The year 2017 is shaping up to be another massive one for North American soccer. Here's a rundown of key dates and events for your calendar.
Early January: MLS schedule release
Every team's full slate of 2017 regular season matches is revealed, with about two months to go until opening day.
January 8-12: adidas MLS Player Combine, Carson, California
The final chance for college soccer’s top players to impress MLS coaches before the SuperDraft has relocated to SoCal this year.
January 10 to early February: US men’s national team January camp in Carson, California
Bruce Arena opens his second run in charge of the USMNT with the now-traditional January camp he himself introduced in his first US stint, providing mostly MLS- and Scandinavian-based players an offseason proving ground.
January 12: NWSL Draft, Los Angeles, California
The National Women's Soccer League, North America's top women's pro league, begins the run-up to its fifth season with its draft of college players.
January 13: MLS SuperDraft, presented by adidas, Los Angeles, California
Staged amidst the sprawling NSCAA Convention, which this year takes place at the Los Angeles Convention Center, this is where MLS teams hunt for talents like Jack Harrison and Cyle Larin.
January 14-February 5: Africa Cup of Nations, Gabon
Several MLS players hope to earn the chance to take part in Africa's biggest international tournament, hosted this year by the West African nation of Gabon. The winner represents the continent at the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia.
January 22: Canada MNT vs. Bermuda
Canada begin the new year with a trip to the island nation for a friendly that caps a two-week January training camp of their own.
January 23: MLS preseason begins
Players report to their respective clubs for the first stages of the run-up to opening day 2017.
January 29: USMNT vs. Serbia, San Diego, California
The Yanks' first match of the year takes place at Qualcomm Stadium against a rugged European opponent.
January 27-February 7: Desert Friendlies, Tucson, Arizona
Six MLS teams (Seattle Sounders, Portland Timbers, Sporting Kansas City, San Jose Earthquakes, New England Revolution, Real Salt Lake) and a final team still to be announced travel to Tucson for the first part of MLS preseason (GET TICKETS).
Early February: USMNT vs. TBA
The January camp wraps up with a second friendly against a yet-to-be-confirmed opponent.
February 9-15: Timbers Preseason Tournament, Portland, Oregon
Providence Park again welcomes several professional clubs – this year Minnesota United, Real Salt Lake and the Vancouver Whitecaps – for the Rose City's preseason tournament (GET TICKETS).
February 11: San Jose Earthquakes vs. LA Galaxy, Las Vegas
The longtime California Clasico rivals visit Sin City's Cashman Field for a preseason tussle.
February 15-25: Desert Diamond Cup, Tucson, Arizona
Sporting KC, New England, the Houston Dynamo, New York Red Bulls, New York City FC and Colorado Rapids for the latest edition of this beloved preseason tournament, based at Kino Sports Complex (GET TICKETS).
February 18-25: Carolina Challenge Cup, Charleston, South Carolina
The preseason event hosted by the USL's Charleston Battery returns after a year off, with Atlanta United, Columbus Crew SC and the Seattle Sounders gathering at MUSC Health Stadium for three matches each (tickets).
February 21-March 2: CONCACAF Champions League Quarterfinals
The knockout stages of North America's international club championship tournament get underway with the eight survivors of the group stage, which this year includes three MLS sides, battling in two-legged home-and-away series.
- Vancouver Whitecaps vs. New York Red Bulls (2/22 & 3/2)
- Arabe Unido vs. FC Dallas (2/23 & 3/1)
- Saprissa vs. Pachuca (2/21 & 2/28)
- Pumas vs. Tigres (2/22 & 3/1)
February 17-March 5: CONCACAF Under-20 Championship, Costa Rica
The Under-20 sides from the US, Canada and 10 other nations from across the region gather, with the top four finishers earning qualification to the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup in South Korea. Matches will take place at Estadio Nacional de Costa Rica and the Estadio Ricardo Saprissa.
March 3-5: MLS Opening Weekend
The league’s 22nd season gets underway with expansion debutants Minnesota United FC visiting the Portland Timbers for a Friday night duel at Providence Park on March 3, followed by seven matches on Saturday, March 4 and three on Sunday, March 5.
March 14: How to Watch Soccer, by Ruud Gullit, is published
The Dutch legend, current TV pundit, and former LA Galaxy head coach's new book "explains how to watch the whole game. . . . This exhaustive guide will change the way even the most die-hard fan watches the beautiful game."
March 14-April 5: Semifinals of 2016/17 CONCACAF Champions League
The CCL resumes with the four survivors of the quarterfinal round meeting in another set of two-legged, home-and-home series; the winners advance to the championship final.
March 24: USMNT vs. Honduras, World Cup qualifier (venue TBD)
Winless after the first two games of the CONCACAF Hexagonal, the Yanks face a must-win moment when the road to Russia resumes with a visit by Los Catrachos.
March 28: USMNT at Panama, World Cup qualifier (venue TBD)
The second of two pivotal Hex clashes in March sees Bruce Arena & Co. make a daunting journey to Central America for a date with Los Canaleros.
