The New Year: Nineteen dates for 2019

The New Year shapes up to be one of the most eventful years in the history of American soccer.

The U.S. women will be the heavy favorites at the World Cup in France, while the U.S. men will co-host the Gold Cup under a new coach. MLS has expanded to 24 teams, while the USL is up to 46 teams in two leagues.

Jan. 6-Feb 2: January camp.
For his first U.S. men's national team camp, new head coach Gregg Berhalter has moved the camp from Carson to Chula Vista, California, between San Diego and the Mexican border, and brought in 28 players. It will end with two games: Jan. 27 against Panama in Glendale, Arizona, and Feb. 2 against Costa Rica, in San Jose, California.

Jan. 9-13: United Soccer Coaches Convention.
The annual coaches convention is at Chicago's McCormick Place for the first of three runs over the next 13 years. The soccer community's No. 1 networking spot will feature the NWSL College on Jan.  10 and MLS SuperDraft on Jan. 11.

Jan. 19: France-USA women's friendly.
The countdown to the Women's World Cup begins in earnest with a showdown between the 2015 champion and 2019 host at Le Havre's Stade Oceane, one of the nine World Cup venues. It's the first of 10 warm-up games the USA will play before returning to France in June.

U.S. friendly schedule

Jan. 19.
at France (in Le Havre)
Jan. 22.
at Spain (in Alicante)
Feb. 27.
Japan, SheBelieves Cup (in Chester, Pa.)
March 2.
England, SheBelieves Cup (in Nashville, Tenn.)
March 5.
Brazil, SheBelieves Cup (in Tampa, Fla.)
April 4.
Australia (in Commerce City, Colo.)
April 7.
Belgium (in Los Angeles, Calif.)
May 12.
South Africa, Send-Off Series (in Santa Clara, Calif.)
May 16.
New Zealand, Send-Off Series (in St. Louis, Mo.)
May 26.
Mexico, Send-Off Series (in Harrison, N.J.)

Feb. 14-17: U.S. Soccer AGM.
The federation's membership confirms Cindy Cone as vice president at the National Council, held in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Feb. 19-21: Concacaf Champions League, round of 16.
The 16-team club championship kicks off with the first leg of the round of 16. Five MLS teams are entered: 2018 champion Atlanta United, the Houston Dynamo, the New York Red Bulls, Sporting KC and Toronto FC. The second leg of the round of 16 will follow Feb. 26-28. The next three rounds (all two legs) will be played over March 6-13, April 3-11 and April 23-May 2.

March 2-3: MLS, Week 1.
All 24 teams are in action on the opening weekend of the season. Expansion team FC Cincinnati will play its first MLS game at 2016 MLS champion and 2017 MLS runner-up Seattle, then travel to Mercedes-Benz Stadium for Atlanta United's first home game since winning MLS Cup 2018 before hosting the 2018 MLS runner-up Portland Timbers at Nippert Stadium in Week 3. (Minnesota United will play the first game at $250 million Allianz Field in the Midway neighborhood of St. Paul on April 13 when it hosts NYCFC.)

Saturday, March 2
Philadelphia vs. Toronto FC
Orlando City vs. New York City FC
Columbus vs. NY Red Bulls
FC Dallas vs. New England
Houston vs. Real Salt Lake
Colorado vs. Portland
Vancouver vs. Minnesota United
LA Galaxy vs. Chicago
Seattle vs. FC Cincinnati
San Jose vs. Montreal
Sunday, March 3
D.C. United vs. Atlanta United
LAFC vs. Sporting KC

March 9: USL Championship, Week 1.
The re-branded second division league kicks off its ninth season with 34 of its 36 teams in action, including all seven expansion teams: Austin, Birmingham, El Paso, Hartford Athletic, Loudoun United Memphis 901 and New Mexico United.

