Soccer fans are “insanely” passionate.
The soccer season keeps them occupied for the majority of the year.
Unless there is an international tournament lined up during the off season, supporters across the globe anxiously wait for their respective leagues to start.
For them, it is the most exciting time of the year where they get to watch and follow their favorite teams and competitions week in and out.
Almost all soccer seasons (major leagues across the world) are scheduled between Fall and Spring every year.
However, Major League Soccer (MLS) is different from the conventional scheduling calendar as it begins in Spring and ends in Fall of that particular year. Similarly, Youth Soccer matches are scheduled for the Spring and Fall season every year as well.
No matter if you have been watching soccer for a long time or just planning to get into the sport – let us help you be prepared for the upcoming seasons.
This article will focus on when seasons of the major soccer league start and end. We are going to be discussing the following leagues:
- Soccer Season in England
- Soccer Season in US
- Soccer Season in Spain
- Soccer Season in Italy
- Soccer Season in Germany
- Soccer Season in France
- When does soccer season start and end?
- When does high school soccer season start and end?
- Other question
When does soccer season start and end?
1. Soccer Season in England
The British soccer system is divided into two leagues: The Premier League (PL) and English Football League (EFL)
The Premier League
England’s top tier soccer league, the English Premier League (EPL) is undoubtedly the most watched and known league in the world.
It is one of the most competitive and exciting leagues even from a neutral perspective. The league was watched by over 414,000 viewers (on average) during the 2020/2021 season.
Now, when does the Premier League begin?
Normally, a Premier League season lasts for 10 months. The season begins in mid-August (normally after the second week of August) and ends in May.
20 teams from different parts of England feature in the tournament. Of these, three teams are newly promoted from the Football League Championship.
Each team has to play 38 fixtures in a season. Two matches against each team in Home and Away conditions.
The English Football League
The EFL is further divided into three divisions or leagues:
- EFL Championship
- EFL League One
- EFL League Two
Each division has 24 clubs playing 46 games each in a season (two games against one club home and away).
Similar to the Premier League promotion and relegation system, the top three and bottom three clubs at the end of the season in Championship, League One, and League Two are either promoted or relegated.
Premier League and English Football League teams also feature in two different domestic cups, the prestigious FA Cup and Carabao Cup.
Both tournaments start in August, but the FA Cup final is played in May while the Carabao Cup final is played in February.
The English clubs also take part in the FA Community Shield. This is a one-off game for a trophy before the season begins and is played between the Premier League title and FA Cup winners.
This game happens before the English soccer season begins.
Nobody loves an international break unless it is meaningful. And, watching international teams playing friendlies is something soccer fans do not like.
There are four international breaks in a season where players are called for international duty to play friendlies and/or international tournament qualifiers. These happen in September, October, November, and March.
Unlike other leagues, the British soccer system stops for no one. We have seen foreign managers getting furious for their players not getting any break in English football.
Where other leagues take a break for a week or two, England’s soccer system boasts of playing fixtures throughout Christmas (including Boxing Day).
So, if you support one of the English soccer clubs – you are in for a treat!
Read more: How Many Soccer Teams in London?
2. Soccer season in US
Despite being a popular sport choice where it’s played and watched consistently across the globe, soccer is not (or we can say WAS NOT) as popular as other sports in the country.
The Major League Soccer (MLS) was formed in 1993. However, the soccer league failed to attract the audience in comparison to American football, baseball, and basketball.
This all changed from 2012. Since then, the country’s top tier soccer league ‘has experienced a 27% rise’ in viewership.
Unlike other soccer leagues, not only is the schedule different for the Major Soccer League, but the format also varies.
An MLS season normally starts at the end of February and ends in December of the same year. A total of 27 teams participate in the league of which 24 teams are from the United States while three are from Canada.
The 27 teams are geographically divided into two groups: Eastern and Western Conferences respectively.
Each team plays 34 games in a season; however, the schedule or format of the league is unbalanced.
The season is played in two different stages: (1) The league stage, and (2) The playoffs stage.
The League Stage: Every team in both conferences plays each other in a league format and the best seven teams from each conference progress to the Playoffs stage.
