Taking a deeper dive into the 2021 Orlando City schedule

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Photo: Courtesy of Orlando City SC

The 2021 Orlando City schedule was released on Wednesday, and it features quite a slug fest for a team that’s looking to once again finish high in the Eastern Conference.

For the Lions, this upcoming season not only presents an opportunity to go back to the MLS Cup playoffs, but a chance at competing for several trophies; Supporters’ Shield, U.S. Open Cup, Leagues Cup and MLS Cup.

[Complete 2021 Regular Season Schedule]

It’s worth noting there hasn’t been much information released on how U.S. Soccer plans to roll out this year’s Open Cup tournament, however.

Regardless, there’s a lot to dive into after Wednesday’s 34-game regular season schedule drop, so let’s take a look


The Opener & Look at Atlanta

Oscar Pareja’s team will open the 2021 regular season against rivals Atlanta United on Saturday, April 17 at 3 p.m. at Exploria Stadium.

Last season, the Lions enjoyed success against the Five Stripes — going 2-0-2 (W-L-D) including beating Atlanta for the first time.

Orlando City is slated to take on Atlanta three times season, which will make it interesting to see how this rivalry unfolds this year.

National TV looks 

The Lions will feature on national television 10 times this season, starting with the season-opener against Atlanta at Exploria which will televise at 3 p.m. on UniMás/TUDN/Twitter on April 17.

Orlando again will feature the following week on FS1 against Sporting Kansas City on April 23 at 7:30 p.m.

Here’s a look at the rest of the national TV lineup for the Lions:

May 8 vs. NYCFC, 6 p.m. on ESPN;

June 25 at Inter Miami, 8 p.m., FS1;

July 22 vs. Philadelphia, 7:30 p.m., ESPN;

July 30 vs. Atlanta, 8 p.m., ESPN;

Aug. 27 vs. Inter Miami, 8:30 p.m., ESPN;

Sept. 10 at Atlanta, 7 p.m., FS1;

Sept. 19 at Philadelphia, 4 p.m., ESPN;

Oct. 24 vs. New England, TBD, FS1.

Here comes Miami 

El Clasico del Sol returns on June 25 as the Lions travel to Fort Lauderdale to take on Inter Miami.

As mentioned above, the match will be televised on FS1, with kickoff slated for 8 p.m.

The rivalry will then shift back to Central Florida when both sides meet again at Exploria Stadium on Aug. 4 at 7:30. The game will televise locally on FOX 35 Plus as well as the club’s new streaming service LionNation TV (More information).

Orlando will cap its three-game series against the Herons on Aug. 27 at home, with kickoff scheduled for 8:30 p.m. on ESPN.

Top of the East 

Orlando will take on last year’s Supporters’ Shield winner, Philadelphia Union, twice this season.

First on July 22 at Exploria Stadium at 7:30 p.m. and lastly on Sept. 19 at Subaru Park at 4 p.m., with both games broadcasted on ESPN.

The Lions will also take on the 2020 MLS Cup champion, Columbus Crew, on Sept. 4 at 7:30 p.m. at Exploria and Oct. 27 at the new Crew Stadium at 7:30 p.m.

Extra Looks 

Most of Orlando’s games this year will feature the Lions playing Eastern Conference opponents with the exception of two games against Western Conference teams on April 23 at Sporting Kansas City and June 22 versus San Jose Earthquakes at Exploria.

The schedule will of course be updated once Orlando finds out its Leagues Cup opponent, which is expected to kickoff on the week of Aug. 9 at Exploria Stadium — note: Head Coach Oscar Pareja will more than likely rely on his depth given Orlando is scheduled to take on FC Cincinnati two days prior on Aug. 7 at West End Stadium.

Also, keep a lookout for how U.S. Soccer will rollout its Open Cup competition this year, which could mean added games for Orlando.


Here’s the complete 34-game regular season schedule:

Date
 
Opponent
 
Venue
 
Time (ET)
 
Broadcast
 
Sat., April 17
 
Atlanta United FC
 
Exploria Stadium
 
3 p.m.
 
UniMás/TUDN/Twitter
 
Fri., April 23
 
Sporting Kansas City
 
Children’s Mercy Park
 
7:30 p.m.
 
FS1
 
Sat., May 1
 
FC Cincinnati
 
Exploria Stadium
 
7:30 p.m.
 
FOX 35 PLUS
LionNation TV

 
Sat., May 8
 
New York City FC
 
Exploria Stadium
 
6 p.m.
 
ESPN
 
Sun., May 16
 
D.C. United
 
Audi Field
 
2 p.m.
 
