New York, NY, United States (4E Sports) – While it is studying potential changes in timetable, Major League Soccer denied reports that it will shift to a more European-like schedule in 2014.
“‘Rumors’ is an appropriate way to classify it,” MLS executive vice president of communications Dan Courtemanche said via Twitter. “MLS has reviewed many possible schedule formats throughout the years.”
“We hope to announce soon, but the timing will be very similar to the current season. Many options have been considered, and the fans will have a voice IF the schedule format ever changes,” he added.
Citing league sources, the New York Daily News reported that the league is considering a schedule that would begin in late July or early August and include a six- to eight-week winter break before wrapping up with MLS cup in May or June, beginning as early as next year.
A league source also claimed that talks regarding the adoption of the European calendar have intensified in the past week.
The league schedule currently runs uninterrupted from early March through early December, with this year’s final falling on Dec. 7, the latest date for an MLS Cup in the league’s 18-year history.
Earlier, FIFA president Sepp Blatter has long been a proponent of a change to the MLS calendar, calling it “very important”.
“It would be better for US Soccer, and specifically also for the [United States] national team. And the popularity inside the country,” Blatter said in a 2011 interview.
“MLS teams have to play in summer because they are using the stadia of American football. And when they have their own stadium, they can change the calendar — they have to change the calendar,” he added.