CARY, N.C. (Jan. 9, 2020) – North Carolina FC unveiled the entirety of its 2020 USL Championship schedule on Thursday, as the club will play 34 games over the course of a regular season that spans 224 days from March through October.
As previously announced, NCFC for the second consecutive season will begin its campaign with a home match against Louisville City FC, as head coach Dave Sarachan’s team will host the defending Eastern Conference champions on Saturday, March 7 at 2:30 p.m. at Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park. In last year’s season opener, NCFC defeated Lou City 4-1.
The match is the first of 17 home games and one of two in the month of March, as NCFC will also host Philadelphia Union II on Saturday, March 14 at 2:30 p.m.
NCFC’s first away game of the season comes on March 21, as it travels to face the Tampa Bay Rowdies at Al Lang Stadium, where it recorded a 3-1 win last season.
As revealed on Wednesday, two NCFC matches will be broadcast nationally as part of the USL’s rights agreement with ESPN. On Friday, April 3, NCFC’s home game against rival Charlotte Independence will air on ESPN Deportes at 7 p.m.
NCFC’s regular-season home finale, a Friday night tilt against the Charleston Battery on Oct. 2, will be televised on ESPNews with a 7 p.m. kickoff. The last time NCFC played on ESPNews, it defeated the Tampa Bay Rowdies 4-2 in August 2019.
Outside of its first two matches of the season and its two nationally televised games, start times for NCFC's other 30 matches are to be determined.
With an odd number of teams in the Eastern Conference in 2020, NCFC will play two opponents three times: Charlotte Independence and Loudoun United.
Two of NCFC’s three matches against Charlotte will be played at WakeMed Soccer Park, with the first coming on Friday, April 2, and the second on Saturday, Sept. 19. NCFC’s lone visit to Matthews comes on Friday, June 12. Since 2015, NCFC is 6W-1L-1D in competitive matches against Charlotte, with a 24-6 goal differential.
Meanwhile, NCFC will face second-year USL Championship club Loudoun United on the road twice and once at home. NCFC’s first trip to the D.C. United-affiliated club comes on Wednesday, May 13. Sarachan’s team then hosts Loudoun United on Saturday, June 27, before once again visiting Loudoun on Sunday, Aug. 30.
NCFC’s longest homestand of the season comes in late April and early May, as the team will host Birmingham Legion FC on April 25, Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC on May 2 and Memphis 901 FC on May 9. Additionally, four of NCFC’s five games between May 30-June 27 come at home (5/30 vs. New York Red Bulls II; 6/6 vs. Hartford Athletic; 6/20 vs. Saint Louis FC; and 6/27 vs. Loudoun United).
Sarachan’s group has a pair of three-game road trips, with one coming in May (5/13 at Loudoun United; 5/16 at Charleston Battery; and 5/23 at Indy Eleven) and the other in July (7/4 at Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC; 7/11 at Memphis 901 FC; and 7/18 at Hartford Athletic).
NCFC closes out the regular season with the reverse fixture of its opener, as it travels to take on Lou City in the newly completed Lynn Family Stadium on Oct. 17.
Following the conclusion of the regular season, the top 10 teams from both the Eastern and Western Conferences will qualify for the 2020 USL Championship Playoffs, which will open with the Eastern and Western Conference Wild Card Round on Wednesday, October 21. The Eastern and Western Conference Quarterfinals will then be held between October 24-25, the Eastern and Western Conference Semifinals between October 30-November 1 and the Eastern and Western Conference Finals between November 6-8.
The 2020 USL Championship Final to conclude the league’s 10th anniversary season will be held between November 12-16 and aired on an ESPN broadcast network.
With just under two months remaining until the season kicks off, NCFC continues to build its roster. The team’s current squad includes forwards Robert Kristo and Hadji Barry; midfielders Ben Speas, Nazmi Albadawi, Steven Miller, Graham Smith and Pecka; defenders Sam Brotherton, Alex Comsia, Caleb Duvernay and Conor Donovan; and goalkeeper Alex Tambakis.
Season tickets for North Carolina FC’s 2020 season are on sale now. Click here to learn more about season tickets or call the Coastal Credit Union Box Office at 919-459-8144 to speak with a ticket representative.
North Carolina FC 2020 USL Championship Schedule
Saturday, March 7, 2:30 p.m. – Louisville City FC
Saturday, March 14, 2:30 p.m. – Philadelphia Union II
Saturday, March 21, TBD – @ Tampa Bay Rowdies
Friday, April 3, 7 p.m. – Charlotte Independence
Saturday, April 11, TBD – @ Atlanta United 2
Wednesday, April 15, TBD – @ Sporting Kansas City II
Saturday, April 25, TBD – Birmingham Legion FC
Saturday, May 2, TBD – Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC
Saturday, May 9, TBD – Memphis 901 FC
Wednesday, May 13, TBD – @ Loudoun United
Saturday, May 16, TBD – @ Charleston Battery
Saturday, May 23, TBD – @ Indy Eleven
Saturday, May 30, TBD – New York Red Bulls II
Saturday, June 6, TBD – Hartford Athletic
Friday, June 12, TBD – @ Charlotte Independence
Saturday, June 20, TBD – Saint Louis FC
Saturday, June 27, TBD – Loudoun United
Saturday, July 4, TBD – @ Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC
Saturday, July 11, TBD – @ Memphis 901 FC
Saturday, July 18, TBD – @ Hartford Athletic
Saturday, July 25, TBD – Tampa Bay Rowdies
Sunday, Aug. 2, TBD – @ New York Red Bulls II
Thursday, Aug. 6, TBD – Indy Eleven
Saturday, Aug. 15, TBD – Sporting Kansas City II
Sunday, Aug. 23, TBD – @ Philadelphia Union II
Sunday, Aug. 30, TBD – @ Loudoun United
Saturday, Sept. 5, TBD – Atlanta United 2
Friday, Sept. 11, TBD – @ Miami FC
Saturday, Sept. 19, TBD – Charlotte Independence
Wednesday, Sept. 23, TBD – Miami FC
Saturday, Sept. 26, TBD – @ Saint Louis FC
Friday, Oct. 2, 7 p.m. – Charleston Battery
Saturday, Oct. 10, TBD – @ Birmingham Legion FC
Saturday, Oct. 17, TBD – @Louisville City FC