go to Los Angeles twice, in addition to Vancouver, so we hope they’ll be getting frequent flyer miles.
Orlando City will face each of the 12 Western Conference teams once, including:
- FC Dallas, LA Galaxy, Vancouver Whitecaps, Sporting Kansas City, Los Angeles FC, and Colorado Rapids away only.
- Real Salt Lake, Houston Dynamo, Minnesota United, San Jose Earthquakes, Seattle Sounders, and Portland Timbers at home only.
Orlando will face each Eastern Conference opponent twice except Atlanta United and New York City FC, which the Lions will face three times apiece. Atlanta will visit Orlando twice out of three meetings and the Lions will go to Yankee Stadium twice in 2018’s trio of games. The Aug. 24 home game vs. Atlanta United is part of Heineken Rivalry Week. The other Atlanta match-ups are Sunday, May 13 (home), and Saturday, June 30 (away). The NYCFC games will take place Saturday, March 17 (away), Saturday, June 2 (away), and Thursday, July 26 (home). That Thursday game will be the middle contest in a tough stretch of three games in eight days, bookended by trips to Columbus and LA Galaxy.
With Los Angeles FC joining this season, Orlando City will face a new opponent in league play for the second consecutive year. The Lions will play LAFC for the first time on Saturday, July 7 in Los Angeles. The inclusion of LAFC has thrown off the balance of teams and therefore each weekend one team will have a bye in 2018. In addition, the league will take a nine-day World Cup break without any league action from June 14-22.
Adrian Heath will return to Orlando as the opposing coach for the first time in the second week of the season, as Minnesota United visits OCS on Saturday, March 10, at 7:30 p.m.
The Lions will play 19 Saturday night games, nine Sundays, three Fridays, two Wednesdays, and one Thursday. For the second straight year, Orlando City will not play on July 4.
Orlando will play four games in March, April, and May, five each in June and July, three in August, four in September, and five in October.
The Lions will be on national television 13 times, as opposed to 14 times last year, with the remainder of the games televised locally once again on WRDQ TV 27. This year, Orlando City will be on ESPN six times, on FOX once, on FS1 four times, on Univision once and on UniMas once.
The 2018 MLS Cup playoffs start on Wednesday, Oct. 31. Is this the year the lads in purple join the postseason party? We say yes, but it’s not up to us.
Here is the complete rundown:
2018 Orlando City Schedule
|Saturday||Mar. 3||7:30p||vs. D.C. United|
|Saturday||Mar. 10||7:30p||vs. Minnesota United|
|Saturday||Mar. 17||3:30p||at New York City FC*%|
|Saturday||Mar. 31||1p||vs. New York Red Bulls*&|
|Sunday||Apr. 8||4p||vs. Portland Timbers*|
|Friday||Apr. 13||8p||at Philadelphia Union*|
|Saturday||Apr. 21||7:30p||vs. San Jose Earthquakes|
|Sunday||Apr. 29||4p||at Colorado Rapids*|
|Sunday||May 6||5p||vs. Real Salt Lake|
|Sunday||May 13||6p||vs. Atlanta United***|
|Friday||May 18||8p||at Toronto FC|
|Saturday||May 26||7:30p||vs. Chicago Fire|
|Saturday||June 2||7:30p||at New York City FC|
|Saturday||June 9||7p||at Vancouver Whitecaps|
|Wednesday||June 13||7:30p||at Montreal Impact|
|Saturday||June 23||7:30p||vs. Montreal Impact|
|Saturday||June 30||7p||at Atlanta United*|
|Saturday||July 7||4:30p||at LAFC**|
|Saturday||July 14||8p||vs. Toronto FC|
|Saturday||July 21||7:30p||at Columbus Crew|
|Thursday||July 26||8p||vs. New York City FC*|
|Sunday||July 29||9:30p||at LA Galaxy***|
|Saturday||Aug. 4||7:30p||vs. New England Revolution|
|Sunday||Aug. 12||6p||at DC United***|
|Friday||Aug. 24||8p||vs. Atlanta United*|
|Saturday||Sept. 1||7:30p||vs. Philadelphia Union|
|Saturday||Sept. 8||8:30p||at Sporting Kansas City|
|Sunday||Sept. 16||5p||at Chicago Fire***|
|Saturday||Sept. 22||7:30p||vs. Houston Dynamo|
|Saturday||Oct. 6||8p||at FC Dallas|
|Saturday||Oct. 13||7:30p||at New England Revolution|
|Wednesday||Oct. 17||7:30p||vs. Seattle Sounders|
|Sunday||Oct. 21||TBA||vs. Columbus Crew|
|Sunday||Oct. 28||4:30p||at New York Red Bulls|