When is Soccer Season (MLS, Youth, and Europe) – Explained by Soccer Coach

Soccer is a sport that fascinates millions of people, from kids kicking a ball in a local park to professionals gracing the world stage. Known as a sport that never truly sleeps. So understanding “when is soccer season” begins is essential for players, coaches, and fans who miss the action during the off-season. Depending on your location—whether it’s the U.S., Europe, or somewhere in between—the soccer season can vary. 

This article will break down everything from Major League Soccer (MLS) to youth leagues and European circuits. From kick-off dates to final whistles, this is your ultimate guide to understanding when soccer seasons begin and end across different leagues and countries.

When is Soccer Season

When is Soccer Season?

Soccer season varies depending on the league and the country. 

Major League Soccer (MLS) 

If you’ve been wondering when is MLS soccer season, here’s your answer: The Major League Soccer (MLS) season in the United States typically begins in late February or early March and lasts through October, with playoffs that may go into November. In Major League Soccer (MLS), each team plays a total of 34 regular-season games. The Eastern Conference teams play 28 games against intra-conference opponents and 6 games against cross-conference opponents. 

Youth Soccer

Youth soccer seasons often align with the school year, starting in the fall and ending in the spring, with some leagues offering summer tournaments. The number of matches in a youth soccer season can vary widely depending on the league, age group, and country. In the United States, youth soccer seasons generally align with the academic year and can range from 15 to 20 games per season, not including any additional tournaments or playoffs.

European Clubs

In Europe, most professional leagues kick off in August and wrap up by May of the following year. 

  • Premier League (England): Teams in the Premier League play 38 matches in a season. Each team faces every other team twice, once at home and once away.
  • La Liga (Spain): Similar to the Premier League, La Liga also consists of 38 matches for each team, with home and away fixtures against all other teams in the league.
  • Serie A (Italy): Serie A teams also play 38 matches in a season, facing each of the other 19 teams twice, both home and away.
  • Bundesliga (Germany): The Bundesliga has a slightly shorter season, with each of the 18 teams playing 34 matches. Each team faces every other team twice, once at home and once away.

It’s essential to note that these timelines can shift due to events like the World Cup or other international tournaments, affecting both players and fans.

When is the Professional Soccer Season?

The professional soccer season varies depending on the league and country. 

Major League Soccer (MLS)

In the United States, the Major League Soccer (MLS) season for 2023 started on February 25 and will run until October 21, with the playoffs extending further. The season is divided into 34 games, and most matches are scheduled for Saturdays and select Wednesdays. Special events like the MLS All-Star Game and Leagues Cup also punctuate the season.

European leagues

In Europe, the timeline is different. Most European leagues, such as the English Premier League, La Liga, and Serie A, start their seasons at the end of August and conclude in May. These leagues run almost parallel but have their unique schedules, making it a year-round feast for soccer fans worldwide.

Understanding the professional soccer season is crucial for fans who don’t want to miss any action, whether it’s the MLS in the U.S. or various leagues in Europe. It’s also vital for aspiring players who dream of going pro, as different leagues offer different opportunities and experiences.

Why the MLS Season Runs Through the Summer?

One of the unique aspects of Major League Soccer (MLS) is that its season runs through the summer, contrasting with most European leagues that take a break during these months. There are several reasons for this scheduling choice.

Avoiding Clash with American Football

Firstly, the summer schedule avoids direct competition with American football, which dominates U.S. sports viewership from September through early February. By running the MLS season from late February to October, the league can capture more attention and television ratings, thereby growing its fan base.

Weather: A Crucial Factor in Scheduling

Secondly, the weather plays a significant role. Soccer is best played in moderate conditions, and the U.S. offers a wide range of climates. Summer provides the most consistent weather across various states, allowing for a more predictable and enjoyable viewing and playing experience.

International Events

Thirdly, the summer schedule aligns well with international soccer events. For instance, the MLS takes a break for the Leagues Cup and pauses during FIFA international windows. This allows MLS teams and players to participate in international competitions without disrupting the regular season.

Lastly, the summer timing offers flexibility for incorporating other events like the MLS All-Star Game, Rivalry Week, and various themed nights, which add extra flavor to the season. These events are strategically placed to keep fans engaged throughout the long season.

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When is Youth Soccer Season?

Youth soccer season is an exciting time for young athletes and their families. Unlike professional leagues, the timing of the youth soccer season can vary significantly depending on the region, school schedules, and local soccer organizations. However, there are some general trends to note.

In the United States, youth soccer commonly aligns with the academic year. The fall season usually kicks off in late August or early September and runs through November. After that, there is a winter break before the spring season, which typically begins in March and ends in May or June, begins. Some leagues also offer summer camps and tournaments for those who want to keep playing year-round.

The schedule often accommodates school holidays and weekends, making it easier for families to plan around games and practices. Additionally, the fall and spring seasons offer different experiences; the fall is often more competitive, while the spring allows for skill development and preparation for higher levels of play.

Another aspect to consider is the weather. Unlike professional soccer, youth games are more susceptible to cancellations due to inclement weather. Therefore, the seasons are planned to take advantage of the more moderate weather conditions in the fall and spring.