Saturday, March 9
Atlanta United 2 vs. Hartford Athletic
Birmingham vs. Bethlehem Steel
Charleston vs. Ottawa
El Paso vs. OKC Energy
LA Galaxy II vs. Colorado Springs
Las Vegas vs. Austin
Memphis 901 vs. Tampa Bay
Nashville SC vs. Loudoun United
New Mexico United vs. Fresno FC
NY Red Bulls II vs. Swope Park Rangers
North Carolina FC vs. Louisville City
Reno 1868 vs. Orange County SC
Sac Republic FC vs. Real Monarchs
Saint Louis FC vs. Indy Eleven
San Antonio FC vs. Phoenix
Sounders FC 2 vs. Rio Grande Valley FC
Tulsa vs. Timbers 2

March 29: USL League One, Week 1.
The new third division league has 10 teams that will play 28 games.

Saturday, March 29
South Georgia vs. Greenville
Sunday, March 30
North Texas SC vs. Chattanooga
Richmond Kickers vs. Lansing
Orlando City B vs. FC Tucson

April 13-14: NWSL, Week 1.
The women's league is slated to have nine teams for its seventh season.

May 23-June 15: Under-20 World Cup.
The USA repeated as Concacaf champion and qualified for the U-20 world championship in Poland, where 24 teams take part. The draw is set for Feb. 24.

June 7-July 7: Women’s World Cup.
The 24-team tournament begins June 7 at the Parc des Princes in Paris and ends a month later at Lyon's Groupama Stadium. The USA will open June 11 against Thailand in Reims before facing Chile June 16 in Paris and Sweden June 20 in Le Havre. If form holds, the USA and France will meet June 28 in the quarterfinals in Paris.

June 15-July 7: Gold Cup.
The Concacaf Championship has been expanded from 12 to 16 teams for the 2019 edition that features matches for the first time in Costa Rica and the Caribbean. The rest of the tournament will be held in the United States. The host USA will open June 18 in at the new Allianz Field in St. Paul before moving to Cleveland June 22 and Kansas City June 26. The tournament ends with the final in Chicago on July 7 -- the same day as the Women's World Cup and Copa America finals.

Sept. 2-10: Concacaf Nations League, Group stage.
The new Concacaf competition for national teams begins with the first two matchdays. Each team in the four three-team groups will play four games over six matchdays that extend into the next two FIFA windows on Oct. 7-15 and Nov. 11-19. The four groups winners will advance to the Nations League final four, which will be played in March 2020.

Oct. 5-27: Under-17 World Cup.
The 24 teams learn their opposition for the tournament in Peru at the draw on May 14.

October: NWSL, Playoffs.
The 2019 regular season ends the weekend of Oct. 12-13, five weeks later than it ended in 2018, pushing the playoffs into the second half of October.

Oct. 19-20. Semifinals
Oct. 26. Final

October-November: MLS, Playoffs.
The MLS regular season ends with Decision Day on Oct. 6, then breaks for the October FIFA window, The playoffs will begin the weekend after the international break and go for four weeks, ending right before the November FIFA window. For the first time, all rounds will consist of single games (hosted by the higher seed).

Oct. 19-20. Conference quarterfinals.
Oct. 26-27
Conference semifinals.
Nov. 2-3.
Conference finals.
Nov. 10.
MLS Cup.

October-November: USL, Playoffs.
The USL Championship playoff field has been expanded from 16 to 20 teams. All rounds will consist of single games.

USL Championship
Oct. 23.
Play-in round.
Oct. 25-27.
Conference quarterfinals.
Nov. 1-3
Conference semifinals.
Nov. 8-10.
Conference finals.
Nov. 14-18.
USL Cup.

USL League One

Oct. 11-13. Semifinals.
Oct. 18-20. Final

Dec. 6-8: Women’s College Cup.
The NCAA Division I women's finals returns to San Jose's Avaya Stadium for the second time in four years. Florida State is the defending champion.

Dec. 13-15: Men’s College Cup.
The NCAA Division I men's finals returns to WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, North Carolina, for the fifth time. Defending champion Maryland won the first time the men's final four was played in Cary in 2005.

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