With the high number of games and training sessions, players really appreciate their breaks when soccer season ends.
Supporters, on the other hand, can’t wait for another season to start with renewed expectations about the outcome of their favorite team.
But when do soccer seasons start and end in the US, Europe, and for youth soccer? I’ve done my research and am here to tell you about it.
The regular MLS season starts at the end of February or the start of March and goes until October. European soccer seasons begin in late August or early September and end in May/June. Youth soccer has a Fall season (September – November) and a Spring season (February – May) every school year.
Let’s look at how each country runs its soccer season and what works best for fans of the sport around the world.
When Is Soccer Season in the US/MLS (Major League Soccer)?
Soccer season in the US starts at the beginning of spring, with the exact date sometimes depending on international tournaments.
The MLS is always underway by the middle of March, never earlier than February, and runs for between 7-8 months until October.
After that are the playoffs which begin in October, shortly after the regular season of the league ends, and last around a month.
US/MLS Soccer Season Keypoints
When Does the US Soccer Start?
The soccer season in the US/Major League Soccer starts in late February.
When Is the US Soccer Season Over?
The regular US/Major League Soccer soccer season ends starts in October/November.
How Long Is the US Soccer Season?
The US/MLS regular soccer season lasts around 7 to 8 months. The playoffs stage of the MLS which come after the regular season is over last around 1 month.
When Is Soccer Season in Europe?
Soccer season in Europe kicks off at the end of August or the beginning of September in most European association football leagues.
This can be pushed back or forward depending on various factors, such as the FIFA World Cup or the UEFA European Championships being held close to the end or beginning of the soccer season.
For example, the Premier League 2022/23 season started earlier than usual to make room for the first winter World Cup, which was moved from summer to accommodate the heat of hosts Qatar.
The FIFA World Cup and UEFA European Championships (also known as the Euro) are held every 4 years in even-numbered years between themselves. This has been typical for a long time.
However, FIFA and UEFA may change the time of the year and how often these tournaments occur or even create new ones in the future.
Which would make adjustments to the start and end of European soccer seasons more common.
Nevertheless, the general format for European football is to start the season at the end of summer and wrap it up the following year at the beginning of summer.
Europen Soccer Season Winter Break
Many countries take a Christmas or winter break.
Its length varies from season to season and league to league, but it is usually like this:
- Spain (La Liga) and Italy (Serie A): around two weeks.
- Germany (Bundesliga), France (Ligue 1), and the Netherlands (Eredivise): three to four weeks.
The soccer season for these countries gets back underway in January.
The main goal of having a winter break is to offer players some time to rest so they can be at their best for the second half of the season.
Another goal is to allow them to travel home and spend Christmas with their loved ones, especially those playing abroad.
But also because winter in some parts of Europe gets really cold and snowy, making it difficult for soccer matches to be played and attended live at the stadium.
How Long is the European Soccer Season?
The European soccer season takes around 8 months to complete, as association football club teams in Europe start playing official matches in August/September and end the following year during Spring.
This 8-month time span relates to domestic football in Europe only.
However, if you add international soccer to the mix, seasons will take even longer to finish.
How long is Soccer Season in Europe with International Tournaments Included?
The European soccer season is around 11 months long when combining domestic competitions and international tournaments such as the World Cup and European Championship.
Some people count international tournaments as part of the soccer season.
European fans pay close attention to World Cups and European Championships, traditionally played midway through the summer.
If you’re to count these tournaments as part of the soccer season, that would mean European soccer seasons last around 11 months.
With players only getting a month off and schedules growing evermore packed, there are increasing calls to give players extra rest time so they can maintain the high standards that keep fans happy.
If international rounds of games are introduced, which has been in discussion in the English Premier League for a while, then we could see even further fixtures added to the roster. Who knows how much can be crammed into one year?
When is Youth Soccer Season?
Youth soccer season in the United States usually happens in the Spring (from February through May) or Fall (from September through November) and lasts three months.
Over 3,000 million youth soccer players and 10,000 clubs and leagues are registered in US Youth Soccer.
This non-profit organization helps them reach their goals in the beautiful game. But it also gives the freedom to choose their youth soccer season schedule.
This has two meanings.
1. Youth soccer does not have a pre-determined timeline for its season.
2. Youth soccer seasons may vary depending on individual tournament/league organization, location, and age group.
Nevertheless, most US youth soccer seasons occur in the Spring or Fall of every year, and they take three months to complete.
- Spring youth soccer seasons begin in February and end in May.
- Fall youth soccer seasons start in September and finish in November.
More competitive tournaments, however, may have different formats for their seasons, with only short breaks in the winter and summer.
When Does High School Soccer Season Start and Finish?
High school soccer season starts in late September, runs through the fall, and ends in November for most of the United States. In other states, seasons begin in August and end in October, while a few states schedule their soccer season for the winter or spring every year.
High school soccer is typically a fall or autumn sport in the USA.
In most states, high school soccer seasons usually begin in late September and end in November before winter and its colder weather come.
In other states, high school soccer starts at the beginning of the school year in late August and ends in October.
As there are 50 states in the United States, things can vary when scheduling the different sporting activities.
As such, there is an exception to this more common practice of having high school soccer season run through the fall.
A few states in the south of the US, benefiting from their warmer weather, prefer putting soccer on the winter or spring season schedule.
How Long Is High Soccer Season?
Generally, most high school teams will play 10 to 15 games throughout the season.
Playoffs can extend into December if the team is successful enough to make it that far. Practices for the upcoming season tend to start in June or July before games begin.
This gives coaches time to review last year’s performance, make any necessary adjustments, and scout out any new talent that can help strengthen their team for the upcoming season.
