With most of the schedules out for the upcoming season, we’ve got you covered with a list of the best soccer matches in 2023 to experience for each month of the year. Some games are the ones you expect with all the smoke, chants, and rabid fan bases you want to see. Others showcase the best community-level support and atmosphere in the U.S.
February 25 (*now July 4): LA Galaxy vs. LAFC
The 2023 season is starting off with a bang at the famed Rose Bowl. Errrr, it was until this match was postponed at the last minute. There are very few places that match the level of energy inside the LAFC supporters section during a derby. And that goes for the entire world. The countless supporter groups across Los Angeles make this a can’t-miss game every single year. Plus, the special venue for this year’s kickoff makes it extra appealing.
March 4 – St. Louis City SC vs. Charlotte FC
This one is a no-brainer. Ever since it was announced, the soccer world has waited for the rebirth of professional soccer in St. Louis. The city has a rich history in the sport and its supporters, the Saint Louligans, are a force in the U.S. soccer community. Not only do they do some amazing work in the community but for the past few years, many of their members have been making road trip after road trip to support their peers in other cities and with other clubs. If you’ve attended a pre-game tailgate in the Midwest or South in recent years, chances are you’ve run into a Saint Louligan at some point. And now, it’s their time to shine. We can’t wait to see what the atmosphere is like at Citypark on March 4.
April 15 – Louisville City FC vs. San Antonio FC
An early season replay of last year’s championship game? Yes, please. When it comes to backing the players on the field, the supporters in Louisville remain some of the best around and Lynn Family Stadium is still one of the best stadiums in the U.S. to catch a match. If you’re looking for the perfect time to make a trip to Louisville for a match, this is a good one because Louisville will have revenge on their minds.
May 27 – Lexington SC vs. One Knoxville SC
Lexington SC is an expansion club to watch out for. This USL League One newcomer sold all its season tickets six months ago and the start of the season has a slew of matches to be excited about if you’re a Lexington SC supporter. The home opener on April 8 against Forward Madison will be rocking (and may also include Flock sightings in the away end). The U.S. Open Cup fixture in early April against Louisville City FC is sure to draw a lot of statewide attention. But the match we’re bookmarking here is the May 27 home game against One Knoxville SC. One Knoxville had immediate success last year in USL League Two and now they’ve jumped up a rung to compete in USL League One. With a great supporter culture for both clubs, and the proximity between the two, this match has all the makings of a new and fun USL League One rivalry.
June 4 – Rochester FC vs. Minnesota Aurora
Minnesota is quickly becoming a hotbed for local clubs and supporters and we couldn’t make a list of the best soccer matches in 2023 without Minnesota Aurora. Now it’s time for USLW newcomers Rochester FC to show off. Recently dubbed The Hotdish Dish derby, Rochester FC will play a home and away series with Minnesota Aurora on May 24 and June 4. There’s little doubt that TCO Stadium will be another sellout when the Minnesota Aurora women host on May 24, but we’re excited to check out the supporter culture in Rochester when the match heads south on June 4. Rochester is only an hour and a half drive from Minneapolis so we expect to see a lot of supporter love for both teams.
July 15 – Des Moines Menace vs. Peoria City
For years, the support in Des Moines has been some of the best in lower-division soccer. Which is a big reason why the city is poised to join USL Championship in a couple of years. The club constantly draws some of the best attendance figures in its league and the team matches that energy on the field. This year, the club hosts Peoria City for the final regular season match, which inevitably will be the beginning of its annual playoff push.
August 27 – Angel City FC vs. OL Reign
With the World Cup taking place this summer, the NWSL schedule will feel a bit odd. There will be plenty of stars headed over to Australia for the month-long tournament in July and August. That’s why we’re penciling in the weekend of August 26/27 for some exciting matches. The buzz of the World Cup will be at its peak when the final takes place the weekend before, so the August 27 home match for Angel City FC is sure to be packed full of new supporters.
September 16 – Savannah Clovers FC vs. Chattanooga FC
Just as the leaves start to turn, we’re heading south to Georgia for a late-season NISA matchup. Savannah is a new club in the league this year and late in the season they’ll host one of the favorites. Chattanooga has an established supporter base with great fans, and we’re hoping Savannah can follow the likes of South Georgia Tormenta and Atlanta in cementing itself as a new southern soccer city in the state.
October 14 – Las Vegas Lights vs. San Diego Loyal SC
It’s the final match of the 2023 regular season but that’s not why this one is on the list. By October of this year, we may find out which city is next on the MLS expansion list. It’s no secret that Las Vegas and San Diego are two of the top locations vying for a spot. So if one is awarded and the other isn’t, it could bring plenty of intrigue to this USL Championship match.