New York City FC will not play three playoff teams in 2020 regular season
The 2020 Major League Soccer regular season schedule was revealed on Thursday with a unique caveat – three of the 26 teams in the league will be absent in each team’s list of fixtures.
New York City FC, the defending Eastern Conference regular season champions, will not play a trio of 2019 playoff teams from the Western Conference – former MLS Cup titlists Real Salt Lake, the Portland Timbers plus Minnesota United FC.
In 2020, clubs will play every member of their conference twice and cross over to confront just 10 of the 13 sides in the opposite conference.
As previously announced by the league, City opens the regular season at Columbus Crew SC on Sunday, March 1 at 12:30 p.m. ET and play their home opener on Saturday, March 14 against FC Dallas at 12:30 p.m. ET.
The first Hudson River Derby match against the New York Red Bulls will be played at Yankee Stadium on Sunday, May 31 at 3 p.m. ET with the return leg hosted by the Red Bulls on Sunday, Aug. 23 at 7 p.m. ET.
After dropping five of the first six matches in the series, New York City has secured four wins against three losses and a pair of draws in the last nine MLS games against their New Jersey rivals.
New York City will travel to the Pacific Northwest to play MLS Cup defenders, the Seattle Sounders, on Saturday, June 27 at 5 p.m. ET.
On Tuesday, NYCFC revealed the dates of four home matches that would be moved out of Yankee Stadium – the facility they share with baseball’s New York Yankees – to the home of MLB’s New York Mets, Citi Field.
On Thursday those opponents were discovered.
City will meet expansion Nashville FC at Citi Field on Sunday, April 26 at 5 p.m. ET; the Montreal Impact under new coach Thierry Henry on Saturday, July 25 at 5 p.m. ET; the Philadelphia Union on Saturday, Aug, 8 at 7 p.m. ET; and Saturday, Sept. 26 in the penultimate match of the regular season versus D.C. United at 7 p.m. ET.
The MLS schedule for the final two weeks of the regular season will feature 12 intra-conference matches and just one non-conference match-up as teams compete for playoff spots and jockey for seeding position at the end of the regular season.