The Playoffs Stage: The Playoffs begin from mid-October where 14 teams face off each other in an elimination tournament format. The winner of MLS is decided in the final which usually takes place in December.
3. Soccer season in Spain
The soccer season in Spain is indeed incredible!
The two leagues are: La Liga Santander and LaLiga SmartBank.
La Liga is Spain’s top tier soccer league where Barcelona and Real Madrid reign supreme over the other 18 teams.
For a long while, La Liga became monotonous as every single season it was a two-horse race between two Spanish soccer giants.
However, this changed when Diego Simeone joined Atletico Madrid in 2011. Since then, it has become three-way between two Madrid soccer clubs and one Catalonia club Barcelona.
The league is now EXCITING. It normally begins in late August and ends in May. The format of the league is similar to the Premier League.
Twenty teams participate with the aim of winning the La Liga title when the league comes to an end in May. Each team is required to play 38 games in home and away conditions to end the league with a better overall record.
With two divisions in the Spanish soccer system, the bottom three teams on the table are relegated and replaced by three soccer clubs from Segunda División.
22 teams participate in the second division of Spain’s professional league.
The LaLiga SmartBank is a 42 match season for each team where the top two teams on the table earn automatic promotions to Spain’s top tier football league. The teams ranked between 3rd and 6th compete each other in playoffs to decide their fate.
The bottom four teams are relegated to the lower division.
The Spanish soccer system has two domestic competitions: Supercopa de España and Copa del Rey.
The Supercopa de España (founded in 1982) is also called The Spanish Super Cup which was a two team competition until the 2018-2019 season. The new format saw the competition featuring four teams including the winners and runners up of La Liga and Copa del Rey. The competition takes place in January.
Copa del Rey is a knock out based soccer competition where over 100 Spanish clubs participate with the aim to be crowned the winners. The competition starts in October and ends in April or May.
Similar to the international break in England, players of Spanish soccer clubs also have to report for national duties. The league is paused in September, October, November, and March for international friendlies and qualifiers.
Athletes playing in Spanish leagues can consider themselves lucky (unlike English leagues) as they get to enjoy a two week winter break in December and January to replenish themselves.
4. Soccer season in Italia
Run by the Lega Italiana Calcio Professionistico, Italy’s soccer system thrives on three divisions. Each division has 20 teams each battling for titles and promotions.
The Italian Serie A starts in late August or early September and ends in May. Juventus FC has the most Serie A titles to its name with a tally of 36 title wins since the inception of this league.
It is a competitive league with incredible players and managers who have a very distinctive playing style than other leagues.
Serie A features 20 teams who play 38 games each in a season. It is one of the most followed domestic leagues due to the quality of games and rivalries.
The second-tier soccer league in Italy is Serie B. The lower division league also has 20 clubs fighting to win the title and promotion to play in Italy’s top flight soccer league.
Italy has two domestic competitions apart from the league soccer. These are Supercoppa Italiana and Coppa Italia.
The Coppa Italia was founded in 1922 and has been Italy’s only annual cup competition since then. 44 teams take part in this annual competition. The tournament begins in August and ends in May.
The winner of Coppa Italia earns automatic qualification for UEFA Europa League stage no matter their league position. The team also qualifies for the Supercoppa Italiana for the following year.
Supercoppa Italiana is Italy’s Super Cup game contested annually between the Serie A and Coppa Italia winners. The one-off game happens in January.
The Italian leagues and domestic cups also come to a halt for the international break. The players have to report for national duties in September, October, November, and March.
The winter break in Italy is similar to Spanish winter break for the soccer season. The players, managers, and staff get to enjoy the break which runs for two weeks during Christmas and New Year.
5. Soccer season in Germany
Germany’s soccer system has three divisions. The bottom two teams in Bundesliga are relegated to the lower division and replaced by the top two teams from 2.Bundesliga.
Let’s be honest, even though it is one of the top leagues in the world – Bundesliga is slightly boring when compared to other leagues mentioned.
Very rarely have we seen a different winner than Bayern Munich in a LONG time, though the league (and some games) does get exciting for some weeks. Eventually, the Munich giants come on top at the end of the season.