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When is Soccer Season in Europe?

Soccer in Europe is not just a sport; it’s a way of life. The season generally starts in late August or early September and runs through May, encompassing a variety of leagues and competitions. The English Premier League, La Liga in Spain, Serie A in Italy, and other top leagues follow this schedule, offering a nearly year-round feast of soccer action for fans.

Games and Competitions

One of the unique aspects of European soccer is the sheer number of games and competitions. In addition to league matches, teams also participate in domestic cup competitions like the FA Cup in England or the Copa del Rey in Spain. Then there are continental championships like the UEFA Champions League and Europa League, which add another layer of excitement and complexity to the season.

Climate Affects

The timing of the European soccer season also aligns with the climate. Most countries experience moderate weather from late summer through spring, making it ideal for outdoor matches. However, some northern countries, like Russia, have to adjust their schedules to cope with harsh winter conditions.

Role of International Breaks

Another factor that influences the European soccer calendar is the international break. FIFA mandates certain windows for international matches, and European leagues pause during these periods. This allows players to represent their national teams in qualifiers and friendly matches without affecting their club commitments.

Moreover, the summer months are not entirely devoid of soccer action in Europe. Early rounds of tournaments like the Europa League and League Cup take place during this time, offering fans a chance to see their teams in action before the league season kicks off.

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How Long is the Soccer Season?

The length of a soccer season can vary significantly depending on the league and the country. However, some general patterns can help us understand the duration of soccer seasons across different levels.

Major League Soccer (MLS)

In Major League Soccer (MLS) in the United States, the season usually spans about eight months. It begins in late February or early March and ends in October, with playoffs that may go into November following. Each MLS team plays a total of 34 regular-season games, divided between home and away matches.

European leagues

European leagues like the English Premier League, La Liga, and Serie A have a slightly longer duration, usually running from late August to May. Teams in the Premier League play 38 matches, while La Liga and Serie A teams play 38 and 34 games, respectively. These leagues also have domestic cup competitions and international tournaments, adding more games to the schedule.

Youth Soccer

Youth soccer seasons in the U.S. generally align with the academic year, starting in late August or early September and ending in May or June. The number of games can vary widely, depending on the league and age group, but it’s usually around 15-20 games per season.

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When is Soccer Season Over?

The end of the soccer season is a time of mixed emotions, filled with the thrill of championships and the disappointment of relegations. But when exactly does the soccer season conclude? The answer varies depending on the league and even the year.

In Major League Soccer (MLS), the regular season usually ends in October. However, the playoffs can extend the season into November, culminating in the MLS Cup. In Europe, most leagues wrap up in May, but domestic cup finals and international competitions can extend the season into June. For instance, the 2022-23 European seasons are finishing later than usual due to the World Cup’s impact, with some leagues concluding in early June.

The Premier League typically ends in May, but the FA Cup final can extend the English soccer calendar into late May or early June. Similarly, La Liga in Spain and Serie A in Italy usually conclude in May, but domestic cup finals and European competitions can extend the season.

Summing Up on When is Soccer Season?

So, there you have it! When is soccer season really depends on where you are and what level you are looking at. In the U.S., the Major League Soccer (MLS) season goes from late February to October, and youth soccer often follows the school year from late August to early May.

In Europe, soccer starts in late August and ends in May. No matter where you are, you can find soccer almost all year round. So, whether you’re a fan, a player, or a coach, you now know when to get ready for some soccer action!

Faqs on When is Soccer Season

Does Soccer Have an Off Season?

Yes, soccer does have an off-season. In North America, the soccer season typically runs from late August to early May, leaving the summer months as the off-season. However, Major League Soccer (MLS) in the U.S. plays through the summer. The off-season varies depending on the league and country.

How Many Months Is 1 Soccer Season?

A soccer season’s length can vary, but it usually lasts around 9 to 10 months. For instance, the Premier League in England runs from August to May, covering about 9 months. The MLS season in the U.S. also lasts approximately the same duration.

Is Soccer an All-Year Sport?

Soccer can be played all year round, but it’s more active during specific seasons depending on the league and country. For example, in North America, the season generally runs from late August to early May, while European leagues might start in mid-May or early June.

How Long is a Premier League Season?

The Premier League season in England typically runs from August to May. Each team plays 38 matches, facing every other team twice, once at home and once away.

Is Soccer a Winter Sport?

Soccer is not strictly a winter sport. It can be played in various seasons, including fall and winter. In North America, the season usually runs from late August to early May, covering both fall and winter. In Europe, it’s more common for the season to run from mid-May or early June through to the following year.

What is the Shortest Soccer Season?

The shortest soccer season is in Greenland. Due to the country’s harsh North Atlantic climate, the Greenlandic Football Championship is compressed into an intense bout of games played over just 6 days. This annual event is the highlight of soccer in Greenland and involves around 15 teams.

About the author


Hi I"m Aryan a pro soccer player, coach, and visionary in the world of soccer. With an impressive journey that began at the tender age of five, I have dedicated my life to the beautiful game.

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