By Southwester Staff 

Spring football will return to Audi Field this year, and not the futból practiced by the DC United and their upcoming visit from soccer legend Lionel Messi. 

American football, as played by the DC Defenders, will take to the gridiron on April 7. 

Last season, Defenders were a franchise of the XFL, but the league announced a merger with the USFL to create the new United Football League. 

The Defenders’ home opener against the Houston Roughnecks is a rematch of the 2023 XFL championship game. Although the Defenders fell short in the title game, their run to the XFL North Division championship was marked by strong fan interest and a culture of celebration at Audi Field. 

Other Defenders home games are scheduled at Audi Field in May and July. 

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