NEW YORK – New York City FC will play six preseason games and scrimmages prior to the Major League Soccer regular season.

The team will have four preseason matches and two scrimmages.

Head coach Patrick Vieira’s team will return to Jacksonville, Fla. Jan. 22 to kick off the preseason where the team will take on Jacksonville University in a closed-door scrimmage Jan. 31.

On Feb. 9, a match vs. MLS newcomers LA Football Club will be held at UCLA, on the eve of City’s friendly against the LA Galaxy.

After the Club Atlético de San Luis game in Mexico Feb. 13, City will return to Florida for the final leg of preseason, taking on Real Salt Lake and Montreal Impact Feb. 22 and Feb. 24, respectively.

The RSL encounter will take place behind closed doors as a scrimmage, while the ,matcj with Montreal will feature as part of the Suncoast Invitational tournament in St. Petersburg and will be open to fans.

“These games against Real Salt Lake and Montreal will be really important for us as we try to prepare both physically and tactically for the season ahead,” Vieira said. “Hopefully we’ll have no injuries and that will mean we’ll be able to give every player in the squad at least a couple of 90 minute games each.

“Tactically, it will be important for the players to play in these matches in order to get an idea of what it is that we’re looking for in a game situation and to fully understand how we want to play.”

NYCFC kick off its 2018 MLS regular season on the road at Sporting Kansas City Sunday, March 4. The home opener is set against the Galaxy at Yankee Stadium Sunday, March 11.

Preseason schedule

Jan. 31: NYCFC vs. Jacksonville University – at Jacksonville, Fla. (behind closed doors)

Feb. 9: NYCFC vs. LAFC – at UCLA (Los Angeles)

Feb. 10: NYCFC vs. LA Galaxy – at StubHub Center, Calif.

Feb. 13: NYCFC vs. Club Atlético de San Luis – at Estadio Alfonso Lastras, Mex.

Feb. 22: NYCFC vs. Real Salt Lake – at Orlando (behind closed doors)

Feb. 24: NYCFC vs. Montreal Impact – at Al Lang Stadium, St. Petersburg, Fla.

Front Row Soccer editor Michael Lewis has covered 13 World Cups (eight men, five women), seven Olympics and 25 MLS Cups. He has written about New York City FC, New York Cosmos, the New York Red Bulls and both U.S. national teams for Newsday and has penned a soccer history column for the Lewis, who has been honored by the Press Club of Long Island and National Soccer Coaches Association of America, is the former editor of He has written seven books about the beautiful game and has published ALIVE AND KICKING The incredible but true story of the Rochester Lancers. It is available at