SBD/October 14, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies

MLS Reportedly Moving Closer To A European Schedule That Would Include A Winter Break

MLS' season under the proposed switch would start in either late July or early August
MLS is "inching closer to adopting a European-like schedule that could be implemented" for the start of the '14 season, according to Frank Isola of the N.Y. DAILY NEWS. The plan, which has FIFA's "full support," would have the MLS season start in "either late July or early August and include a six- to eight-week winter break." MLS Cup would be played "in late May or early June." The MLS season currently "begins in March and runs until the championship match in the first week of December." A source said that MLS Commissioner Don Garber has been "considering adopting the calendar used in Europe for several years but talks have intensified in recent weeks." Isola notes the move would "placate FIFA president Sepp Blatter, who has been an outspoken ... critic" of MLS. Most European leagues "begin in late August and end in early May." A winter break would be necessary for MLS "since it has franchises in several cites -- including Chicago and Toronto -- where playing matches in December and March is a risky proposition" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 10/14). MLS Exec VP/Communications Dan Courtemanche in a tweet wrote, "'Rumors' is an appropriate way to classify it. MLS has reviewed many possible schedule formats throughout the years" (TWITTER.com, 10/14).
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