Under the direction of a yet to be named head coach, the new look Los Angeles Football Club should expect a test when the 2022 Major League Soccer season kicks off Feb. 26.
The league-wide schedule was unveiled Wednesday. The February opening day is the earliest in league history to accommodate for the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, which begins on Nov. 18.
LAFC opens its 34-match MLS campaign by hosting the regular-season Western Conference champion Colorado Rapids for a midday match at Banc of California. Earning its second win against four losses versus the Black & Gold, Colorado vanquished LAFC 5-2 to close the 2021 regular season as the top seed in the West.
The following weekend, LAFC welcomes the MLS Cup finalist Portland Timbers for the next chapter in their competitive rivalry. Portland holds a 5-4-4 record over LAFC after winning each of their three matches last season by a 2-1 score.
The first of two regular-season derby matches against the Galaxy takes place April 9 at Dignity Health Sports Park. The return leg July 8 at Banc of California is among LAFC’s 16 nationally televised games (four on FS1, three on ESPN, three on ABC, one on FOX and five on Univision/UniMas).
Through four regular seasons, the Galaxy is 5-3-5 against their crosstown rivals. LAFC earned only two out of a potential nine points against the Galaxy in 2021.
After facing Colorado and Portland at home, LAFC travels to Miami for the first of eight matches against Eastern Conference opponents. Toronto FC, which hired Bob Bradley shortly after he agreed to part ways with LAFC, is not on a list that features Orlando, Cincinnati, Philadelphia, Columbus, New York Red Bull, MLS newcomer Charlotte FC and MLS original D.C. United.
A March 12 contest offers LAFC a look at Inter Miami’s DRV PNK Stadium, one of four soccer-specific stadiums they will see for the first time. On April 24, LAFC visits Cincinnati’s TQL Stadium. A month later, LAFC returns to Ohio to play the Columbus Crew at Lower.com Field. And in July, LAFC heads to the largest soccer-specific venue in the U.S., Nashville’s new 30,000 seat stadium.
May and August, featuring six matches each, are the club’s busiest months. LAFC closes the regular season at home Oct. 9 against Nashville, which switched from the east to the west in 2022 to balance the MLS conference standings at 14 teams apiece.