The Major League Soccer regular season goes from early March to early October, followed by a month of postseason matches. In addition to following the league’s local entries—New York City FC and the New York Red Bulls—it’s worth checking out friendlies and competitions that bring international squads, including European powerhouses, to town. Look too for area games on the US Open Cup schedule, which places American soccer teams from every professional level in a ladder competition. And last we checked, the Red Bulls were still in the CONCACAF Champions League. Consider the matches below your starting XI, with a few TBAs waiting on the bench.
New York City FC vs. Los Angeles FC
Head to Yankee Stadium for an early season look at NYCFC, who have made the playoffs the past three seasons. LAFC has the lone MLS player to score a goal in last year’s World Cup—Mexico’s Carlos Vela—and is considered a strong contender for the 2019 league crown.
Peru vs. Paraguay
Two South American teams meet in a friendly at Red Bull Arena. Peru recently made its first World Cup appearance in more than three decades, while Paraguay will have a manager, Eduardo Berizzo, making his national team debut.
Ecuador vs. Honduras
Honduras continues preparations for the summer’s Gold Cup in a friendly against Ecuador, which is led by goal-scoring threat Enner Valencia. It’s at Red Bull Arena.
New York Red Bulls vs. Los Angeles Galaxy
Visit Red Bull Arena to see the brothers dos Santos and storied Swedish footballer Zlatan Ibrahimovic—creator of this amazing goal, his career 500th—lead the Galaxy, who look to rebound from a mediocre 2018 season. The Red Bulls, meanwhile, topped the Eastern Conference last year.
New York Red Bulls vs. Vancouver Whitecaps
The Whitecaps have turned over roughly two thirds of their roster from last year, looking for a quick fix and a more attacking style. It’s hard to know how that will turn out, but it should be fun to see. Plus, $1 hot dogs, one night only!
US Women’s National Team vs. Mexico
The reigning World Cup champions—Alex Morgan, Crystal Dunn and company—tune up for their title defense with this Red Bull Arena game against continental rival Mexico.
NYCFC at FC Cincinnati
Check out MLS’ Ohio expansion club—and celebrate Pride Night at Yankee Stadium.
CONCACAF Gold Cup Group B Doubleheader
Costa Rica, the top seed in its section, is the only confirmed team thus far for this opening-round twin bill at Red Bull Arena.
July 14, August 24
New York Red Bulls vs. NYCFC
The Hudson River Derby adds another two matches to its books this season. The Red Bulls own the career series to date (8 wins, 2 draws, 4 losses); bragging rights will be on the line. The first date is at Red Bull Arena, the second at Yankee Stadium.
NYCFC vs. Atlanta FC
It’s Fan Appreciation Night when MLS champs Atlanta United visit Yankee Stadium in the Bronx. Fans should appreciate the play of new Atlanta midfielder Pity Martínez, who starred for last year’s squad at River Plate in Argentina.
New York Red Bulls vs. DC United
The last home game of the regular season is against the Red Bulls’ longtime regional adversaries DC United. In addition to potentially fighting for playoff position, they’ll be competing for the Atlantic Cup—which has had its share of drama. It’s also Fan Appreciation Day.