After a record setting 2023 which saw FC Cincinnati lift the Supporters’ Shield, the pathway to protecting their trophy and going for more became clear as MLS announced their 2024 regular season schedule on Wednesday. The schedule, which includes the 34 league contests, the Concacaf Champions Cup and Leagues Cup, has FCC playing regular season matches from February 25 to October 19.
Let’s take a look at the full schedule and all the fun details in store for The Orange and Blue in 2024.
The Full Schedule
The complete schedule consists of 34 regular season games with home and away series against all 14 Eastern Conference opponents. Six Western Conference Clubs will play FCC with three split each way between home and away.
To view the complete schedule, click here.
Season Opener at Home
FCC will start their 2024 MLS regular season at TQL Stadium, hosting Toronto FC on Sunday, February 25 at 2:30 p.m. The rare Sunday afternoon start accommodates for The Orange and Blue opening their quest for the Concacaf Champions Cup on February 22 in Jamaica, just three days earlier.
With midweek games scheduled throughout the opening part of the season, Sunday matches will be a regular occurrence in February and March. FC Cincinnati will play three of their first four regular season games on Sundays, including a home tilt against D.C. United on March 10 and at New England Revolution on March 17.
After that stretch, FCC will play 23 of their remaining 30 league matches on Saturday nights.
Hell is Real
Hell is Real will hit a fever pitch in 2024 as it will mark the first time the two clubs face off as returning winners of MLS trophies. This year’s editions will also serve as revenge games to heighten the stakes of the already heated rivalry, as FCC will look to avenge their extra time loss in the MLS Cup Playoffs Eastern Conference Final.
The Orange and Blue will travel to Lower.Com Field first this season, making the trip on May 11 for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff that will be featured on FS1. The Crew will return to TQL Stadium on September 14 with FC Cincinnati coming off of a bye week, giving them 14 days to rest and recover before the match.
Trips to the West
FCC will take on six Western Conference opponents this season, playing out west three times while hosting the other three rare visitors in Cincinnati.
The first Western Conference opponent that The Orange and Blue will face is Colorado Rapids, who come to TQL Stadium on April 27. FCC will also host St. Louis CITY SC and look for revenge on May 18, before traveling to San Jose to play the Earthquakes on June 15 with a 10:30 p.m. Eastern Time kick-off, the latest of the 2024 season.
FC Cincinnati will then travel to face FC Dallas on June 29 and Minnesota United FC on September 18, before hosting reigning Western Conference champions LAFC at home on September 28.
Inter Miami CF during Copa America
After knocking out Inter Miami CF of MLS Cup Playoffs contention in the final weeks of the MLS regular season in 2023, FCC will see the Herons at TQL Stadium on July 6 and then at DRV PNK Stadium in the first match after Leagues Cup on August 24.
International tournaments of more than one kind could play a role in their first matchup though, as the 2024 Copa America will take place in the United States from June 20 to July 14. This could mean that international stars like Lionel Messi could not be available for their clubs as they represent their countries at one of the world's biggest tournaments.
The July 6 match at TQL Stadium could be impacted by this, raising doubts of who would be available to play … for either side.
Finish the Year Strong
The final seven matches of the MLS regular season represent a gauntlet that FCC will have to battle to repeat as Supporters’ Shield winners.
With four of seven matches on the road, including trips to Minnesota United FC, Nashville SC, New York City FC and Philadelphia Union, FCC will be put to the test down the stretch. Home matches, though, offer no reprieve with matches against Columbus, LAFC and Orlando littered in between those road trips.
To claim the 2024 Supporters’ Shield, and become the first club since LA Galaxy in 2010 and 2011 to win it in back-to-back years, FCC will have to get results against five 2023 MLS Cup Playoff teams in the final five weeks while going on the road against two clubs who just missed out.
For more information on the 2024 MLS schedule, click here.
For a full color schedule click here
For a full black and white schedule click here