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USL Unveils Most Expansive ESPN Television Schedule in League History

By USLChampionship.com Staff, 04/07/21, 2:00PM EDT

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Meeting of Rowdies, Rising FC and first national USL League One telecast highlights 19-game slate; Nearly 700 Championship and USL League One matches available on ESPN+

The United Soccer League unveiled today the most expansive linear television schedule in its history, featuring top clubs from the USL Championship facing off on ESPN networks, plus the first game in USL League One history to air on national television in the 2021 campaign. 

In addition to the linear schedule on ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes, the remainder of the USL Championship and League One regular-season and playoff games will stream live on ESPN+, giving fans a front-row seat for almost 700 games across both leagues.

The 19-game linear television schedule to air on ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes is highlighted by high-profile clashes and new venues across the country. At the top of the list is an early-season showdown between reigning Eastern and Western Conference Title holders the Tampa Bay Rowdies and Phoenix Rising FC at Al Lang Stadium in downtown St. Petersburg on Saturday, May 15 on ESPN2.

The following day, the first League One game to air on national television will feature the league’s top two teams from the 2020 season, with defending title-holder Greenville Triumph SC set to host Union Omaha on Sunday, May 16 on ESPN2.

The Championship season will culminate on Sunday, November 28 as the 2021 USL Championship, set to be broadcast on ESPN or ESPN2. The contest between the Eastern and Western Conference Title-winners will also air on ESPN Deportes, with kickoff scheduled at 8:30 p.m. ET. 

“This is the biggest and brightest platform we’ve ever had for our league,” said USL Executive Vice President Court Jeske. “We are thrilled at the wide selection of games, clubs and landmark moments that will appear on national television this season. It’s a special thing for our league to be able to showcase our clubs and cities across the USL Championship and League One on ESPN’s networks in addition to streaming an incredible schedule on ESPN+.”

The action gets underway on Friday, April 30 with the first new stadium opening of the season when Phoenix Rising FC unveils its new 10,000-seat venue at Wild Horse Pass with a clash against Pacific Division rival San Diego Loyal SC and Head Coach Landon Donovan. SD Loyal will also feature the following week when the national television cameras arrive at Rio Grande Valley FC’s H-E-B Park as the Toros and new Head Coach Wilmer Cabrera play host to the first of nine games scheduled for ESPN Deportes throughout the season.

Championship newcomer Oakland Roots SC will make its national television debut on Saturday, July 10 as it welcomes Las Vegas Lights FC and new Head Coach Steve Cherundolo to Laney Stadium on ESPN2. The following Saturday afternoon, Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC’s new 8,000-seat downtown home Weidner Field will be on show as the Switchbacks host San Antonio FC on ESPN2.

In addition to the clash between Tampa Bay and Phoenix, another intriguing interconference matchup takes us to Louisville City FC’s Lynn Family Stadium on Sunday, October 3 as the two-time USL Championship Final-winners play host to New Mexico United on ESPN2. New Mexico will also face a postseason rematch with San Antonio FC on July 21 at Toyota Field as the sides square off on ESPN2.

The final broadcast game of the regular season arrives in the penultimate weekend of the Championship’s regular season as El Paso Locomotive FC plays host to OKC Energy FC at Southwest University Park on ESPN Deportes.

2021 USL on ESPN TV Schedule

Date Game Time (ET) Network
April 30 Phoenix Rising FC vs. San Diego Loyal SC 10 p.m. ESPN2
May 6 Rio Grande Valley FC vs. San Diego Loyal SC 8 p.m. ESPN Deportes
May 15 Tampa Bay Rowdies vs. Phoenix Rising FC 8 p.m. ESPN2
May 16 Greenville Triumph SC vs. Union Omaha 4 p.m. ESPN2
June 3 Austin Bold FC vs. El Paso Locomotive FC 9 p.m. ESPN Deportes
June 15 Indy Eleven vs. Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC 8 p.m. ESPN Deportes
June 23 Miami FC vs. Birmingham Legion FC 8 p.m. ESPN Deportes
July 3 San Diego Loyal SC vs. Sacramento Republic FC 2 p.m. ESPN2
July 10 Oakland Roots SC vs. Las Vegas Lights FC 10 p.m. ESPN2
July 17 Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC vs. San Antonio FC 2 p.m. ESPN2
July 21 San Antonio FC vs. New Mexico United 9:30 p.m. ESPN2
August 10 Memphis 901 FC vs. Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC 8 p.m. ESPN Deportes
September 7 Hartford Athletic vs. Louisville City FC 7 p.m. ESPN2
September 8 Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC vs. Real Monarchs SLC 9 p.m. ESPN Deportes
September 30 Hartford Athletic vs. Charlotte Independence 8 p.m. ESPN Deportes
October 3 Louisville City FC vs. New Mexico United 3 p.m. ESPN2
October 7 Tampa Bay Rowdies vs. Charleston Battery 8 p.m. ESPN Deportes
October 24 El Paso Locomotive FC vs. OKC Energy FC 8 p.m. ESPN Deportes

Nearly 700 games from the United Soccer League and USL League One will also be available on ESPN+, including Week 1 matches in the USL Championship on Saturday, April 24 between two-time Championship Title-winner Louisville City FC and Atlanta United 2 and the Black Gold Derby pitting OKC Energy FC against rival FC Tulsa. Meanwhile, USL League One action kicks off on Saturday, April 10 with Fort Lauderdale CF opening the season against New England Revolution II.

View the full Championship on ESPN schedule here all season long.

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