New York City FC will always be considered the Traveling Pigeons until they move to their future stadium in 2027. They normally play most home games at Yankee Stadium and Citi Field. Sometimes, they are forced to play at Red Bull Arena or elsewhere.
As a result, supporters are always anxious about the schedule release. In addition, the release will let everyone know which teams NYCFC will play against and when. It is always intriguing to see which Western Conference teams will come to New York and which locations the Bronx side will travel to out west.
Everyone also wants to know when the big games are. The Hudson River Derby is always marked on the supporters' calendars. Then, fixtures against teams like the Philadelphia Union and Orlando City SC are other ones fans will want to know about.
Thankfully, like last year, there was not a long wait for the schedule release. Major League Soccer announced the schedules for each team the day after the SuperDraft. NYCFC announced theirs on Wednesday, and fans will likely be pleased with the schedule.
Here is a look at NYCFC’s 2024 schedule
To begin, NYCFC does not have any games scheduled at Reb Bull Arena at this time. This is fantastic news that fans will be pleased about. Of course, the last two matches are TBD and depend on the MLB playoffs. In addition, it would not be shocking if any tournament fixtures are played in New Jersey. Still, most home games will be at Yankee Stadium and Citi Field, which is a huge win. Nine games will be at Yankee Stadium, and six will be at Citi Field.
Meanwhile, the season opener will take place on Saturday, February 24. NYCFC will play Charlotte FC away to open the 2024 campaign. The home opener will take place on Saturday, March 9 against the Portland Timbers. In fact, Portland is one of six Western Conference sides they will face this year. The other teams include St. Louis City SC, the Colorado Rapids, the San Jose Earthquakes, the LA Galaxy, and Austin FC. Including Portland, the Pigeons will welcome Colorado and the Earthquakes to New York.
Notably, the longest home stretch will occur from April 6 through May 5. NYCFC will play five matches in a row. On the other side, the longest away stretch will take place from July 6 through July 20, which is right before the Leagues Cup. The Bronx side has to play four fixtures straight away from home.
Plus, the first half of the season has ten games at home, while the second set of 17 only has seven. In other words, the team must do well in the first half, for their road struggles seem to be ingrained into their DNA.
Obviously, the Hudson River Derbies are the biggest games of them all. NYCFC and the New York Red Bulls will first meet in the city on Saturday, May 18. The New Jersey fixture will take place on Saturday, September 28. It is nice that the two matches are spread out. Hopefully, the Pigeons will take home the Derby trophy this time around.
As mentioned, other significant games that fans look forward to will be the home fixtures against Orlando City SC and the Philadelphia Union. NYCFC will welcome Orlando on Friday, June 28, and Philadelphia on Wednesday, September 18. Oh, and then there is the home fixture against Inter Miami CF that could sell out. The Herons will come to the city on Saturday, September 21.
Finally, the final home match will occur on Saturday, October 5 against Nashville SC. This year, MLS Decision Day will take place on Saturday, October 19 against CF Montréal. The Pigeons have a tough game to finish the season at home with Nashville, but Montréal is a team they can usually beat, even when they are struggling. Hence, traveling to Canada is not a bad way to finish the season.
Looking at the schedule, there are no complaints. May will be super busy with six fixtures, but otherwise, the schedule is mostly even regarding game congestion. Although, that could change. U.S. Soccer recently denied MLS’s request for their first teams to not play in the U.S. Open Cup. In the Leagues Cup, there will be no MLS matches.
The schedule release means the 2024 season is only a few months away. New York City FC will ideally have a better season compared to the disaster that was in 2023.