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Toronto FC II: 2018 USL schedule released

Here’s what we know about TFC II’s schedule so far.

Liam Fraser Toronto FC II Martin Bazyl / Toronto FC

In the midst of an already blisteringly busy news day, what with the MLS SuperDraft, signings — Ezequiel Barco’s long-rumoured move to Atlanta United — and trades galore — including the massive David Accam from Chicago Fire to Philadelphia Union, as well as Toronto FC signing Liam Fraser to a homegrown contract, the schedule for the upcoming 2018 USL season was released on Friday.

It was already known that Toronto FC II would begin the season, their fourth in USL, on March 17 away to New York Red Bulls II and that the home opener would be played on March 31 against Ottawa Fury FC at BMO Field.

But now the entire list of 34 fixtures (17 each home and away) is known — it can be seen below.

And though venues and kickoff times have not yet been determined, there are some points worth noting as the campaign fast approaches.

TFC II will play every other side in the Eastern Conference at least twice (home and away), with four opponents — Penn FC, NYRB II, Ottawa, and the Pittsburgh Riverhounds — singled out for an additional encounter. Against Penn FC and New York the extra game will be on the road, while Ottawa and Pittsburgh are scheduled for additional trips to Toronto.

Comparing fixtures lists between TFC and TFC II, some six matches — April 7 and 28, May 9, July 1 and 28, August 12 — look to be viable candidates for BMO Field double-headers, though one of those (May 9) is a midweek match, which may make such festivities tricky.

With expansion, migration, realignment, and hiatus, there will be several new opponents and a few that will be missed.

Saint Louis FC, who TFC II drew 1-1 in their only meeting last year, has moved into the Western Conference and will not be seen this season. The Harrisburg City Islanders have rebranded as the aforementioned Penn FC.

There will be four new teams in the East: two expansion sides and two that join the league from the demise of the North American Soccer League.

The two new sides are Atlanta United 2, styled as ATL UTD 2, an extension of the MLS club, and Nashville SC, who are set to kick off their inaugural campaign in 2018. As Ottawa did last season, Indy Eleven, led by former Whitecaps FC coach Martin Rennie, and North Carolina FC will be making the switch from NASL to USL.

Gone from the conference are Orlando City B and the Rochester Rhinos, both of whom have elected to sit out 2018 as they determine their futures.

Focusing more specifically on TFC II’s fixtures, after starting last season with a long stretch of road dates, the schedule gods have been more kind this time around, as the side has two three-match home stands in the first ten matches — a good chance to get their feet under them and build a little momentum.

That does leave some lengthy road trips midseason, in particular a three-match jaunt in July and a four-match one in September. Indeed, with the final two matches of the season away, Toronto plays six of their last seven on the road, so if the playoffs are to be a reality this year, they need make the most of that early home run.

Having announced several roster moves in December — players re-signed, options exercised and declined — the Young Reds look set to be worthy of that moniker once more.

As the roster begins to take shape, Waking the Red will delve a little into what the 2018 USL season will hold for TFC II as they move from the outskirts of the city to downtown.

Full 2018 Toronto FC II Schedule

Match # Date Home/Away Opponent
Match # Date Home/Away Opponent
1 Saturday March 17 at New York Red Bulls II
2 Saturday March 24 at Charlotte Independence
3 Saturday March 31 versus Ottawa Fury FC
4 Saturday April 7 versus Pittsburgh Riverhounds
5 Wednesday April 18 versus North Carolina FC
6 Saturday April 21 at Indy Eleven
7 Wednesday April 25 at Richmond Kickers
8 Saturday April 28 versus New York Red Bulls II
9 Saturday May 5 versus Pittsburgh Riverhounds
10 Wednesday May 9 versus Penn FC
11 Wednesday May 16 at Atlanta UTD 2
12 Saturday May 19 versus Charlotte Independence
13 Saturday May 26 versus Tampa Bay Rowdies
14 Wednesday May 30 at Ottawa Fury FC
15 Saturday June 9 at Penn FC
16 Saturday June 16 versus Indy Eleven
17 Wednesday June 27 versus FC Cincinnati
18 Sunday July 1 versus Charleston Battery
19 Wednesday July 4 at Tampa Bay Rowdies
20 Wednesday July 18 at Louisville City FC
21 Saturday July 21 at North Carolina FC
22 Saturday July 28 versus Nashville SC
23 Saturday August 4 at Pittsburgh Riverhounds
24 Sunday August 12 versus Richmond Kickers
25 Thursday August 16 versus Bethlehem Steel FC
26 Friday August 31 versus Atlanta UTD 2
27 Thursday September 6 versus Ottawa Fury FC
28 Wednesday September 12 at New York Red Bulls II
29 Sunday September 16 at FC Cincinnati
30 Saturday September 22 at Bethlehem Steel FC
31 Saturday September 29 at Charleston Battery
32 Friday October 5 versus Louisville City FC
33 Tuesday October 9 at Nashville SC
34 Saturday October 13 at Penn FC