ORLANDO, Fla. (March 14, 2023) - Entering the second year of MLS NEXT Pro, Orlando City B has revealed its 2023 schedule, presented by Orlando Health. The slate now includes 28 matches, up from 24 in the league’s inaugural season, with the Lions set to feature 14 times at home and 14 on the road.
Osceola County Stadium, located at the Orlando Health Training Ground at Osceola Heritage Park, will serve as the home field for OCB for the second-straight year. Ticketing information for Orlando City B matches will be available at a later date.
The Lions are set to begin their 2023 MLS NEXT Pro campaign on Sunday, March 26, traveling to face Philadelphia Union II before returning to Kissimmee for their home opener, set for Friday, March 31 against expansion club Huntsville City FC in a 7 p.m. ET kickoff at Osceola County Stadium.
Following their home opener, the Lions will play host to their neighbors to the south for the first of three meetings in 2023, as Inter Miami CF II visits Kissimmee on Sunday, April 9. The two sides will then square off twice at DRV PNK Stadium, first on Thursday, May 25 then once again on Aug. 5.
The full 2023 Orlando City B schedule can be found below.
New Opponents, New Divisions:
This season will see seven clubs joining MLS NEXT Pro in Atlanta United 2, Austin FC II, Crown Legacy, LA Galaxy II, Huntsville City FC, Los Angeles Football Club 2 and New York Red Bulls II. The Lions’ 2023 slate sees them take on four of those sides, with fixtures against Atlanta, Crown Legacy and Red Bulls II to add to their home opener against Huntsville.
Remaining in the Central Division alongside Orlando City B are Chicago Fire FC II, Columbus Crew 2, FC Cincinnati 2, Inter Miami II, with expansion clubs Atlanta United 2 and Huntsville City FC joining for the 2023 campaign.
The complete 2023 schedule is available on mlsnextpro.com and consists of 378 regular season matches. Each club will play 28 matches over 27 weeks – an increase from 24 matches per club in 2022.
The majority of regular season matches, plus all Decision Day matches, playoff matches and MLS NEXT Pro Cup, will be available to watch live and on-demand on MLS Season Pass on the Apple TV app. The remainder of regular season matches will stream live on mlsnextpro.com. MLS Season Pass is the subscription service from Apple and Major League Soccer that is home to all MLS and Leagues Cup matches and hundreds of MLS NEXT Pro and MLS NEXT matches.
New Playoff Format:
The 2023 season will feature an expanded playoffs format that includes a pick-your-opponent element in the first two rounds.
Within each conference, the two division champions and the five clubs with the next highest points (seven clubs total) will advance to the 2023 MLS NEXT Pro Playoffs. The Playoffs will consist of three rounds followed by MLS NEXT Pro Cup, taking place over four consecutive weeks beginning the weekend of September 29.
The club with the most regular season points in each conference (#1 seed) will earn a first-round bye, automatically advancing to the Conference Semifinals.
- The next two teams with the most points in each conference (#2 and #3 seeds) will choose their opponent and host their match (one of two teams must be the other division champion)
- The two remaining teams that are not selected will play each other, with the higher seeded team hosting
- The team with the most overall points in the conference (#1 seed) will choose its opponent from the remaining two lowest seeded teams and host the match
- The second highest seed will host the remaining team
- The team with the most regular season points (higher seed) will host the team with the lowest points (lower seed)
MLS NEXT Pro Cup:
- The team with the most regular season points (higher seed) will host MLS NEXT Pro Cup
There will be no ties in MLS NEXT Pro once again in 2023. Shootouts using kicks from the penalty mark will return this season to decide a match that is tied after regulation. Both teams will receive one point each for the tie, with the winner of the shootout receiving one additional point (two points total). In 2022, 20% of all matches resulted in a shootout.
Implemented midway through last season, both the Off-field Treatment Rule and Red Card Suspension Rule will also return in 2023.
Under the Off-field Treatment Rule: If a player is suspected to have an injury and is on the ground for longer than 15 seconds, a medical crew will come onto the field to evaluate the player and assist him off. Once the player is off the field, the player will be treated by the medical staff and will be required to remain off the field for three minutes.
Under the Red Card Suspension Rule: if a player receives a red card, he will serve the resulting one-game suspension against that same opponent.
To further decrease preventable match delays and increase effective match time, this season will see the addition of a new Timed Substitution Rule, which will allow a maximum of 10 seconds for a player to leave the field when he is substituted. If the player does not leave the field of play within the 10 seconds, the replacement player will only be able to enter after a 60 second holding period, resulting in the offending team playing a man down for a minimum of one minute.