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Key dates on ATL UTD 2’s schedule for its inaugural season

We now know the team’s full slate of games in 2018.

Aside from the MLS SuperDraft in Philadelphia and the official announcement of Ezequiel Barco’s acquisition from Independiente, absolutely nothing of importance to Atlanta United fans happened on Friday.

So let’s turn the page and talk about the second team. The USL announced its 2018 schedule on Friday afternoon, and one key change from last year is the earlier start date. While the 2017 season opened on March 25, the 2018 season will open on March 15.

However, Atlanta United 2 will need to wait until March 24 for its inaugural match. As previously released by the club, it will open that day against Eastern Conference runner-up New York Red Bulls II.

Here’s the entire slate:

3/24 vs. New York Red Bulls II

3/31 @ Charlotte Independence

4/8 vs. Penn FC

4/21 vs. Louisville City FC

4/24 vs. Charleston Battery

4/28 @ Pittsburgh Riverhounds

5/5 @ FC Cincinnati

5/12 @ Ottawa Fury FC

5/16 vs. Toronto FC II

5/19 @ Louisville City FC

5/26 @ North Carolina FC

6/2 @ Tampa Bay Rowdies

6/13 vs. Charlotte Independence

6/16 vs. Ottawa Fury FC

6/23 @ Indy Eleven

6/30 @ Nashville SC

7/6 @ New York Red Bulls II

7/11 vs. Bethlehem Steel

7/21 @ Richmond Kickers

7/25 @ Nashville SC

7/29 @ Bethlehem Steel

8/11 @ Charleston Battery

8/22 vs. FC Cincinnati

8/25 vs. Indy Eleven

8/31 @ Toronto FC II

9/8 @ Penn FC

9/15 @ Tampa Bay Rowdies

9/21 vs. North Carolina FC

9/26 vs. Nashville SC

9/29 vs. Louisville City FC

10/3 vs. Tampa Bay Rowdies

10/7 vs. Charleston Battery

10/10 vs. Pittsburgh Riverhounds

10/13 vs. Richmond Kickers

A few observations:

—ATL UTD 2 end the season with seven straight home matches. That makes sense because the Triple-A baseball season will be over then, opening the door for the club to backload its schedule with home matches.

—ATL UTD 2’s away to Nashville SC June 30 and July 25, with Atlanta hosting their fellow expansion side on September 26 during that long home stretch. Of course, it won’t be a rivalry for long because Nashville is bound for MLS anyway in a few years.

—Atlanta won’t play expansion sides Las Vegas Lights FC and Fresno FC since they’re out in the West, but get NASL defectors Indy Eleven (away June 23; home August 25) and North Carolina FC (away May 26; home September 21) twice.

—Defending USL champ Louisville City FC come to town twice - April 21 and September 19 - with ATL UTD 2 headed up to Slugger Park on May 19. April 21 will see the first team out west taking on LA Galaxy, by the way.

—The Charleston Battery (remember them?) show up three times as well: home matches on April 24 and October 7, with an away match slated for August 11.

—Keep an eye on May 5 and August 22’s matches against FC Cincinnati, a pair of games that may or may not include Mitch Hildebrandt in goal for ATL UTD 2.