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Championship Look Ahead

By Rowdies Communications, 03/05/20, 9:00AM EST

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (March 5, 2020) -- After a long offseason, the USL Championship is finally back as the 2020 season kicks off Friday night. 

The Rowdies will make their debut Saturday afternoon in New Jersey in one of the most anticipated matches of opening weekend. 

Here's a look at some of the best matches taking place around the Eastern Conference.

New York Red Bulls II vs. Tampa Bay Rowdies
Saturday, 3 p.m. | ESPN+

New York is full of mystery with just nine players listed on its website roster with less than 48 hours to kickoff. The Red Bulls finished in sixth last season, just one point below the Rowdies last season.

Tampa Bay heads into the 2020 season with a totally rebuilt backline and plenty of fresh faces. Evan Louro and Jordan Scarlett could make their Rowdies debuts against their former club.

North Carolina FC vs. Louisville City FC
Saturday, 2:30 p.m. | ESPN+

North Carolina surprised Louisville City FC with a 4-1 loss on opening day. NCFC went on to finish in 7th place in the Eastern Conference, but was bounced out in the first round of the playoffs.

Louisville City surged up the table late in the regular season to finish in fourth place before marching through the USL Championship Playoffs to win its fourth-consecutive Eastern Conference crown. 

Saint Louis FC vs. Miami FC
Saturday, 8 p.m. | ESPN+

Saint Louis was the first team left out of the playoff field last season and returns for 2020 with a new head coach in Steve Trittschuh.

Miami FC was a surprise addition to the USL Championship in December and makes its league debut on the road before hosting the Rowdies in week two.