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USL Championship 2019 schedule revealed, playoffs expanded

George Bello makes his way past a defender during an Atlanta United 2 match vs Louisville City at Coolray Field in Lawrenceville on April 21. (Photo: Karl L. Moore, Atlanta United)

The United Soccer League Championship unveiled its schedule for the 2019 season, which features 36 teams set to play a total of 612 games across 33 weeks.

For the 2019 season, each USL Championship side will play a home-and-home series with intraconference teams. All USL Championship games will be streamed on ESPN+, but the league will make a future announcement regarding nationally televised games at a later date.

Most USL Championship games — 455 of 612 — will be played on Saturdays in 2019. The busiest day in the league’s schedule will be Sept. 28, with 18 games on the slate for that day.

The 2019 regular season will begin on Saturday, March 9, with 17 games in action. Louisville City FC — the reigning USL Cup champs — will open its season on the road against North Carolina FC in Cary, N.C. That match will also mark the head coaching debut of former United States men’s national team coach Dave Sarachan, who was recently hired by NCFC.

Games to watch in the regular season include the Kings Cup on May 18, when Louisville City FC hosts Saint Louis FC. On May 4, expansion sides Birmingham Legion FC and Memphis 901 FC will meet for the first time in Memphis. ATL UTD 2, the USL affiliate of the Major League Soccer Cup champs, will debut at their new home at Fifth Third Bank Stadium against expansion side Hartford Athletic on March 9.

In the Western Conference, Orange County SC will play host to Phoenix Rising FC for a rematch of the 2018 Western Conference Final on May 4 at Championship Soccer Stadium.

The final game of the regular season will be on Oct. 20, when Birmingham hosts the Pittsburgh Riverhounds.

A total of 20 teams — 10 from each conference — will play in the league’s expanded playoff format in 2019. The lowest four seeds on each side will compete in a play-in round, slated for Oct. 23. The winners of the play-in will advance into a single-elimination bracket, with the highest seed hosting each playoff match.

The conference finals will be played between Nov. 8-10, and the USL Cup will be scheduled between Nov. 14-18. The conference champion with the better regular season record will host the cup final.

The full 2019 USL Championship Schedule can be viewed on the league’s website.

2019 USL Cup Playoffs Schedule

Play-In Round – October 23
Conference Quarterfinals – October 25-27
Conference Semifinals – November 1-3
Conference Finals – November 8-10
USL Cup – November 14-18




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