Since 2013, Bayern Munich has consecutively won the title with no real challenge whatsoever. The last different winner in the Bundesliga was Borussia Dortmund in 2012.
The league is typically scheduled to play between September and May. A total of 18 teams feature in the league who play 34 games each (home and away).
The second highest division in Germany’s soccer system also features 18 teams and is played annually. The league has its highs and lows, but it’s fair to say it’s not a fan-favorite league to watch.
The German soccer system boasts two domestic competitions during the soccer season. There’s a DFB Pokal which is played annually between 64 teams in a knock-out based tournament.
DFB Pokal is scheduled to start in August and the final is played in May.
The winner of DFB Pokal and Bundesliga face off in a one-off game for the DFL Supercup. The match normally takes place in August before the new season begins.
The German leagues and cup competitions come to a pause during the international break in September, October, November, and March.
The German leagues always enjoy a lengthy winter break due to fewer matches to be played during the season. The teams get nearly 2-3 weeks off before the domestic season and cup tournaments begin again in the first week of January.
6. Soccer season in France
The French soccer system has two professional leagues: Ligue 1 and Ligue 2. Both leagues see 20 teams each participating to win the title.
France’s top-flight soccer league is the least popular league among all leagues we have discussed so far. This is mainly due to the quality and standard of soccer being played on a regular basis.
The French soccer system has two divisions: Ligue 1 and Ligue 2. They normally begin in late August and end in May.
Both divisions feature 20 teams where each team plays 38 games in a season. However, the relegation battle is a bit different in the soccer league.
The bottom two from Ligue 1 are replaced by the newly promoted top two sides of Ligue 2. The team that finishes 18th in Ligue 1 has to compete with the team that finished 3rd in Ligue 2 in a two-legged tie.
This particular play-off match decides the fate of these two teams.
The Ligue 2 is now called Ligue 2 BKT due to sponsorship compliances. It is the second highest division in the French soccer system.
Similar to the majority of European leagues, France also has a domestic cup tournament called Coupe de France and a Super Cup called Trophée des Champions.
The Coupe de France is a knockout cup competition where thousands of soccer clubs from France and overseas departments play for the trophy. The 2020-2021 season featured nearly 7,378 teams. The tournament runs from September through May.
The winner of Ligue 1 and Coupe de France play a match for the Trophée des Champions. The one-off Super Cup game takes place in August.
No matter what league it is, soccer fans will always prioritize league games over unwanted friendlies. The French soccer leagues stop for international breaks in the months of September, October, November, and March.
The French soccer system cherishes a two and a half week winter break in December and January.
When does high school soccer season start and end?
The United States is one of those countries that are very particular when it comes to planning and organizing sporting competitions for high schoolers.
The high school soccer season in the country is divided into three different periods:
Autumn Soccer Season: Late August or Early September (Start) // November (End)
Winter Soccer Season: November (Start) // February (End)
Spring Soccer Season: Early March (Start) // Late May or Early June (End)
How long does a soccer season last?
If you love watching soccer no matter what league you follow, you can keep yourself occupied for a long time. The top five major European leagues last for 10 months running from August through May.
Let us show you the duration of the soccer season of the leagues mentioned above:
Duration of Season
August through May
Major Soccer League
March through December
September through May
September through May
August through May
September through May
What months are soccer season?
Technically speaking, soccer season (one way or another) continues throughout the year.
We have only discussed the professional soccer season in 6 countries where some leagues run through August till May while a couple of others start in March and end in December.
During the break of a particular league, let’s say Premier League, the players get just a couple of weeks to break until they return for the pre-friendly tour before the new season begins.
You get more soccer games to watch when there is an international tournament during the off season.
Soccer is the world sport. It is the most preferred and popular sport with nearly 3.5 billion estimated fans across the globe.
In order to be prepared for the soccer season ahead, your best bet is to know when it is likely to start. In all honesty, I’ve tried to document in detail regarding the various leagues and scheduling of soccer matches round the year in my article.
We hope it helps you prepare for the upcoming season!
Hi there, I’m Jay.
Soccer is everything in my life! My friends and I have created this blog with all our enthusiasm, passion, and understanding after years of playing pro soccer. Hope you will enjoy it!