NASL moves to split-season schedule


Starting next season, the NASL is making a radical change to its schedule and competition format, one along the lines of something that some have been calling for MLS to adopt as its own.

NASL announced Wednesday that in 2013, as opposed to the current format in which the regular season is followed by a typical playoff set-up, the league will be played in a split-season, Apertura-Clausura style. The winners of the two half-seasons will meet in a winner-take-all Soccer Bowl, where one will be crowned the league's champion. If the same team finishes first in both half-seasons, then the team with the second-best record for the entire year will qualify for the championship match.

Next season's first portion is slated to begin either in the end of March or beginning of April and last until July 4. The second part will pick up about a month later and run until Nov. 2, according to an NASL press release. All teams will play each other twice, once home and once away, in each half-season.

"The new format takes into consideration a variety of factors including fan and player comfort in our many warm-weather cities," NASL commissioner David Downs said. "But the bottom line is that we believe this new competitive format will bring more excitement and meaning to each of our regular season matches for all of our teams throughout the year.” 

What do you think of this development? Do you wish MLS would move to a similar schedule? Do you like the format?

Share your thoughts below.

  • Ezra

    Yes, it doesn’t really matter what NASL does. What I was suggesting is changing the relationship of MLS with NASL (and with the development leagues) so they don’t have to rely on the NCAA to develop players, and that will have to come from MLS. I was just showing how the AHL does matter to the NHL and that MLS doesn’t take advantage of a similar relationship.


  • kevdflb

    San Antonio has given great support for their new NASL club – and there is only one other major professional franchise.

    I wouldn’t say that you’re wrong about those cities. But, they won’t be getting any MLS clubs until they prove themselves – like San Antonio is doing.

    El Paso is the 65th largest metro area in the US – between Allentown PA and Baton Rouge Louisiana. You’ll be starting with an NASL or USL Pro team – don’t hold your breath for an MLS club. But, that is what these leagues are for. With real promotion / relegation smaller market clubs could work their way up. Thats what I’d be in favor of (eventually).


  • kevdflb

    And El Paso is the 76th media market…. Which is more important. Obviously other factors are important, soccer culture and history, competition from other professional and college sports – but even with those factors in your favor, it’s tough to move up from #76.


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