How is Soccer Year-Round? (The Soccer Season)

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Soccer is year-round because the game can be played indoors and outdoors on turf and artificial fields. Some competitions have a winter break, but playing or watching soccer all year is possible.

Some sports are played for a short period of the year, but soccer is played most of the time.

  • The conditions that soccer can be played in a range from the summer heat to winter snow with the right facilities and equipment.

Soccer is the most popular sport in the world and has enormous profits, encouraging the calendar to be filled at any season.

This is why we find soccer matches at almost all times of the year, be it for

  • Official matches in local leagues
  • International club competitions
  • Friendly or preseason matches
  • Matches between national teams

This makes the whole year very complicated and tight for soccer professionals of the highest level.

Qeqertarsuaq Greenland July 6 2018 The soccer field with icebergs in the background. ○ Soccer Blade

What season is soccer played in?

The professional soccer leagues are played in Europe from August to May and in the USA from March to November.

These seasons will vary for each country will slight changes from year to year depending on other competition that impact the start and finish dates.

There are international games, like the World Cup that will delay the start of the European season. The WC will impact the MLS because it’s played in June and July.

The WC will delay the start of the European season and will mean a break for the MLS, extending their season.

Other factors like winter and summer breaks vary from country to country.

Major League Soccer Game - David Beckham Competing For MLS Galaxy
Major League Soccer Game – David Beckham Competing For MLS Galaxy

What do soccer players do in the off-season?

The off-season period in soccer for most European leagues is between May and August and December to April for the MLS.

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The MLS playoffs begin around November, which is the off-season for some teams. This also varies from year to year.

Leaving aside national team tournaments such as the FIFA World Cup, UEFA Euro, or CONMEBOL America Cup.

  • In South America, it’s normal to have two league championships a year, so they’ve two off-season periods that are usually similar to those in Europe and the United State.

One between May and August and the other between November and February.

In the United States, at the High School level, soccer is usually played in the fall season, however, this may vary according to each state since, in California, it’s played in the spring season.

Do soccer players take vacations?

Players have a vacation at the end of a season for 1 to 3 weeks before pre-season. Some countries have 1 to 2 weeks for winter or summer break.

During the vacation, the players will spend some time relaxing and recouperating with their family.

Often the pros will continue to do some light exercise to keep the muscles active, ready for the following season.

Like any other worker and its duration must be affected by their participation in tournaments with their national team.

Tournaments are usually played between the months of June and July and by what their team advances in the tournament.

Clubs allow these players to join the pre-season shortly after it has started.

What is the main purpose of preseason?

The pre-season is a stage where clubs focus on building necessary match fitness for the start of the season. This is done through training programs where the workload is progressively increased.

This is a period where the first weeks are of physical preparation only and then they start a series of friendly matches where they seek to recover the level of soccer.

  • A part of the preparation for the new season and match fitness is pre-season tournaments, which have been created such as the International Champions Cup.

This is played in several countries including the United States, the Audi Cup (preceded by Bayern Munchen), or the Emirates Cup (hosted by Arsenal FC in their stadium).

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The pre-season is also a time for the teams to sign new players and draft them into their team.

In past seasons the transfer window for teams was open throughout the year, which was a distraction to the players and teams.

Now the transfer window is during the off-season. Teams negotiate to buy new players and other business activities.

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - JULY 25, 2019 Team Real Madrid during pre match training session before 2019 International Champions Cup game vs Atletico de Madrid at MetLife stadium
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – JULY 25, 2019 Team Real Madrid during pre match training session before 2019 International Champions Cup game vs Atletico de Madrid at MetLife stadium

European Soccer Season

The soccer seasons in Europe usually begin with a match between the local league champion and the most important cup in that country in a duel called SuperCup (or Community Shield in England)

Although the date of said match has recently been modified so much, the place and format have been the case in Spain or Italy.

Subsequently, they start the league tournaments where each team faces each other, at least twice, and the team that scores the most points is the winner.

  • This format is respected in most European countries, although with exceptions such as Belgium, which uses a kind of post-season, as well as in the United States.

They use the conference format that’s common in American sports.

Finally, most local and international cup finals are left for the last month of the season except in cases such as the Carabao Cup in England.

Messi at FC Barcelona training session
Messi at FC Barcelona During a Training session

Do soccer players play games every day?

So a soccer player requires about 48-72 hours to recover from that physical demand that it has during a soccer game.

That’s why in the calendars of the main soccer leagues in the world, 2 games are played per week in the worst case.

Up to 3 games are played per week although FIFA is reviewing this due to complaints from some managers and clubs as they require many rotations in their starting elevens.

  • There are some breaks in the schedule with national vacations such as Christmas time and Boxing Day, New Year’s Day, and Thanksgiving.

Soccer is a very physically demanding sport, where each player can travel an average of 13 km per game.

This is not including all the demands like jumps, collide, control the ball, shoot and other game actions require.

Who create the soccer calendar each year?

When creating the calendars of soccer leagues around the world, it starts from the calendars supplied by FIFA where the dates of their tournaments and the famous FIFA dates are specified.

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Then the continental confederations such as UEFA, CONMEBOL, or CONCACAF create their calendars for their own tournaments based on the one already established by FIFA.

The national federations establish the calendars of the local leagues and cups adjusting to those of the continental confederations.

All this with the consideration that the players need 72 hours of rest between each game and respecting the off-season periods that were indicated a few paragraphs back.

So soccer is year-round with only a few weeks off before the pre-season when the friendlies take place.

When the MLS has ended its season, there’s always the EPL and La Liga to enjoy. As long as it’s safe, soccer can be played at any time of the year.

Soccer Analyst and Publisher at Soccer Blade | Soccer Blade | + posts

Joel is a seasoned soccer journalist and analyst with many years of experience in the field. Joel specializes in game analysis, player profiles, transfer news, and has a keen eye for the tactical nuances of the game. He played at various levels in the game and coached teams - he is happy to share his insight with you.

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