Mark your calendar: 40 key dates for 2018

Even without the USA in Russia, 2018 should be a momentous year for soccer.

Here are 40 key dates for 2018, which kicks off with a bang in January with the annual United Soccer Coaches Convention and men's and women's friendlies.

January 2-11. U.S. men's youth national team summit camp.
The next cycles for the U.S. men's youth teams that will attempt to qualify for the 2019 Under-20 and Under-17 World Cups will begin with a mega-camp: 153 players spread over five teams invited to Premier Sports Campus in Lakewood Ranch, Florida.



January 10-28. January camp.
Instead of preparing for the World Cup in Russia, the USA will use the annual January camp to prepare for -- well, the future. Interim coach Dave Sarachan and the rest of Bruce Arena's staff will be in charge for perhaps the last time.

January 11-17. adidas MLS Player Combine.
The annual combine, used by MLS clubs to evaluate talent for the SuperDraft, heads to Orlando City Stadium for the first time.

January 17-21. United Soccer Coaches Convention.
The annual coaches convention will return to Philadelphia. In addition to the NWSL College Draft on Jan. 18 and MLS SuperDraft on Jan. 19, United Soccer Coaches will hold one-on-one sessions with U.S. Soccer presidential candidates as well as a strategic summit.

January 18-28. 2018 Concacaf Women's U-20 Championship.
The top three Concacaf teams from the eight-team tournament in Couva, Trinidad & Tobago -- that Couva -- will qualify for the 2018 U-20 Women's World Cup in France. The USA will open against Nicaragua, Jamaica and Mexico.

January 21. Women's Friendly: USA vs. Denmark, in San Diego, Calif.

Jan. 22. MLS preseason begins.
Just three days after the SuperDraft, preseason camps open around MLS. Preseason tournaments will be played in Arizona (Mobile Mini Sun Cup), Honolulu (Pacific Rim Cup) and Charleston, South Carolina (Carolina Challenge Cup) along with a series of matches in Las Vegas.

January 28. Men's Friendly: USA vs. Bosnia & Herzegovina, in Carson, Calif.

February 10. U.S. Soccer National Council meeting.
U.S. Soccer's AGM will be closely watched as members vote on a new president at the National Council meeting. The four-day event will also feature the Hall of Fame ceremonies at which Briana Scurry and Joe Machnik will be inducted and the Werner Fricker dinner at which the late Tony DiCicco will be honored.

February 20-22. Concacaf Champions League round of 16.
Five MLS clubs will be in action as the reformatted Concacaf club championship begins with the round of 16. The remaining schedule -- Quarterfinals: March 6-8, March 13-15. Semifinals: April 3-5, April 10-12. Final: April 17-19, April 24-26.

March 1. SheBelieves Cup: USA vs. Germany in Columbus, Ohio.

March 3-4. 2018 MLS season begins.
The 2018 MLS season will begin with 11 games. With the addition of Los Angeles FC, the league will have 23 teams, requiring that at least one team has a bye each weekend.

March 4. SheBelieves Cup: USA vs. France in Harrison, N.J.
March 7. SheBelieves Cup: USA vs. England in Orlando, Fla.
March 19-27. FIFA Men's Fixtures.
April 2-10. FIFA Women's Fixtures.

April. NWSL season begins.
The women's pro league will begin its sixth season with 10 teams. The Utah Royals have replaced FC Kansas City.

April 19-29. 2018 Concacaf Women's U-17 Championship.
The top three Concacaf teams from the eight-team tournament in Nicaragua will qualify for the 2018 U-17 Women's World Cup in Uruguay.

April 29. Banc of California Stadium opener.
Los Angeles FC will play its first game at its new $350 million stadium when it hosts the Seattle Sounders.



May. U.S. Open Cup begins.
The 2018 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup will begin with the first round featuring amateur teams from the NPSL and PDL and 14 Open Division qualifiers.

May 26. UEFA Champions League final.
The last game on the 2017-18 European calendar will be the UEFA Champions League played in Kiev two days after the UEFA women's final.

June 4-12. FIFA Women's Fixtures.
June 9. Men's Friendly: France vs. USA in Lyon.

June 12-13. FIFA Congress.
On the eve of the 2018 World Cup, 207 FIFA's members will decide the hosts of the 2026 World Cup: the USA, Canada and Mexico or Morocco.

June 14-July 15
. 2018 World Cup.
The USA won't be at the World Cup for the first time in 30 years, but there will be plenty to get excited about with 64 games over 32 days.



June. Audi Field opener.
After playing its first two home games at different venues, D.C. United will unveil its new Audi Field in Buzzard Point in Southwest Washington.

August 5-24. 2018 Under-20 Women’s World Cup.
France selected four tiny venues in the the region of Brittany for this dress rehearsal of the 2019 Women's World Cup. Draw: March 8.

August 27-September 4. FIFA Women's Fixtures.
September 3-11. FIFA Men's Fixtures.
October 1-9. FIFA Women's Fixtures.

October 4-17. Concacaf Women’s World Cup qualifying.
Sixteen months after playing its last official match, the USA will host the regional qualifying tournament that will determine the three automatic qualifiers to the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France. The fourth-place team will face South America's No. 3 team in a playoff.

October 8-16. FIFA Men's Fixtures.

October 20. National Soccer Hall of Fame opening weekend.
The new Hall of Fame will open next to FC Dallas' Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas. The weekend will include the 2018 induction ceremonies and a concert well as an FC Dallas MLS match following a match involving NASL veterans.

November 5-13. FIFA Women's Fixtures.
November 12-20. FIFA Men's Fixtures.

November 13-December 1. 2018 Under-17 Women's World Cup.
The U-17 Women's World Cup will be played for the first time in South America as the 16-team tournament is hosted by Uruguay. Draw: May 30.

November-December. MLS Cup 2018 playoffs.
The 2018 MLS schedule isn't out, but it is expected that MLS will modify its playoff format to make it a single-elimination competition, allowing all games to be played after the November FIFA window.

November 30-December 2. 2018 Women's College Cup.
The Division I women's final four will return to WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, North Carolina, after the NCAA lifted its ban on events being held in North Carolina.

December 7-9. 2018 Men's College Cup.
The NCAA Division I men's final four will be hosted by UC Santa Barbara.

December 12-22. 2018 Club World Cup.
FIFA's annual club competition will again be hosted by the United Arab Emirates.

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