Key points of 2023 MLS schedule

The 2023 Major League Soccer season will kick off on Feb. 25 with 13 games.

Almost all weekend games will be played on Saturday nights, as part of its new broadcast deal with Apple TV. Those weekend games played on Sundays are almost all because they are part of the linear deal with Fox Sports (34 regular-season games on Fox/FS1/Fox Deportes). There are six weeks during which there will also be a heavy midweek schedule (more than 10 games on Wednesdays).

Datebook: Complete 2023 MLS schedule

Each team will play 34 games ...

• The 15 Eastern Conference teams will play each conference opponent twice (28 games) plus six different teams in the Western Conference once (6 games).
• The 14 Western Conference teams will play each conference opponent twice (26 games), one or two conference opponents an additional game (1-2 games) and one game against six or seven Eastern Conference opponent (6-7 games).

Other highlights ...

St. Louis City SC.
MLS's 29th team will begin its inaugural season at Austin FC on Feb. 25. It will debut at home a week later against Charlotte FC on March 4. With 29 teams, one team will have a bye each weekend.

El Trafico at Rose Bowl. In addition to hosting each other once, LAFC and the LA Galaxy will play a third game in their El Trafico series in 2023 -- at the Rose Bowl -- to kick off the season on Feb. 25.

Leagues Cup pause. The regular season will pause for five weeks for the Leagues Cup competition, breaking after the July 15 games and resuming on Aug. 20, the lone Sunday with a full slate of games.

No Gold Cup break. MLS will play straight through the Gold Cup (June 16-July 16) with only a limited schedule the first weekend (six games). Otherwise, there will be full weekend slates, plus two midweeks with heavy Wednesday schedules and third with a set of five games in July 4, which will be a Tuesday in 2023.

FIFA windows. MLS will play a full slate of games in the March FIFA window when the USA faces El Salvador and Grenada in Concacaf Nations League group play. It will pause during the windows in October (the weekend before the final weekend of the regular season) and November (in the middle of the playoffs). Nine games scheduled over the June and September windows.

Other competitions. All MLS teams are scheduled to play in the 2023 U.S. Open Cup. Five teams have qualified for the Concacaf Champions League: Austin FC, LAFC, Orlando City, Philadelphia and Vancouver. They will kick off regional action on March 7-9 following two weeks of MLS play. The Concacaf champion Seattle Sounders will play in the FIFA Club World Cup Feb. 1-11 in Morocco.

MLS did not release plans for the 2023 playoffs -- format or schedule. The 2022 playoffs were again a single-elimination tournament featuring four rounds. The playoffs may be modified in 2023 to include a group stage, expanding significantly the number of postseason matches.

3 comments about "Key points of 2023 MLS schedule".
  1. Ben Lukas, December 21, 2022 at 2:07 p.m.

    Geez, money grab! Playing through FIFA windows is really bad. How about the fans in the stadia that want to see the stars on visiting teams!? So they don't get to see significant players if that is the only date they come to your city.
    Instead, we have this money grab of the Leagues Cup taking up significant scheduling opportunities. What an insult to the fans in the seats.

  2. Stephen Johnson, December 22, 2022 at 3:31 p.m.

    I really don't see the problem with playing through the FIFA windows. Just as long as players are released to play for their country.  Which has not been an issue in the past.

  3. Donald Lee, December 24, 2022 at 11:34 a.m.

    I've been a die hard MLS fan since 2006 but I have zero interest in Leagues Cup.  Its a fake competition.  Concacaf Champions League is a real competition that is hugely meaningful.  


    The more Garber exerts himself and his power grabs the less interested I get.


Next story loading loading..

Discover Our Publications