The Major League Soccer schedule was announced this afternoon, telling us when and where Orlando City will play during the 2020 season. The opening home games were previously released for each team, showing that the Lions will once again start the season at home. As they did in 2016, they’ll host Real Salt Lake on Feb. 29 at 6 p.m. It’s the earliest Orlando City’s started a season in its 10-year history.
There are some significant changes to the MLS schedule for 2020 with the addition of two new teams: Inter Miami CF and Nashville SC. This year, teams will not play every other team in the league and will not be playing any teams three times. This changes from previous years when teams would play MLS-decided rivals three times throughout the season and Orlando won’t play three of last year’s tougher teams in LAFC, the Seattle Sounders, and the San Jose Earthquakes.
A game that most Orlando City fans will circle on the calendar is when the team plays Inter Miami. Now the nearest club, MLS will consider Miami the Lions’ latest rival and the two clubs will face off for the first time ever on July 10 at Exploria Stadium. The two clubs will face off a second time on Aug. 20 in Fort Lauderdale.
Orlando City will face its past primary rival, Atlanta United, twice this season after metting the club three times in previous years. This will be welcome news for the Lions, who have yet to defeat them in any competition. The two teams will see each other on April 26 in Orlando before a second encounter on Aug. 23 in Atlanta.
Possibly the best news on the schedule is the Western Conference opponents Orlando City will face. The Lions will make the long trips to face the LA Galaxy and the Vancouver Whitecaps, but that’s about it as far as cross-country travelling. The other games out west will be against the Colorado Rapids, Sporting Kansas City, and FC Dallas while Real Salt Lake, the Houston Dynamo, Minnesota United, and the Portland Timbers will visit Orlando.
Without a FIFA World Cup or Concacaf Gold Cup in 2020, MLS will feature a full schedule throughout the season. The Lions will have the majority of their games on Saturdays, featuring a lighter schedule on other days than in previous years. Only five matches will be played on Sundays and the team will also play four midweek games. Two will take place on Wednesday, one will be on a Thursday, and one will be on a Friday.
Good news for both players and fans is that there are also fewer mid-day games occurring in Orlando this season. Only three games will be played before 6 p.m. OCSC plays the Montreal Impact on April 4 at 3 p.m., Atlanta United on April 26 at 1 p.m., and finish the season on Oct. 4 against the New England Revolution at 4:30 p.m.
The longest home stand the Lions will enjoy this year is just two games, but that will occur five different times throughout the season. They will go on the road for a maximum of three consecutive games. This will occur twice, first at the end of June and then again at the end of August.
Here’s a complete rundown of Orlando City’s 2020 schedule:
- Saturday, Feb. 29 vs Real Salt Lake 6:00 p.m.
- Saturday, March 7 at Colorado Rapids 9:00 p.m.
- Saturday March 14 vs Chicago Fire 7:30 p.m.
- Sunday, March 22 at LA Galaxy 6:00 p.m.
- Saturday, March 28 at New York Red Bulls 1:00 p.m.
- Saturday, April 4 vs Montreal Impact 3:00 p.m.
- Saturday, April 11 at Columbus Crew SC 7:30 p.m.
- Saturday, April 18 vs FC Cincinnati 7:30 p.m.
- Sunday, April 26 vs Atlanta United FC 1:00 p.m.
- Saturday, May 2 at Montreal Impact 1:00 p.m.
- Wednesday, May 6 vs Houston Dynamo 7:00 p.m.
- Saturday, May 9 vs Minnesota United FC 7:30 p.m.
- Saturday, May 16 at DC United 7:00 p.m.
- Saturday, May 23 vs Columbus Crew SC 7:30 p.m.
- Saturday, May 30 vs Portland Timbers 7:30 p.m.
- Saturday, June 6 at Sporting Kansas City 8:30 p.m.
- Saturday, June 13 vs New York Red Bulls 7:30 p.m.
- Saturday, June 20 at New England Revolution 7:30 p.m.
- Saturday, June 27 at Chicago Fire 8:00 p.m.
- Wednesday, July 1 at New York City FC 7:00 p.m.
- Saturday, July 4 vs Toronto FC 7:30 p.m.
- Friday, July 10 vs Inter Miami CF 8:00 p.m.
- Saturday, July 18 at FC Dallas 8:30 p.m.
- Saturday, July 25 vs Philadelphia Union 7:30 p.m.
- Saturday, Aug. 1 at FC Cincinnati 7:30 p.m.
- Saturday, Aug. 8 at Vancouver Whitecaps 10:00 p.m.
- Saturday, Aug. 15 vs DC United 7:30 p.m.
- Thursday, Aug. 20 at Inter Miami CF 7:30 p.m.
- Sunday, Aug. 23 at Atlanta United FC 2:30 p.m.
- Sunday, Aug. 30 at Philadelphia Union TBD
- Saturday, Sept. 12 vs Nashville SC 7:30 p.m.
- Saturday, Sept. 19 vs New York City FC 7:30 p.m.
- Saturday, Sept. 26 at Toronto FC 7:00 p.m.
- Sunday, Oct. 4 vs New England Revolution 4:30 p.m.