FOX 35 PLUS
LionNation TV
 
Sat., May 22
 
Toronto FC
 
Exploria Stadium (H)
 
7 p.m.
 
FOX 35 PLUS/TSN
LionNation TV

 
Sat., May 29
 
New York Red Bulls
 
Red Bull Arena
 
1 p.m.
 
FOX 35 PLUS
LionNation TV
 
Sat., June 19
 
Toronto FC
 
TBD
 
7:30 p.m.
 
FOX 35 PLUS/TSN
LionNation TV
 
Tues., June 22
 
San Jose Earthquakes
 
Exploria Stadium
 
7:30 p.m.
 
FOX 35 PLUS
LionNation TV

 
Fri., June 25
 
Inter Miami CF
 
Inter Miami CF Stadium
 
8 p.m.
 
FS1
 
Sat., July 3
 
New York Red Bulls
 
Exploria Stadium
 
7:30 p.m.
 
FOX 35 PLUS
LionNation TV

 
Wed., July 7
 
Chicago Fire FC
 
Soldier Field
 
8 p.m.
 
FOX 35 PLUS
LionNation TV
 
Sat., July 17
 
Toronto FC
 
TBD
 
7:30 p.m.
 
FOX 35 PLUS/TSN
LionNation TV
 
Thurs., July 22
 
Philadelphia Union
 
Exploria Stadium
 
7:30 p.m.
 
ESPN
 
Sun., July 25
 
New York City FC
 
Yankee Stadium
 
6 p.m.
 
FOX 35 PLUS
LionNation TV
 
Fri., July 30
 
Atlanta United FC
 
Exploria Stadium
 
8 p.m.
 
ESPN
 
Wed., Aug. 4
 
Inter Miami CF
 
Exploria Stadium
 
7:30 p.m.
 
FOX 35 PLUS
LionNation TV

 
Sat., Aug. 7
 
FC Cincinnati
 
West End Stadium
 
7:30 p.m.
 
FOX 35 PLUS
LionNation TV
 
Wed., Aug. 18
 
Nashville SC
 
Nissan Stadium
 
8:30 p.m.
 
FOX 35 PLUS
LionNation TV
 
Sat., Aug. 21
 
Chicago Fire FC
 
Exploria Stadium
 
7:30 p.m.
 
FOX 35 PLUS
LionNation TV

 
Fri., Aug. 27
 
Inter Miami CF
 
Exploria Stadium
 
8:30 p.m.
 
ESPN
 
Sat., Sept., 4 
 
Columbus Crew SC
 
Exploria Stadium
 
7:30 p.m.
 
FOX 35 PLUS
LionNation TV

 
Fri., Sept. 10
 
Atlanta United FC
 
Mercedes-Benz Stadium
 
7 p.m.
 
FS1
 
Wed., Sept. 15
 
Club de Foot Montreal
 
Exploria Stadium
 
7:30 p.m.
 
FOX 35 PLUS/TVAS
LionNation TV

 
Sun., Sept. 19
 
Philadelphia Union
 
Subaru Park
 
4 p.m.
 
ESPN
 
Sat., Sept. 25
 
New England Revolution
 
Gillette Stadium
 
7 p.m.
 
FOX 35 PLUS
LionNation TV
 
Wed., Sept. 29
 
Nashville SC
 
Nissan Stadium
 
8:30 p.m.
 
FOX 35 PLUS
LionNation TV
 
Sat., Oct. 2
 
D.C. United
 
Exploria Stadium
 
7:30 p.m.
 
FOX 35 PLUS
LionNation TV

 
Sat., Oct. 16
 
FC Cincinnati
 
West End Stadium
 
7:30 p.m.
 
FOX 35 PLUS
LionNation TV
 
Wed., Oct. 20
 
Club de Foot Montreal
 
Exploria Stadium
 
7:30 p.m.
 
FOX 35 PLUS/TVAS
LionNation TV

 
Sun., Oct. 24
 
New England Revolution
 
Exploria Stadium
 
TBD
 
FS1
 
Wed., Oct. 27
 
Columbus Crew SC
 
Crew Stadium
 
7:30 p.m.
 
FOX 35 PLUS
LionNation TV
 
Sun., Oct. 31
 
Nashville SC
 
Exploria Stadium
 
7:30 p.m.
 
FOX 35 PLUS
LionNation TV

 
Sun., Nov. 7
 
Club de Foot Montreal
 
TBD
 
3:30 p.m.
 
FOX 35 PLUS/TVAS
LionNation TV

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