2013 North American Soccer Calendar: A busy year ahead

2013 looks set to be one of the busiest in memory for everyone in the North American soccer scene.

The soccer calendar is stuffed full of events and matches. The crucial "Hexagonal" World Cup qualifiers for the US national team are the most prominent, but there is also the 18th MLS season that kicks off in March, the U-20 World Cup in Turkey in June, and the launch of a brand new women's league.

Here's a rundown of the 2013 North American soccer calendar, with a few nods to the best of the global game. (NOTE: Dates and events are subject to change.

 

Can Tijuana's Yanks repeat as Liga MX champions?

January 4: Liga MX Clausura 2013 season opens

January 7: FIFA Ballon d’Or announced

January 11-15: MLS Combine, Fort Lauderdale, Florida

January 17: MLS SuperDraft, Indianapolis, Indiana

January 18 – March 1: MLS Preseason

  • Jan 29 – Feb 8: The Desert Friendlies (Tucson) — COL, HOU, NE, POR, SJ, SEA, SKC, FC Tucson
  • Feb 9 – Feb 23: Disney Pro Soccer Classic (Orlando) — CLB, DC, MTL, PHI, SKC, TOR, Orlando City, Tampa Bay
  • Feb 13 – Feb 23: Desert Diamond Cup (Tucson) — NE, NY, RSL, SEA
  • Feb 16 – Feb 23: Carolina Challenge Cup — CHI, HOU, VAN, Charleston
  • Feb 17 – Feb 23: Portland Timbers Tournament — DAL, POR, SJ, AIK

Portland's Bright Dike is hoping for a call up from Nigeria for the Cup of Nations.

January 18-27: Copa Centroamericana, Costa Rica

January 19 – February 10: Africa Cup of Nations, South Africa

January 23: 2013 Copa Libertadores begins

January 26: International friendly

  • Canada vs. Denmark, Tucson, Arizona

January 29: International friendly

  • USA vs. Canada, Houston, Texas

January 30: International friendly

  • Mexico-Denmark, Glendale, Arizona

February 6: 2014 World Cup qualifying

  • Honduras-USA, San Pedro Sula, Honduras
  • Mexico-Jamaica, Mexico City, Mexico
  • Panama-Costa Rica, Panama City, Panama

Can Jurgen Klinsmann qualify the USMNT into the 2014 World Cup?

February 9: International Friendly

  • US women’s national team vs. Scotland, Jacksonville, Florida

February 13: International Friendly

  • US women’s national team vs. Scotland, Nashville, Tennessee

February 18 – March 2: CONCACAF U-20 Championship, Puebla, Mexico

March 2-3: MLS season opens

March 3: Real Madrid vs. Barcelona, Madrid, Spain

March 5: 2012-13 CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals, 1st leg

  • Houston Dynamo-Santos Laguna, Houston, Texas

March 6: 2012-13 CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals, 1st leg

  • Tigres-Seattle Sounders, Monterrey, Mexico

How will Fredy Montero and the Sounders fare in the CCL knockout stage?

March 7: 2012-13 CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals, 1st leg

  • Herediano-LA Galaxy, Heredia, Costa Rica

March 8-14: Algarve Cup, Portugal

  • US women’s national team participating

March 12: 2012-13 CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals, 2nd leg

  • Seattle Sounders-Tigres, Seattle, Washington

March 13: 2012-13 CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals, 2nd leg

  • Santos Laguna-Houston Dynamo, Torreon, Mexico
  • LA Galaxy-Herediano, Carson, California

March 22: 2014 World Cup qualifying

  • USA-Costa Rica, location TBD
  • Honduras-Mexico, San Pedro Sula, Honduras
  • Jamaica-Panama, Kingston, Jamaica

The US beat Mexico in their last visit to the Estadio Azteca. Can they do it again?

March 26: 2014 World Cup qualifying

  • Mexico-USA, Mexico City, Mexico
  • Costa Rica-Jamaica, location TBD
  • Panama-Honduras, Panama City, Panama

April: NASL and USL PRO open seasons

April: National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) opens inaugural season

April 2-4: 2012-13 CONCACAF Champions League semifinals, 1st leg

April 5: International Friendly

  • US women’s national team vs. Germany, location TBD

April 6-18: CONCACAF U-17 Championship, Panama

April 9-11: 2012-13 CONCACAF Champions League semifinals, 2nd leg

April 24: 2012-13 CONCACAF Champions League final, 1st leg

May: US Open Cup begins for non-MLS teams (if 2012 scheduling holds)

May 1: 2012-13 CONCACAF Champions League final, 2nd leg

Where will Tim Howard and Everton finish in the EPL standings when all is said and done?

May 19: Final matchday of the English Premier League season

May 25: 2013 UEFA Champions League final, London, United Kingdom

June: MLS teams enter US Open Cup in Round of 16 (if 2012 scheduling holds)

June 4: 2014 World Cup qualifying

  • Jamaica-Mexico, Kingston, Jamaica

June 7: 2014 World Cup qualifying

  • Jamaica-USA, Kingston, Jamaica
  • Costa Rica-Honduras, location TBD
  • Panama-Mexico, Panama City, Panama

June 11: 2014 World Cup qualifying

  • USA-Panama, location TBD
  • Honduras-Jamaica, Tegucigalpa, Honduras
  • Mexico-Costa Rica, Mexico City, Mexico

June 15-30: FIFA Confederations Cup, Brazil

June 18: 2014 World Cup qualifying

  • USA-Honduras, location TBD
  • Costa Rica-Panama, location TBD

June 21 – July 13: FIFA U-20 World Cup, Turkey

July 7-28: CONCACAF Gold Cup, USA

Late July: AT&T MLS All-Star Game

Late July: 2013-14 CONCACAF Champions League begins

Late July: 2013 Copa Libertadores final

August: US Open Cup final (if 2012 scheduling holds)

September 6: 2014 World Cup qualifying

  • Costa Rica-USA, location TBD
  • Mexico-Honduras, Mexico City, Mexico
  • Panama-Jamaica, Panama City, Panama

The USMNT have not lost a home World Cup qualifier to Mexico since a 2-1 loss in Los Angeles in 1972.

September 10: 2014 World Cup qualifying

  • USA-Mexico, location TBD
  • Honduras-Panama, San Pedro Sula, Honduras
  • Jamaica-Costa Rica, Kingston, Jamaica

September 18-28: FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup, Tahiti

October 11: 2014 World Cup qualifying

  • USA-Jamaica, location TBD
  • Mexico-Panama, Mexico City, Mexico
  • Honduras-Costa Rica, San Pedro Sula, Honduras

October 15: 2014 World Cup qualifying

  • Panama-USA, Panama City, Panama
  • Costa Rica-Mexico, location TBD
  • Jamaica-Honduras, Kingston, Jamaica

October 17 – November 8: FIFA U-17 World Cup, United Arab Emirates

November: MLS Playoffs

December: NCAA College Cup

  • Dec. 6-8: Women’s, Cary, North Carolina
  • Dec. 13-15: Men’s, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

December 6: Final draw for 2014 FIFA World Cup, Salvador de Bahia, Brazil

December 11-21: FIFA Club World Cup, Morocco