TAMPA, Fla. — The United Soccer League announced Thursday the schedule for the 2021 USL League Two season.

The season’s first match will see Northern Virginia FC host Westchester United SC May 1 in a Mid Atlantic Division clash. Nine of the league’s 12 divisions are set to kick off during the first week of May.

With a record 82 teams participating, the campaign promises to present a top-notch level of competition as the clubs compete to raise the League Two trophy in late July. The 2021 season will challenge the Flint City Bucks, Reading United AC, Tormenta FC 2 and FC Golden State Force to defend their 2019 conference titles against new and familiar rivals.

“The clubs of League Two have continued to put the health and safety of their players and staff above all else,” vice president of USL League Two Joel Nash said in a statement. “We’re delighted to see League Two kickoff in May and for our teams to compete while also making sure we do so in a safe manner. The 2021 League Two season will represent a collective of clubs who are committed to their communities through providing elite platforms for players pursuing professional careers which in turn fosters a community of fan support for the stars of tomorrow.”

League Two has welcomed 15 new clubs to its ranks.

The season also marks the continuation of the partnership between League Two and the live-streaming platform Mycujoo, which will help expand access to games for fans of the league by ensuring all member clubs have the necessary tools to stream and share their games. League Two also has partnered up with Passage and FootballISM for the 2021 season.

The league is working with the Western Conference, which is composed of the Mountain, Northwest and Southwest Divisions, to announce the remainder of the 2021 season schedule. The Western Conference is focused on developing a schedule that aligns with COVID-19 safety protocols in order to ensure all players, staff and coaches have a safe pathway to compete in 2021. The release of the final three division schedules will be announced in the coming months.

Two teams have chosen to rebrand for the 2021 season: Evergreen FC is now Northern Virginia FC, and West Virginia Alliance is now West Virginia United.

View the 2021 USL League Two schedule here. 

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 Guardian.com. Lewis, who has been honored by the Press Club of Long Island and National Soccer Coaches Association of America, is the former editor of BigAppleSoccer.com. 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 Amazon.com.