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.
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.
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:
|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|
|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|
|Sat., May 22||Toronto FC||Exploria Stadium (H)||7 p.m.||FOX 35 PLUS/TSN|
|Sat., May 29||New York Red Bulls||Red Bull Arena||1 p.m.||FOX 35 PLUS|
|Sat., June 19||Toronto FC||TBD||7:30 p.m.||FOX 35 PLUS/TSN|
|Tues., June 22||San Jose Earthquakes||Exploria Stadium||7:30 p.m.||FOX 35 PLUS|
|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|
|Wed., July 7||Chicago Fire FC||Soldier Field||8 p.m.||FOX 35 PLUS|
|Sat., July 17||Toronto FC||TBD||7:30 p.m.||FOX 35 PLUS/TSN|
|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|
|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|
|Sat., Aug. 7||FC Cincinnati||West End Stadium||7:30 p.m.||FOX 35 PLUS|
|Wed., Aug. 18||Nashville SC||Nissan Stadium||8:30 p.m.||FOX 35 PLUS|
|Sat., Aug. 21||Chicago Fire FC||Exploria Stadium||7:30 p.m.||FOX 35 PLUS|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|Wed., Sept. 29||Nashville SC||Nissan Stadium||8:30 p.m.||FOX 35 PLUS|
|Sat., Oct. 2||D.C. United||Exploria Stadium||7:30 p.m.||FOX 35 PLUS|
|Sat., Oct. 16||FC Cincinnati||West End Stadium||7:30 p.m.||FOX 35 PLUS|
|Wed., Oct. 20||Club de Foot Montreal||Exploria Stadium||7:30 p.m.||FOX 35 PLUS/TVAS|
|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|
|Sun., Oct. 31||Nashville SC||Exploria Stadium||7:30 p.m.||FOX 35 PLUS|
|Sun., Nov. 7||Club de Foot Montreal||TBD||3:30 p.m.||FOX 35 PLUS/TVAS|
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