Mid-April: NWSL season begins
The women's league, which includes three sibling clubs of MLS sides, kicks off its fifth season of play.
April 21-May 7: CONCACAF Under-17 Championship, Panama
Many of the top young players from the US, Canada, and 10 other nations do battle for one of four spots in the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup in India. Matches will take place at the Estadio Maracana and Estadio Rommel Fernandez.
April 19-26: 2016/17 CONCACAF Champions League Final
CCL concludes with a two-legged final; the winners earn regional bragging rights and the chance to represent CONCACAF at the FIFA Club World Cup in December.
April 27-May 7: FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup, The Bahamas
This event heads to North America for the first time ever. With the host nation automatically qualifying, the US, Canada and 14 other CONCACAF nations will gather at the same site in February to compete in this region's qualifying event, where the top two finishers will earn World Cup berths.
May 20-June 11: FIFA Under-20 World Cup, South Korea
All eyes on the next batch of top young talents will gather for this year's edition of the biennial tournament.
June: Kicking + Screening Soccer Film Festival, New York
The annual celebration of soccer and film returns to the Big Apple with a full slate of flicks -- all of which are guaranteed to be better than Goal! The Movie.
June 8: USMNT vs. Trinidad & Tobago, World Cup qualifier (venue TBA)
The US men gather for another key showdown in the Hexagonal, this time at home against the Soca Warriors and their substantial MLS-based contingent.
June 11: USMNT at Mexico, World Cup qualifier (venue TBA)
Generally the Yanks' toughest match of qualifying, the Hex visit to El Tri will almost certainly unfold at Mexico City's mighty Estadio Azteca, where the hosts are historically dominant.
June 17-July 2: 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup, Russia
This quadrennial event serves as both a competition between the top national teams from each global region and a warm-up for the host nation for the following year's World Cup. Brazil have won the last three editions; this year Mexico will represent CONCACAF for the second straight time.
June/July: 2017 Amway Canadian Championship
Canada’s five pro teams will play for the Voyageurs Cup, national bragging rights and a spot in the 2018-19 CONCACAF Champions League.
July 7-26: 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup
The North American region's top international tournament will unfold at 14 venues in 13 cities across the United States this summer, including three MLS stadiums. As seeded teams, the United States and Mexico already know the sites for their group-stage matches.
Late July: 2017 MLS All-Star Game (venue TBA)
The league’s annual mid-summer showcase.
September 1: USMNT vs Costa Rica, World Cup qualifier (venue TBA)
The Yanks try to exact revenge for Los Ticos' emphatic 4-0 thumping in November, Jurgen Klinsmann's last game in charge of the US.
September 5: USMNT at Honduras, World Cup qualifier (venue TBA)
Another pivotal Hex match in a devilishly difficult setting, with Los Catrachos likely to offer a hostile reception in their traditional stronghold of San Pedro Sula.
September/early October: NWSL playoffs (venues TBA)
The NWSL season concludes with postseason action, capped by the league championship game at a predetermined location.
October 6: USMNT vs. Panama, World Cup qualifier (venue TBA)
The USA's final stages of the road to Russia unfold with their last home game of the Hex.
October 6-28: 2017 FIFA Under-17 World Cup in India
Top teenage talents from across the globe gather in one of the beautiful game's final frontiers.
October 10: USMNT at Trinidad & Tobago, World Cup qualifier (venue TBA)
The Soca Warriors are expected to host the Yanks at Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain for the last round of the Hexagonal.
Late October: 2017 MLS #DecisionDay
The 34-week MLS regular season concludes with synchronized kickoffs across the Eastern and Western Conferences. Positioning for the playoffs, as well as team and individual accolades, will be decided on that final day.
November/December: Audi 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs
12 teams battle to survive and advance in the final chapter of the year-long quest for the Philip F. Anschutz Trophy.
November 6-14: Intercontinental playoffs for World Cup qualifying (venues TBA)
The final spots in Russia 2018 will be determined as four of the top-placed teams to miss out on automatic qualification from their respective confederations meet in two-legged, home-and-home series. CONCACAF's fourth-place finisher in the Hex will meet a team from the Asian Football Confederation, while CONMEBOL meets Oceania in the other playoff.
December 1: World Cup Draw in Moscow
The groups and schedules for Russia 2018 will be determined by FIFA at what is usually a flashy, star-studded occasion.
Early December: 2017 MLS Cup
A new champion will be crowned.
December 6-16: 2017 FIFA Club World Cup in United Arab Emirates
Will we see an MLS team take on the world’s best on the shores of the Persian Gulf? They'll have to win the CONCACAF Champions League in April to earn that chance.
December 9-10: 2017 College Cup, Talen Energy Stadium in Chester, Pennsylvania
The final four survivors of the NCAA Division I men's soccer postseason tournament compete for the national championship at the home of the Philadelphia Union.