Must-See Soccer Matches for 2022

For those who love traveling to soccer matches, we’ve compiled a list of our must-see soccer matches for 2022. 

Whether you are a fan of a specific club or you are simply trying to expand your soccer experiences in the U.S., this year is a great time to start checking out what the full soccer landscape in this country has to offer. As COVID-19 case numbers decline and public safety (hopefully) improves along with that, this year is poised to be a great one for supporter culture and away days. 

Without further ado, here is a list of the must-see soccer matches for 2022:

U.S. Open Cup: Des Moines Menace vs. Minneapolis City SC
Date: March 23, 2022

To every fan’s delight, the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup is back and there are a lot of enticing matchups to look out for. It was hard to pick just one, but the game that pits Des Moines Menace against Minneapolis City SC will feature two great sets of supporters. Especially now because Des Moines has just been awarded a USL expansion slot and this will be a great opportunity to see what supporter culture in Iowa looks like as they build toward their inaugural USL season in 2024. 

Honorable Mention: If you want another great U.S. Open Cup during that same window, the (almost MLS) supporters in St. Louis will be traveling to Indianapolis for another matchup between two great supporter groups. 

MLS: Charlotte FC vs. Atlanta United
Date: April 10, 2022

Without question, the home opener for Charlotte FC was one that attendees will never forget. But if you weren’t able to make that record-breaking game, try to make your way to North Carolina’s capital on April 10 for this budding southern MLS derby. Footie Mob and the rest of the Atlanta supporters are certainly going to bring hundreds if not thousands to that match, and it’ll be a perfect opportunity to experience the first regional derby this has the potential to be. 

USLW: Asheville City SC vs. Wake FC
Date: June 11, 2022

In some corners of the U.S., lower league soccer is just as popular as its peers in the NWSL and MLS. And if you’re talking per capita attendance, Asheville is one of the best spots to witness this. This mountain town in western North Carolina consistently breaks attendance records despite competing in the amateur and lower divisions. Each year, Pride Night in Asheville brings the community together as no other event can, and because the women’s club has stepped up into the new USLW league, the 2022 game will be that much more special. Not to mention that club is back at its historic Memorial Stadium, making this a game to remember for Asheville City supporters and general soccer fans alike. As a bonus, this year’s game will also be a double header with the men’s and women’s teams playing back to back.

NISA: Flower City Union vs. AC Syracuse Pulse
Date: August 20, 2022

A historic U.S. soccer region, check. Two brand new (beautiful) soccer brands, check. Teams located just a little over an hour away from one another, check. There are a lot of unknowns when it comes to these two new upstate New York clubs, but they have all the makings for a can’t-miss derby in U.S. soccer. 

Detroit City games are must-see soccer matches in the U.S.

USL Championship: Detroit City FC vs. Indy Eleven
Date: September 8, 2022

Say what you will about Detroit’s supporters but there’s no denying that matchdays at Keyworth Stadium are unmatched in U.S. soccer. This year, Detroit City is entering into new territory by joining USL Championship and you better believe that USL teams are excited to get their crack at the anti-hero of U.S. soccer. Any USLW or USL Championship match at Keyworth Stadium is worth the price of admission but we think the match against Indy Eleven is particularly noteworthy. Given the proximity of the two cities, along with the styles of their supporters, the atmosphere at this match will no doubt be ratcheted up to a whole new level.

USL League One: Forward Madison vs. Richmond Kickers
Date: October 8, 2022

If you have never experienced USL League One soccer, you’re missing out. And if you want to remedy that in 2022, there may be no better experience than the one you’ll get at Breese Stevens Field in Madison. Every game is a party, and the scheduling gods aligned this year to give us a Henny Derby in Madison to close out the regular season. With playoff seeding on the line and one of the best supporter-driven rivalries in all of U.S. soccer, the 2022 Henny Derby finale is one of our favorite bucket list soccer games for 2022. 

NWSL: Angel City vs. San Diego Wave
Date: TBD

Even before Angel City FC has kicked a ball, it’s easy to say that the U.S. soccer community is anxiously awaiting the arrival of this Los Angeles club. You can get a taste of the supporter culture during the NWSL Challenge Cup starting in March, but it’s worth noting that those games will be held at California State University Fullerton. So if you are planning to attend one Angel City FC match this year, we recommend waiting for the NWSL regular season when Angel City FC will place at its normal home, the Banc of California Stadium in Downtown Los Angeles. And while every game is sure to be rowdy, we expect the SoCal Derby against San Diego Wave will be the best out of the bunch. 

Now, this is only a small number among a long list of some must-see soccer matches this year. If you’re into supporter culture, we know there are obvious locations left off this list (i.e. Atlanta, Portland, Phoenix, Louisville, etc.). 

So if you’re making your own schedule of bucket list matches for 2022, what did we miss? What games are you most excited about?