The 2022 MLS regular season will start at an earliest ever time to accommodate the FIFA World Cup in Qatar next November.
MLS announced the regular season is set to kick off on February 26 while Decision Day will occur October 9 and the 2021 MLS Cup will be on November 5. The FIFA World Cup, which was moved to winter time in Qatar due to the excessive heat in the summertime, will begin November 21.
In addition to the season starting in February, Charlotte FC will begin its life in MLS, joining the Eastern Conference while Nashville SC moves to the West. All teams will play a 34-match schedule with 17 coming at home and 17 on the road. Each team will play their conference opponents twice while also facing eight non-conference opponents next season.
The league’s schedule will also consist of all weekend matches with the exception of five, or fewer, midweek matches with late-Spring and summer dates being targeted for those. MLS is also aiming to avoid scheduling matches during the FIFA international windows in March, June or September, but would consider March matches only a team’s request.
The 2021 MLS regular season concludes on Sunday with six playoff spots up for grabs and several seeds in both conferences available.