The sky has opened and the MLS lords have answered our prayers. After a debacle of a schedule in 2016, a schedule littered with little if any Saturday dates, the 2017 schedule features a schedule where the majority of our home & away matches will thankfully fall on a Saturday.
|Home Matches||Away Matches|
|8 – Saturday||9 – Saturday|
|5 – Sunday||4 – Sunday|
|3 – Wednesday||3 – Wednesday|
|1 – Friday||1 – Friday|
This schedule is built for Orlando City to maximize the effect of our new venue on our team’s performance and that is likely what the team is hoping for given some of the confusing signings this offseason (Seb Hines much?). That said, this schedule is built for us to finally reach the promise land of the playoffs and hopefully glory and trophies (MLS & Open Cup).
For those of you hoping for a joyous return to our new home by Inchy the Mastermind and the Crafter, alas we only visit Minnesota away this season. So if you hope to see that fixture, we hope you like the cold (really, how cold is Minnesota in May?).
The league has pushed 3 rivalries on us this season (teams which we will play more than twice). We play 3 fixtures against both NYCFC and Columbus. The key with those rivalry matches is that we play 2 of those against NYCFC and Columbus at home.
Not surprisingly, the league wants to push the Atlanta rivalry on us so we play them 3 times this season, 2 of which will be a 6-hour drive up I-75 on July 30th (Sunday) and September 16th (Saturday). Obviously, on the face, these fixtures appear to be a contrived rivalry created by Garber & Co., but in reality, this is likely the closest away game we are ever going to get in the league without airfare. With these matches being drivable (bus trip here we come) these will be huge fixtures which should pull in a lot of supporters who haven’t yet been able to go on tour with Orlando City.
Regardless of our thoughts on the forced “rivalry”, the first 2 times we face off against Atlanta will come at a critical juncture in our schedule as we play them home & away late in July right after the CONCACAF Gold Cup window.
The period that appears to be most critical to our season is two different stretches of matches. First from June 17th to July 5th exiting the mandated FIFA break Orlando City will play 5 matches, most of which will come on short rest after a weekend fixture that dives into a difficult midweek fixture (Seattle/Toronto/Real Salt Lake) coming away with as many points as possible during that stretch will likely determine how dire or safe we are going into the final season push towards the playoffs. The second period comes in September which features an away heavy schedule which features trips to DC, Atlanta, and Portland at a time when points might be the most precious.
Speaking of Seattle, we play all 3 teams from Cascadia this season. We play the MLS champs Seattle away on June 21st on a Wednesday which will likely end up with every member of the Ruckus calling out from work the next day (work on that doctor’s note now). We play Vancouver at home on August 26th and round up our Cascadia experience on September 24th away to the Timbers.
In what appears to be a tradition at this point, we will end our season away in Philly on October 22nd. Here is hoping this favorable schedule finds us for once comfortably above the playoff line given Philly has been a bit of a bogey team for Orlando City since joining MLS.
|Sunday – March 5 – NYCFC||Saturday – March 11 – New England|
|Saturday – March 18 – Philadelphia||Saturday – April 1 – Columbus|
|Sunday – April 9 – NY Red Bulls||Sunday – April 23 – NYCFC|
|Saturday – April 15 – LA Galaxy||Wednesday – May 3 – Toronto|
|Saturday – April 29 – Colorado||Saturday – May 6 – Houston|
|Saturday – May 13 – Kansas City||Wednesday – May 17 – San Jose|
|Sunday – May 21 – NYCFC||Saturday – May 27 – Minnesota|
|Wednesday – May 31 – DC United||Wednesday – June 21 – Seattle|
|Sunday – June 4 – Chicago||Saturday – June 24 – Chicago|
|Saturday – June 17 – Montreal||Friday – June 30 – Real Salt lake|
|Wednesday – July 5 – Toronto||Sunday – July 30 – Atlanta|
|Friday – July 21 – Atlanta||Saturday – August 5 – Montreal|
|Saturday – August 19 – Columbus||Saturday – August 12 – NY Red Bulls|
|Saturday – August 26 – Vancouver||Saturday – September 9 – DC United|
|Wednesday – September 27 – New England||Saturday – September 16 – Atlanta|
|Saturday – September 30 – Dallas||Sunday – September 24 – Portland|
|Sunday – October 15 – Columbus||Sunday – October 22 – Philadelphia|