For the first time in the club’s history, Saint Louis FC will open the season at home on March 9th against Indy 11. A 1pm start time should keep the temperatures a bit warmer than a 7pm start, but it’s Saint Louis weather: We could be in shorts or in parkas. Either way, it’s definitely exciting to know the new season starts at home against a team we missed out on playing last year.
As we already knew we were going to be in the East, we do get to see Indy and a few other teams we haven’t seen before. Birmingham Legion will be here on April 13th; Memphis on June 1st; Loudon United on July 6th; Hartford Athletic on September 1st (break out Brass Bonanza!); Nashville SC on September 7th; and Atlanta United II on September 28th. We’ve faced the other teams before in our many bouncings between conferences.
Longtime rivals Swope Park visit on April 27th, and Louisville City visit in October on the 5th. Two more games after LCFC: Pittsburgh Riverhounds are the last home game on the 12th, and the season ends in North Carolina on October 19th.
The schedule is really positive for the fans of Saint Louis FC. Other than three road games in a row in May, the home/away balance is pretty good. Only one weeknight game (home against NYRB2), and a few sunday games. Road trips this year should be plenty: in addition to Kansas City from last year, we add Louisville, Indy, Nashville, Memphis, and Birmingham the longest reasonable one at 7.5 hours. As comparison, after Kansas City, our next closest road trips in the west last year was Tulsa at about six hours.
The league also announced the new playoff format:
The 2019 USL Cup Playoffs will expand to include 10 teams from each conference, with the lowest four seeds in each conference opening the postseason in the Play-In Round, provisionally slated for Wednesday, October 23rd with the No. 7 seed hosting the No. 10 seed and the No. 8 seed hosting the No. 9 seed for a place in the Conference Quarterfinals. Following the Play-In Round, the two teams to advance will be placed into the main bracket for the Conference Quarterfinals, with the lower remaining seed facing the conference’s No. 1 seed and the higher remaining seed facing the No. 2 seed.
The single-elimination format will then continue for the following four weekends in a fixed-bracket format with the higher seed in each matchup serving as host through the Eastern and Western Conference Finals. The 2019 USL Cup will be held between November 14-18, 2019 and be hosted by the conference champion with the better regular-season record.
2019 USL Cup Playoffs Schedule
Play-In Round – October 23
Conference Quarterfinals – October 25-27
Conference Semifinals – November 1-3
Conference Finals – November 8-10
USL Cup – November 14-18
We’ve gone ahead and put the schedule out on our calendar. The start times aren’t published by the league yet, so we’ll update those once they’re made available. We’ll also update each game day calendar entry with the pertinent information about tailgates and watch parties for those games as we get closer and details are confirmed.