The 2023 USL Championship season is just a few months away! The San Diego Loyal will kick off the preseason in February with six exhibition matches, followed by the start of the season in early March.
The 2022 season was a successful one for the Loyal. Despite a brutal way to end the season, the team still finished 2nd in the Western Conference and was one of the top goal-scoring teams in the USL.
Nate Miller has taken over the head coaching duties, and his squad will look the same for the most part, outside of a few additions and departures. The full roster should be completed around the start of March.
The Loyal released their full schedule early Monday morning and it will feature some unfamiliar opponents.
On March 11, Detroit City FC will be the guests at Torero Stadium as the Loyal will start the season with a home match. They will be the first of five new opponents for San Diego’s club. Entering their fourth season of the USL Championship, the Loyal have improved each season. This year will be a bit different, but the goal still remains the same.
Here is a short note of each opponent.
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Detroit City FC
- Lost 3-1 to Memphis 901 FC in the first round of 2022 playoffs as the 7-seed.
- They finished 10th in the Western Conference with just 42 points last season. Has higher exceptions this season.
- Lost in the U.S. Open Cup Final 3-0 to Orlando City SC. Lost in the USL Conference Semi-finals 2-1 to Colorado Springs.
- They finished 8th in the Eastern Conference with 42 points last season.
New Mexico United
- Lost to Sac Republic 2-0 in the first round of the 2022 playoffs as the 5-seed.
Tampa Bay Rowdies
- Lost to Louisville City 1-0 in Conference Finals last season as the 3-seed.
- They finished 8th in the West with 46 points. They lost the tiebreaker to Oakland Roots.
- After winning the 2021 USL Championship, OC finished last in the West with just 34 points in a disaster season.
Rio Grande Valley
- RGV lost in the first round of the playoffs last season to Colorado Springs 3-0.
- Lost in the first round of the 2022 playoffs 3-1 to Tampa Bay Rowdies as the 6-seed.
Oakland Roots SC
- Defeated San Diego Loyal in the first round of the playoffs last year 3-0 as the 7-seed. Lost 3-0 to San Antonio FC in the conference semis.
San Antonio FC
- They dominated the league last season by winning the USL Championship Final 3-1 over Louisville City. They ended as the 1-seed as split the season series with the Loyal in 2022.
- Lost to Louisville City in the conference semis in penalty kicks as the 5-seed.
- Ended the year 9th in the East with 41 points.
- Ended 10th in the East with 36 points last year.
- Lost to San Antonio FC 2-0 in the Conference Semi-finals as the 3-seed.
- They finished 11th in the East with 28 points last season.
Memphis 901 FC
- They finished as the 2-seed in the East and lost to Tampa Bay in the second round of the playoffs.
- Ended the year with 25 points as the 12-seed.
- They lost in the first round of the playoffs in penalty kicks to Pittsburgh. They were the 4-seed.
- Has been one of the premier USL teams since the start. They lost to SA in the Championship Final and will likely be a top team once again.
- They ended in 9th place with 45 points last season. Has not been successful against SD Loyal whatsoever.
- They finished in 12th place in the West with 40 points in the inaugural season.
Chris is a graduate of the University of San Diego. He is the former Sports Editor for the USDVista newspaper. Chris is also an athlete and is huge fan of San Diego sports. Chris has covered the San Diego Loyal, and contributes regularly about the Padres.