The stage has been set and the journey has been outlined for LAFC and its Supporters with the release of the 2018 MLS Schedule on Thursday.
All 34 games of the LAFC’s inaugural MLS season, starting with the first competitive match on March 4 against the Seattle Sounders, have been revealed including the announcement of a league-high 16 nationally televised matches.
Along with the Club’s opening match in Seattle, a myriad of milestones awaits LAFC in its historic first season - none more important than the Club’s opening of Banc of California Stadium against those same Sounders on April 29. With the schedule now in hand, here’s a closer look at some of the finer details of LAFC’s maiden MLS voyage:
LAFC Schedule By The Numbers:
6 – away matches to start the season. LAFC is not away from home for any more than two weeks throughout the rest of the season.
16 – nationally televised matches, a league-high. LAFC will appear on ESPN (six matches), FOX (three matches), FS1 (three matches) and Univision (four matches) nationally in 2018.
2,470 – miles, the longest distance LAFC will travel for a regular season match. LAFC will travel those 2,470 miles to play the NY Red Bulls on Aug. 5, just edging the second longest flight of 2,468 miles to face the Impact in Montreal.
3 – times LAFC will face the LA Galaxy this season. It’s the most they will face any one opponent during the 2018 regular season.
LAFC makes its competitive debut in MLS with a tough away match against the 2016 MLS Cup champion Seattle Sounders on March 4.
A stiff challenge right out of the gate for Bob Bradley’s men, LAFC will have to contend with the likes of Clint Dempsey, Nicolás Lodeiro, and Jordan Morris on the pitch and the fiery Sounders’ supporters off of it. It's a tough challenge right out of the gate for the new Club.
Where/When: CenturyLink Field, March 4 at 2pm.
First Meeting With The Team In Carson
The 2018 MLS schedule wastes no time in the rivalry department for LAFC.
The Club will travel down to Carson for a clash with the LA Galaxy in just the third match of the season. A trip away from the friendly confines of LA looms large for LAFC, and especially its Supporters.
The Galaxy come into this season having finished at the bottom of the MLS standings a year ago. These two will get very familiar with each other in 2018, as the Galaxy will be the only team LAFC faces three times during the regular season.
Where/When: StubHub Center, March 31 at 12pm.
Trip Down South
This season, LAFC will clash with both of MLS debutants from last season. While they’ll take on Minnesota United at home and away in 2018, all eyes will be on the Club and its Supporters’ trip to face Atlanta United on April 7.
With the opening of Mercedes-Benz Stadium in September of 2017, Atlanta set the then “gold standard of expansion teams” entering MLS with a record-breaking attendance of 71,874 for a match versus Toronto FC. The early season match for LAFC will be a litmus following Atlanta's playoff appearance in its debut season.
Where/When: Mercedes-Benz Stadium, April 7 at 2pm.
Opening The Doors To Banc Of California Stadium
LAFC will return’s Seattle’s hospitality from the first match of the season by welcoming the Sounders to the Club’s new digs in Downtown LA on April 29.
A first of its kind in LA, Banc of California Stadium will be packed as the Club christens its new soccer cathedral complete with Supporters standing shoulder-to-shoulder in the only safe standing section on the West Coast. Views of the downtown skyline and historic LA Memorial Coliseum next door make the new stadium a sight to behold from all vantage points.
It’s a date every LAFC Supporter has had circled on their calendar since the match was originally announced last month.
Where/When: Banc of California Stadium, April 29 at 6pm.
Date With The MLS Cup Champs
In September, LAFC will get a chance to see where it rates with the league’s best as it travels to BMO Field in Toronto.
Adding intrigue to the match with the current MLS Cup champs, it’ll be the first time Bob Bradley has managed against son Michael in a professional match.
Where/When: BMO Field, Sept. 1 at 5pm.
LAFC will complete a full swing of the MLS teams north of the border in their inaugural season.
The Club’s northern travels begin with an away match in Vancouver on April 13 before traversing the Great White North to take on Montreal the following week on April 21. Completing the Canadian trifecta will be the aforementioned match with Toronto FC in September.
Where/When: BC Place, April 13 at 7:30pm. Saputo Stadium, April 21 at 10am. BMO Field, Sept. 1 at 5pm.