FC Tampa Bay released its North American Soccer League schedule Tuesday, a slate of 28 games between April 9 and Sept. 24.
The team plays 14 games at its new home, Al Lang Field in St. Petersburg, highlighted by the season opener April 9 against Montreal and a July 4 game against Miami.
Because FC Tampa Bay is the primary tenant of Al Lang Field, it had more flexibility with its schedule, which wasn't the case in its inaugural season last year at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa. Twelve home games are on weekends or holidays; in addition to the July 4 game, nine are on Saturday and two on Sunday. Team officials hope attendance will increase with more weekend dates.
Eight of the first 12 games are at home. Only four home games are in July and August, typically the hottest months in the bay area. Last season eight of 15 home games were in those months.
The regular season ends with home games against Minnesota and Miami.
FC Tampa Bay starts its preseason training camp March 1. It will announce its preseason schedule later.
The top six teams in the eight-team NASL at the end of the regular season advance to the playoffs. The first- and second-seeded teams earn byes into the semifinals. The other four teams play a single-game playoff to advance.
The semifinal and final rounds follow a traditional home-and-home format using aggregate goals to determine the winner. The championship series is on the weekends of Oct. 22 and 29.