The soccer calendar in the United States, especially in recent times, is a big topic of discussion. Much of the world’s soccer operates on a fall-spring schedule, including all of the major European leagues and tournaments. This is why the big international events such as the World Cup, Euros, Copa América, and so on are in the summer. So as not to interfere with the club season.

But not everywhere plays on the same schedule. Some far northern European countries play from (our) spring to fall. In South America, many leagues such as the Argentine Primera and Brasileirão also run over our summer (their winter).

In America, our soccer leagues have almost always run on the spring-to-fall calendar. There are only two notable exceptions. One was the short-lived American League of Professional Football, created by baseball owners in 1894 to fill stadiums during the winter baseball offseason. The other is the upcoming USL Super League, a new women’s division-one league that plans to kick off in August and play from fall to the following spring.

No matter which schedule format is used, it’s not ideal for everyone in the USA. With such a large geographic area and diverse weather conditions, it’s impossible for a good one-size-fits-all approach.

I know how I’d tackle this issue if it were up to me. But what do you think? Which calendar is the best for US Soccer?

Winter or summer calendar for US Soccer? Some Pros and Cons

First off, one of the major talking points in this discussion is how soccer overlaps and thus has to compete with other major American sports for fan (and media) interest and dollars. It is important to remember that the existing professional soccer season already overlaps with every major American professional and college sport. Shifting the calendar would only change which parts of which seasons would overlap, as outlined below.

First, the standard American summer, or spring-to-fall calendar:

  • Avoids unplayable frigid cold and snow conditions for northern teams
  • Avoids conflicting with American football (pro and college) playoffs, bowl games, and Super Bowl
  • The only major domestic pro sports competition from July-August is MLB/MiLB baseball
  • Does not overlap with the middle of the NBA and NHL seasons
  • Teams have to play and train in the oppressive summer heat
  • Rain, thunderstorms, tropical storms, and sometimes hurricanes can delay or postpone matches, and hurt attendance
  • Conflicts with major international tournaments like World Cup, Gold Cup, Euros, Copa América, etc.
  • MLB/MiLB played every day during most of the season, with many soccer markets also having pro baseball
  • End-of-season soccer title races, playoffs, and cup finals compete with NFL and college football, plus start of NBA and NHL in the Fall

And now, the opposite, fall-to-spring or “European” calendar:

  • Avoids brutal and potentially dangerous heat and rainy weather, especially in southern areas
  • Avoids conflicting with big international soccer tournaments and summer events
  • Misses bulk of pro baseball season
  • Aligns better with international transfer windows
  • Title races and other important end-of-season moments not in competition with American football
  • Would likely require an extended winter break to accommodate northern teams
  • Cold weather could, even with a break, affect attendance and cause game cancellations
  • Overlaps with entire pro/college football, basketball, and hockey seasons
  • Title races, playoffs, and cup finals would coincide with early NBA and NHL playoffs, as well as the NCAA basketball tournament
  • Entirely overlaps with other major soccer leagues such as the Premier League, La Liga, Serie A, Champions League, etc. (though most games would not directly overlap due to time difference)

So which one do YOU think is a better fit for American soccer?

SURVEY Which calendar is best for American soccer?

Which calendar is best for American soccer?


It’s not an easy decision to make, as both options have their benefits and drawbacks. And as noted above, with a massive geography to cover, making everyone happy is pretty much impossible.

But let us know in the poll above and the comments below which way you’d schedule the American soccer season.