Orlando City 2012 Fixture List Announced

Filed under: Orlando City Soccer,World Soccer |

USL PRO unveiled the 2012 regular season schedule, league alignment, and playoff format today.  The 24-game regular season kicks off for Orlando City on April 7 in Charlotte.  The home opener for the 2011 USL PRO Champion Lions is set for April 15 at 6 p.m. against the Wilmington Hammerheads at the Florida Citrus Bowl.

Highlighting the 2012 schedule for Orlando City are two visits from rivals Charleston Battery on June 9 and July 28.  The Lions and Battery faced off five times in 2011 with Orlando winning the series 4-1 including a 3-1 overtime victory in the first round of the playoffs.  In total, Orlando and Charleston will face off three times in the regular season, twice in Orlando and once in Charleston.

The USL PRO Championship Game rematch between Orlando City and Harrisburg City Islanders will take place in Orlando on June 22.  The Lions and Islanders will also clash late in the season on August 1 in Harrisburg.  Including the Championship Game, Orlando went 3-0 against Harrisburg in 2011.

For the first time ever, City will face the Los Angeles Blues on May 24 in Orlando.  The Lions will face the Blues twice in LA in a Friday/Sunday series on July 6 and 8.  The Blues were the only USL PRO side Orlando did not face in 2011.  LA qualified for the playoffs last season, but were eliminated by Harrisburg.

The 2012 season sees one major change to the league format.  11 teams return to USL PRO in 2012.  FC New York is no longer a member of USL PRO.  The 11 teams will now be grouped into a single table, resulting in the elimination of the divisions.

The 2012 USL PRO Table
Antigua Barracuda FC
Charleston Battery
Charlotte Eagles
Dayton Dutch Lions
Harrisburg City Islanders
Los Angeles Blues
Orlando City Lions
Pittsburgh Riverhounds
Richmond Kickers
Rochester Rhinos
Wilmington Hammerheads

The shift away from divisions also brings small changes to the playoff format.  The top 6 teams will qualify for the 2012 USL PRO Playoffs.  The top two teams will receive a bye in the first round, similar to the NFL format.  All playoffs will be single-elimination matches with the higher seed hosting each game.  The 2012 Championship Game is set for the weekend of September 7-9.

The full schedule of games is here.

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