Photo courtesy Michael Rincon / Phoenix Rising FC
TAMPA, Fla. – The United Soccer League announced on Thursday the league’s regular season will be extended to 33 weeks beginning in the 2019 season, with the regular-season schedule to remain at 34 games for a second consecutive year.
The decision was approved by the USL Board of Governors on Wednesday at the league’s Mid-Season Meetings in Atlanta.
“The league’s continued growth and addition of numerous outstanding ownership groups has brought the opportunity to continue the expansion of the season,” said USL President Jake Edwards. “This move will allow the league’s clubs more opportunity for Saturday night home games, the rising number of which this season has helped the league overall maintain its course to a new single-season high in both cumulative and average attendance in the league’s modern era.
“As we welcome more outstanding markets to the league for the 2019 season, the scope of the league has never been wider on a national scale, another factor that has enabled this move.”
The 2019 USL regular season is expected to kick off on the weekend of March 8-10, with the 33-week regular season set to conclude on the weekend of October 18-20. The 2018 USL Cup Playoffs would then kick off on the weekend of October 25-27, with the 2019 USL Cup set for the weekend of November 14-18.