Sunday, July 14, 2024
Sunday, July 14, 2024

2022 FMFC Schedule: First Thoughts

USL League 1 fans were treated to a surprise as the 2022 league schedule was released earlier today. Here’s what we know: Every team in the league will play 30 matches, playing each team three times — finally bringing a balanced schedule to League One for the first time since its inception. The Mingos will start their season on the road again with a trip to Chattanooga and end the regular season out west in Tucson.

April 2 – Chattanooga (A)
April 9 – Omaha (H)
April 16 – Tucson (A)
April 30 – Fuego (H)

May 7 – Richmond (A)
May 13 – Greenville (A)
May 21 – Charlotte (H)
May 28 – Fuego (A)

June 4 – Tucson (H)
June 11 – Greenville (H)
June 19 – Tormenta (A)
June 23 – Richmond (H)
June 26 – Charlotte (A)

July 4 – Northern Colorado (A)
July 16 – Tormenta (H)
July 26 – Omaha (H)
July 30 – Northern Colorado (H)

August 5 – Charlotte (A)
August 10 – North Carolina (A)
August 13 – Chattanooga (H)
August 20 – Northern Colorado (A)
August 24 – North Carolina (H)
August 31 – Omaha (A)

September 3 – Greenville (A)
September 10 – Chattanooga (H)
September 17 – North Carolina (H)
September 21 – Fuego (A)
September 24 – Tormenta (H)

October 8 – Richmond (H)
October 15 – Tucson (A)

Overall Balance

Madison will play each team three times, removing the convention of previous seasons of playing some teams four times to round out the schedule. It’s been contentious in the past when Madison would be matched up four times with title-contending sides while other clubs would be matched up a fourth time with Orlando or Ft Lauderdale. Getting Omaha, Chattanooga and Richmond twice at home is good for that homefield edge against the former playoffs teams. Traveling to Greenville twice is likely going to be the toughest test for Madison, but if they want to avoid potentially traveling to Greenville for the playoffs, getting a win would help their cause. There isn’t a stretch that we can claim will be “easy” but if Charlotte decide to do a rebuild type of approach in 2022, then July and August could be the chance for Madison to collect some points. It’s a bonus that there isn’t going to be a stretch where we have a month of nothing but home matches or a month of away matches.

New Challengers

With the creation of MLS Next Pro, the four MLS2 teams have bid their farewells to USL1: Fort Lauderdale CF, Revs 2, North Texas SC, and Toronto FC II. No more Friday afternoon parking lot matches against TFC2, and we’ll no longer be tormented by potential USMNT/MLS players at North Texas and Revs. To replace those teams, the league welcomed two new expansion teams: North Colorado Hailstorm coached by former Chattanooga player Eamon Zayed and Central Valley Fuego FC, effectively a new-look Fresno Fuego (formerly playing in USL PDL). Shortly after the 2021 USL season ended, Charlotte Independence dropped from the Championship to League One, similar to Richmond and NCFC in years previous. We will most certainly get to be familiar with these teams as Madison plays them five times between late June and Early August.

Another weekday match in Omaha

I’m not thrilled that USL couldn’t find a way for Madison to play away to Omaha on a Saturday. With the owls being the closest team distance-wise to Madison, it’s an ordeal for fans to make the trip during a weekday. I’m sure there will be a group that does make the trip, but it would be nice logistically to have this game be on a Saturday. Make it happen, USL!

Henny Derby

Another season, another battle for the Henny Derby trophy. After winning the cumulative Henny Derby title in 2019, Madison has been unable to go to Richmond and win to bring the trophy back to Breese. Madison and Kickers have put on some close matches, playing 8 times with 7 of those matches being decided by a single goal. Richmond narrowly holds the edge with four wins to Madison’s three. The first match-up of 2022 is this season’s only trip to Richmond on May 7, with the first match in Madison on June 23. It will be a long break but the Henny Derby finale is also Forward Madison’s regular season home finale on October 8. Hopefully by then the Henny Derby will be won, but based on the history of this rivalry it’s going to come down to the wire.

Author

  • Kyle Carr

    Capo, light gamer, podcaster and super amateur baker. All that plus some other stuff

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