The 2025 MLS season will begin in February/March 2025 and run through November 2025.
The 2025 schedule has not been determined or released. Expect it to be announced in late December 2024. In the meantime, get your
San Diego FC hats, scarves and shirts.
There are 34 matches in an MLS season. 17 of those games are played at the home stadium.
In the 2025 season, the new expansion team San Diego FC will join the league. Learn more about how to get season tickets.
About the MLS
New to Major League Soccer? You are not alone. Here is a quick guide to the rules and unique features of MLS
Two-Legged Playoffs: MLS employs a two-legged format in the early rounds of the MLS Cup Playoffs.
Unlike most soccer leagues, where knockout matches typically have one game, this format adds an extra layer of
excitement as teams play both home and away matches.
Overtime and Penalty Kicks: In MLS playoff matches, if the aggregate score is tied after both
legs, the game goes into extra time. Unlike regular-season matches, where a draw is a common outcome, playoff
matches must have a winner. If the game remains tied after extra time, it is decided by a penalty shootout.
No Promotion and Relegation: Unlike many soccer leagues around the world, MLS does not have a
promotion and relegation system. Teams in MLS remain in the league regardless of their performance, which is a
distinctive feature of American sports leagues.
Salary Cap: MLS has a salary cap system, which limits the total amount a team can spend on
player salaries. This system is used to promote parity and prevent wealthier clubs from dominating the league.
Allocation Money: MLS uses allocation money to allow teams to acquire or retain players. This
mechanism allows teams to navigate around the salary cap and make strategic player moves.
Designated Players: As previously mentioned, MLS has a designated player rule that allows teams
to sign star players without their entire salary counting against the cap. Each team can have up to three
Homegrown Players: MLS encourages the development of local talent by allowing teams to sign players from their own academies as “homegrown players.” These players do not count against the salary cap.
Video Assistant Referee (VAR): MLS, like many top leagues, uses VAR to review controversial
decisions during matches. This technology has become an integral part of modern soccer, helping to ensure fair play.
Limited Use of Instant Replay: MLS allows coaches to request one video review per game to challenge referee decisions. This is a unique feature compared to most other leagues.
All-Star Game: MLS hosts an annual All-Star Game where top players from the league face off against a prominent international club. This exhibition match is a highlight of the season.
Overwhelmed? Excited? Remember the first game is not until 2025. You’ve got time to studyIn the meantime, catch the US Women’s National Team at Snapdragon on October 29 / USWNT Tickets