2019 USL Championship Schedule

Swope Park Rangers schedule set for 2019 season

The United Soccer League announced today the Swope Park Rangers’ full 34-game schedule for the 2019 USL Championship season, as well as an expanded format for the 2019 USL Cup Playoffs. SPR joins the Eastern Conference in 2019 and will play each team in the East once at home and once on the road over the course of a 33-week regular season beginning March 9 and ending Oct. 19.
 
Tickets for Rangers home games at Children’s Mercy Park will be available to purchase at SeatGeek.com and USL Championship matches will again be shown live on ESPN+ next year. SPR home dates are tentative and subject to change pending the release of Sporting Kansas City’s schedule from Major League Soccer due to potential conflicts.
 
Additionally, the 2019 USL Cup Playoffs will now feature the top 10 sides from each 18-team conference, with the clubs in seventh through 10th competing in a Play-In Round for their place in the bracket. The postseason remains a single-elimination format with the higher seed in each matchup earning the right to host throughout the postseason.
 
     2019 USL Cup Playoffs Schedule
     Play-In Round – Oct. 23 
     Conference Quarterfinals – Oct. 25-27
     Conference Semifinals – Nov. 1-3
     Conference Finals – Nov. 8-10
     USL Cup – Nov. 14-18
 
Having reached the playoffs in each of the club’s first three seasons as members of the Western Conference, SPR will open the upcoming campaign on March 9 at New York Red Bulls II in a rematch of the 2016 USL Cup Final at Red Bull Arena.
 
Two weeks later, the Rangers will host Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC on Saturday, March 23 in the team’s 2019 home opener for the first of three consecutive home matches against reigning postseason participants as Bethlehem Steel FC and Indy Eleven are slated to arrive at Children’s Mercy Park on April 6 and April 15, respectively.
 
The Rangers will then return to the road to take on Birmingham Legion FC on April 20 in the first of four trips to USL Championship expansion markets along with away fixtures at Memphis 901 FC (Sept. 7), Loudoun United FC (Sept. 25) and Hartford Athletic (Oct. 5) later in the year.
 
SPR next renews the cross-state rivalry with Saint Louis FC, coming off their first winning season and playoff debut, on April 27 with a 250-mile trip to World Wide Technology Soccer Park in Fenton, Mo., followed by a June 30 matchup between the I-70 foes at Children’s Mercy Park.
 
Back-to-back USL Cup champions Louisville City FC will make their inaugural trip to Kansas City on May 6, while three notable coaches will also be on the sidelines at Children’s Mercy Park in 2019. Former Sporting KC goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen returns on July 17 with Hartford Athletic, Dave Sarachan will lead North Carolina FC on Sept. 14 after spending the past year as interim manager of the U.S. Men’s National Team, and Nikola Popovic will face his former side when Ottawa Fury FC takes the field for the Rangers’ home finale on Oct. 8. 
 
Led by head coach Paulo Nagamura, the Rangers will bring back seven players from the 2018 roster, highlighted by four Sporting KC Academy products – Camilo Benitez, Wilson Harris, Felipe Hernandez and Will Little – along with Rassambek Akhmatov, Justin Bilyeu and Ethan Vanacore-Decker.
 
The Rangers finished in seventh place with a 15-11-8 record in 2018 and advanced to the USL Cup Playoffs for the third straight season, suffering elimination against Didier Drogba and Phoenix Rising FC in the Western Conference Semifinals. SPR won back-to-back Western Conference Championships in the club’s first two years of existence, reaching the USL Cup Final in 2016 and 2017.
 
Swope Park Rangers 2019 Schedule (subject to change)

Date

Opponent

March 9

at New York Red Bulls II

March 23

PITTSBURGH RIVERHOUNDS SC

April 6

BETHLEHEM STEEL FC

April 15*

INDY ELEVEN

April 20

at Birmingham Legion FC

April 27

at Saint Louis FC

May 6*

LOUISVILLE CITY FC

May 11

at Nashville SC

May 19*

ATLANTA UNITED 2

May 22

MEMPHIS 901 FC

May 25

at Tampa Bay Rowdies

June 5

LOUDOUN UNITED FC

June 8

CHARLOTTE INDEPENDENCE

June 15

at North Carolina FC

June 22

at Charleston Battery

June 30

SAINT LOUIS FC

July 7*

TAMPA BAY ROWDIES

July 17

HARTFORD ATHLETIC

July 20

at Ottawa Fury FC

July 27

CHARLESTON BATTERY

August 3

NASHVILLE SC

August 10

at Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC

August 16

at Atlanta United 2

August 24

NEW YORK RED BULLS II

September 1*

at Bethlehem Steel FC

September 7

at Memphis 901 FC

September 14

NORTH CAROLINA FC

September 21

at Charlotte Independence

September 25

at Loudoun United FC

September 30*

BIRMINGHAM LEGION FC

October 5

at Hartford Athletic

October 8

OTTAWA FURY FC

October 12

at Louisville City FC

October 19

at Indy Eleven

 
*Date updated from original schedule
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