What Months Are Soccer Season?
Soccer season months can be confusing, depending on several factors and schedules varying from country to country.
Regardless, soccer remains the most popular sport as it can be played in many different conditions and all year round.
Soccer Season Months in the US
In the US, association football is played competitively in either February or March. It then continues through every month up until November.
This includes a change of formats in October when the league finishes and the highest-placing teams proceed into a knockout competition where sides compete for the MLS Cup.
Soccer Season Months in Europe
The professional soccer season months are very different in Europe.
The highest level of soccer in the Old Continent kicks off in either August or September and is played until late May or early June.
In many European countries, however, there isn’t much football played in January.
Leagues take the opportunity provided by the cold winter months to give players a break and wait until conditions are more playable. Few countries give their sides all of January off.
Soccer Season Months in the Middle East
In the Middle East, the soccer season follows a similar pattern to the European leagues, although there’s no need to take a break in the winter due to cold weather.
In fact, they appreciate taking the summer off because of the searing heat in the region.
Leagues begin in late August/early September and finish around May.
These worries about the high temperatures explain why World Cup 2022 was played in the winter for the first time rather than the usual summertime format.
Soccer Season Months in Asia
The Chinese Super League begins in February or March and ends in November or December.
The Indian Super League, on the other hand, runs from October to March.
Is Soccer a Fall or Spring Sport?
In the US, soccer is played as spring starts and finishes up as fall rolls in. However, outside the top-level MLS, Americans enjoy playing the sport all year round.
Most states play high school soccer in the fall, for example. It begins at the same time as the school year, typically in August or September.
However, it’s common for schools to play two seasons in an academic year, with the second being played in February and May.
As a sport that is still newly popular in relative terms, there isn’t such a strong tradition of when youth soccer is played.
Most states have the weather to make things work year-round, but fall seasons are slightly more common at the youth level.
Soccer Time in Europe
In Europe, professional soccer games are coming thick and fast in the fall, and the competitions start to wrap up in the spring.
Schools are more likely to play in spring than fall, but the sport is so popular that people play it year-round at the youth level in most cases.
How Long Is the Soccer Off-season?
The soccer off-season is 8 to 10 weeks long. This holds true in the US and most other countries.
Some countries – particularly those with packed schedules where many competitions are played at once – also have a 2-to-4-week long mid-season break.
This is especially common in Europe, where teams make the most of the opportunity to get some rest while the cold weather makes football matches more challenging.
The off-season is often cut short by international tournaments, however. These are played at different times of the year.
Even the World Cup is no longer tied down at one time of year.
The World Cup in Qatar was held from November to December of 2022 for weather reasons, after a long summer tradition (coinciding with the off-season in Europe).
This means European clubs are had a World Cup year with several uninterrupted weeks off for the first time ever!
At the youth level, some American schools only play in the fall and have 8 to 9 months off.
However, other schools with more of a soccer culture often have two seasons during the academic year, and their off-seasons last around 3 months.
Is Soccer Played Year-Round?
Professional football in the US is played from the end of February/beginning of May until November each year.
At the youth level in the US, it is often played the whole year, but for those who focus on one shorter season, it is played in the fall by default.
Even MLS players from continents like South America or Africa will play during those few months off around winter in some years when international tournaments such as the African Cup of Nations and the Copa America take place.
The opposite is true in Europe, where summer is the time for domestic football to have a breather. Although players are sometimes called up to compete internationally during this period.
Germany and Netherlands have extended winter breaks lasting 3 to 4 weeks. So even in World Cup or European Championship years, there is still a break midway through the domestic season.
Players in the English Premier League arguably have the most demanding seasons, with many having international responsibilities and a culture of intense fixtures over Christmas rather than an extended break.
What Months Are MLS Soccer Season?
The regular MLS Season typically runs from February to October.
When Is the European Soccer Season?
The European soccer leagues usually run their soccer season from August to May.
When Is Youth Soccer Season?
Youth soccer seasons vary depending on the school or club, but they are generally played in the fall or spring.
How Can I Watch MLS Season?
You can watch the entire MLS season games by getting an MLS Season Pass on Apple TV+.
When Does Soccer Season Start in Middle School?
Middle school soccer season for boys starts in the fall, while soccer season for middle school girls begins in the spring.
What Is Youth Soccer?
Youth soccer is a set of different age groups of educational soccer for kids between 6 and 19 years old.
The focus of youth soccer academies is education and formation so that children become better soccer players, but also better human beings.
The goal is to breed and prepare talent to be picked for the professional team or generate revenue from selling players to other clubs.
Soccer season is always going on in one form or another!
Even in domestic leagues, the off-season is often broken up by international tournaments.
Although some states still focus on the sport during the fall, more and more US schools are opting to play association football all year round.
The American approach of splitting their season into two parts is unique, with most other countries not having a playoff format that takes up the last month of their season.
A popular style in the US that we also see in American sports like Basketball and American Football, and probably here to stay but unlikely to catch on overseas any time soon.
Soccer seasons have remained pretty similar across the world.
Regardless, due to its increasing popularity, adjustments will probably be made, such as with the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Its globalization may usher in a move to synchronize seasons better between countries.
Clubs are often frustrated when their players are called up for international duty in the middle of a hectic calendar. On the other hand, that is why teams have squads!
We may have uncoordinated fixture schedules to deal with forever, as each country has to suit the season to its culture and weather.
If you love football as I do, then any time of year is perfect for a kickaround.
As long as the pitch is usable, a game of soccer with mates can be a great way to catch a tan and stay warm.
Soccer is the most popular sport because so many of us can play it in many different conditions. Whatever the time of year, you can have a great time watching or playing.