Major League Soccer

MLS announces 2022 season start date and schedule format

Lizzy Becherano
MLS announces 2022 season start date to accommodate World Cup
MLS announces 2022 season start date to accommodate World Cup / Justin Casterline/GettyImages

Major League Soccer has announced the 2022 season will kick off on Saturday, February 26. 

That date marks the earliest ever start to an MLS season, designed to align with the 2022 international soccer calendar and the World Cup, beginning on November 21 in Qatar. 

The regular season will run until October 9, where the entire league is set to play on Decision Day. MLS Cup Playoffs will then take place over three consecutive weeks before the final on November 5.

The final is scheduled two weeks prior to the November 14 player release date for athletes called up to represent their countries in the international tournament. 

MLS also communicated their efforts to avoid scheduling matches during the international breaks in March, June and September.

The league is set to reveal the full 2022 regular-season schedule later this year. 

MLS also announced it will be making changes to each conference as newest expansion team Charlotte FC joins the league. 

Nashville SC will now compete in the Western Conference to allow Charlotte FC to join the Eastern Conference. The change ensures each table holds 14 teams each.

2022 MLS season Key Dates:

  • Season start: February 26
  • Decision Day: October 9
  • MLS Cup: November 5

Schedule Format

  • All teams are set to play a 34-game regular season: 17 home games and 17 away games
  • All teams are set to face each of their conference opponents twice and play eight non-conference opponents once
  • The MLS regular season schedule will consist of all weekend matches with the exception of five, or fewer, midweek matches 
  • MLS will seek to avoid scheduling matches during the FIFA international windows in March, June or September