How Long is a Soccer League Season?

Soccer leagues are the heart of the game. They are one of the major entertainment sources for all soccer fans all around the world, but how much does this entertainment source last every year? In other words, how long is a soccer season?

There are many factors that play a role in how long a soccer season is. Some of these factors are how many teams are there, how many international breaks will there be, and how much time each team will have in between 2 consecutive soccer league matches.

With that said, the duration of soccer leagues varies in different countries and different leagues. However, here’s the usual duration of the top soccer leagues around the world.

The top soccer leagues around the world are usually around 9 months long. These 9 months start at the beginning of the fall season and they keep going till the end of the spring season. During the 9 months, the soccer season gets a few breaks to leave a room for international soccer matches.

Before we proceed, if you’d like to learn more about what soccer leagues are and who can compete in them, then check this article out. Also, if you’re here just for the MLS, then skip to the last section of this article. Without further ado, let’s get started.

Why are the top soccer leagues 9 months long?

Top soccer leagues like the Premier League, La Liga and others include 20 clubs that are supposed to compete for the title.

Each of these clubs will have to compete against every other club in the league 2 times. Thus, each club will have to play 38 soccer matches during the whole league.

Usually, soccer league matches take place on the weekends. Thus, each team will have to play a game every weekend during the active weeks of the soccer league.

With that said, it’ll take a total of 38 weeks to finish the soccer league if each team plays 1 game per week without any breaks. 38 weeks are close to 8 and a half months.

However, the top soccer leagues around the world are forced to include international breaks during the soccer league (more about international breaks down below). 

In order to compensate for these breaks and in order to not make the soccer leagues longer than 9 months, the soccer clubs will have to play 2 games instead of one during some of the league weeks.

Keeping the major soccer leagues around 9 months long makes sure that the players will get a chance to take a break during summer and it also gives a chance for the international soccer competitions to take place during summer. More about this in this article.

Most of the top soccer leagues also include Christmas breaks during the soccer season. These breaks usually last somewhere between 10 to 25 days and they give the soccer players a chance to reunite with their families and enjoy the holidays with them.

All these factors contribute to making the major soccer leagues around 9 months long.

What exactly are the international breaks in soccer?

I am sure you know what Christmas breaks are, but if you are new to soccer, then you might not have heard about international breaks before. So what are they?

Soccer isn’t just played by soccer clubs, It is also played by countries. Most of the countries around the world have their own soccer team and these soccer teams compete in international competitions in order to represent their countries.

Since the top soccer leagues contain players that are also picked by their countries’ team, these soccer leagues will have to give their players a chance to play with their country teams.

For that reason, the major soccer leagues include a few international breaks. During these breaks, the soccer players will go visit their country to join their country’s team in their matches and then go back to their team once the matches are done.

Each international break usually lasts somewhere between 1 to 2 weeks, and once these breaks end, the team players who joined their country teams will have to immediately go back to their club in order to resume their regular league matches.

How long is Major League Soccer (MLS)?

If you’re from the United States, and you only care about the soccer leagues inside the US, then this last section is for you.

The MLS league competitions are usually around 8 months long. They start in March and they end in October.

Even though there are 26 teams in the MLS during the time of this writing, they still manage to finish the season within 8 months. They do that by making sure that not every soccer club will have to compete twice against every other soccer club in the competition.

The League is divided into 2 conferences. The clubs that are from the same conference will have to compete twice against every other club in their conference, and they have to only compete once against clubs from the other Conference.

This way, the number of matches that each team will have to play is reduced, which allows the league to end in around 8 months.

However, the league competitions do not end there. There’s a post-league competition called the MLS Cup in which the top clubs from each conference compete against each other in a knock-out competition in order to win the title.

This post-league competition is known as the playoffs. It usually takes less than a month to complete.

With that said, the total duration of the MLS including the MLS cup is from March till November which is almost 9 months.

That’s it for this article. Here’s a summary of what you have just read.

There are a lot of factors when it comes to deciding how long a soccer league is. Most of the top soccer leagues around the world take around 9 months to complete including the international breaks and the holidays.