Soccer season is the best time of year, period! After a break in the action, all our favorite teams get brand-new fixtures, and the adventure starts all over again — Woo!
If we had our way, the games would carry on ad infinitum, but the truth of the matter is that the closing of the soccer season is what gives value to the games, so we have to make peace with a finite number of soccer matches, but what exactly does finite mean?
Well, seeing as a season involves each team playing every other team in a league at least once, the answer can differ significantly from league to league depending on the number of participants in each one.
Some leagues even pit teams against one another twice, once at home and once away.
So, to give you a better idea of what to expect when soccer season rolls around, let’s take a look at the number of fixtures that make up all the major leagues around the world, including the MLS, of course!
How Is The Total Number Of Games In A Soccer Season Decided?
As discussed above, for a standard soccer season league tournament, the number of games will be determined by two things:
- The number of teams in the league
- The format of the league
By far the most popular approach is the double round-robin structure, which is a funny way of saying that each team in a league plays the others twice.
Why, you ask? Well, this gives both teams an opportunity to play at home, which has been proven to have a rather large impact on the odds of a team winning.
The Importance Of Home Games
There’s nothing like a home game for both fans and players alike — The energy is next level, the pitch and stadium are familiar, there’s less travel involved, and a large majority of the crowd is routing for the home team.
This results in a practical advantage for the home side, not to mention a boost in morale, often leading to the local team’s victory.
You can see evidence of this throughout soccer history, but a contemporary example of the home side advantage in practice is the Spanish team Barcelona’s win record at home in the UEFA Champions League (to find out how many subs there are in the Champion’s League, read on here).
Until very recently, they had won every single home game in this championship since 2013 when Bayern Munich managed to slide 3 into the Barca goal in the semis.
How Many Soccer Games In Major Leagues?
Okay, let’s get down to business, shall we? We’ll start with our very own MLS.
How Many Games In An MLS Season?
Generally speaking, each team in the MLS will play 34 games following the double round-robin format. This includes the inter-conference games teams play during the knockout phase of the league.
This means that, all things accounted for, there are 918 games in an MLS season, which is plenty of soccer to enjoy!
As it stands, the MLS league runs from March to December, but the idea of shifting the season to accommodate major tournaments such as the World Cup is currently on the agenda.
However, if the season were to be rescheduled, professional soccer would clash with NBA, NHL, and NFL seasons, which may eat into the beautiful game’s exposure in the states.
- Los Angeles FC
- LA Galaxy
- Philadelphia Union
- CF Montreal
- Austin FC
How Many Games In A Premier League Season?
The Premier League is the most prestigious league in UK soccer, and it sees some of the greatest teams and players in the world face off against one another for glory.
There is only room for 20 teams in this top-tier division, and as it follows the double round-robin format, each team plays the other 19 teams twice, amounting to 28 games per team and a season total of 760 games.
As the Premier League starts in August and ends in May, it’s a cross-calendar season that begins in one year and terminates in the next.
- Manchester City
- Newcastle United
- Manchester United
How Many Games In A La Liga Season?
La Liga is the top division in Spanish soccer, and again, hosts some of the best teams and players on the planet. This tournament is essentially a mirror image of the UK Premier League.
There are 20 teams and each team plays the others twice amounting to 38 games per team and 760 games altogether.
Like the Premier League, La Liga runs from August to May.
- Real Madrid
- Real Sociedad
How Many Games In A Serie A Season?
The Serie A sees the cream of the Italian crop going head to head for the domestic soccer crown. Once again, it’s a double round-robin format and, you’ve guessed it, there are 20 teams, meaning each team plays 38 games and there are 760 games in the season altogether.
Much like the leagues discussed above (bar the MLS), the Serie A season runs from August to May.
- Inter Milan
- AC Milan
- SSC Napoli
- Atalanta BC
How Many Games In A Bundesliga Season?
There are only 18 teams in Germany’s top-tier soccer league, the Bundesliga, and as the tournament follows a double round-robin format, each team plays 34 games and the tournament has 612 fixtures overall (find out more about the Bundesliga here).
In order to free players and teams up for major tournaments, the Bundesliga, too, runs from August to May.
- FC Bayern Munich
- Borussia Dortmund
- RB Leipzig
- Bayer Leverkusen
- Borussia Monchengladbach
How Many Games In A Ligue 1 Season?
The French top-tier division is yet another 20-team, double round-robin format, comprising 38 games per team and 760 games in total across the season as a whole. It runs from August to May.
- Paris Saint-Germain
- AS Monaco
- OGC Nice
- Olympique de Marseille
- Olympique Lyonnais
There you have it — The majority of pro league soccer seasons comprise 20 teams that play each other twice amounting to 760 games in total, but this isn’t a hard fast rule across all leagues, nor is it the way things are done in junior leagues.
Now you know how the soccer season plays out, you can make time to catch as many of the fixtures as humanly possible!