MLS Season Breakdown: The Exact Number Of Games From Start To Finals!

Discover the exact number of games in the MLS season, from start to finals! Dive into all the soccer action and follow the journey of America's premier league.

Are you ready to dive into the exciting world of Major League Soccer (MLS)? In this article, we will provide you with a comprehensive breakdown of the MLS season, detailing the exact number of games from the start of the season all the way to the exhilarating finals. Whether you’re a die-hard soccer fan or just curious about the MLS, this article will give you all the information you need to follow and understand the thrilling journey of the teams competing in America’s premier soccer league. Get ready to immerse yourself in the electrifying action of MLS!

Regular Season

Total number of teams

The regular season of the MLS (Major League Soccer) consists of 26 teams from cities across the United States and Canada. These teams are divided into two conferences: the Eastern Conference, which has 14 teams, and the Western Conference, which has 12 teams. Each team competes against the others in its conference as well as a few cross-conference opponents, making for an exciting and diverse season.

Total number of games

The regular season of the MLS is packed with thrilling soccer action, as the teams play a total of 34 games each. This means that over the course of the regular season, there are a whopping 306 games in total. With so many matches to enjoy, fans are treated to a wealth of opportunities to cheer on their favorite teams and players.

Format of the regular season

The regular season follows a traditional league format, with each team playing a home and away match against every other team in their conference. Additionally, they play a selection of matches against teams from the opposite conference. This format ensures that teams face a variety of opponents throughout the season, providing a true test of their skills and abilities.

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Listing of teams

The MLS boasts a diverse range of teams, representing cities from coast to coast. In the Eastern Conference, teams such as Atlanta United FC, New York City FC, and Toronto FC showcase their talents. Meanwhile, the Western Conference is home to teams such as LA Galaxy, Seattle Sounders FC, and Sporting Kansas City. The roster of teams in the MLS is a testament to the popularity and growth of soccer in North America.

Number of games per team

To ensure fairness and parity, each MLS team plays a total of 34 games during the regular season. This allows for a balanced schedule, where every team has an equal opportunity to secure victories and points. It also gives all teams a chance to showcase their talent, as they face off against a variety of opponents from both their own and the opposite conference.

Home and away matches

In the MLS regular season, teams have the privilege of playing both home and away matches. This means that for every game they play, they will have the opportunity to compete in front of their home crowd and experience the energy and support of their fans. It also means that they will have the challenge of playing on the road, facing opposing teams in their own stadiums. The home and away dynamic adds an exciting element to the regular season, as teams navigate the different playing environments and conditions.

Playoff qualification criteria

Qualifying for the playoffs in the MLS is an achievement that every team aspires to. To qualify, teams must finish in the top seven positions in their respective conferences. This means that out of the 14 teams in the Eastern Conference and the 12 teams in the Western Conference, only the top seven from each side will secure a spot in the playoffs. This system ensures that only the best-performing teams have a chance to compete for the MLS Cup.

Playoff qualification process

The MLS playoff qualification process is straightforward yet competitive. Once the regular season concludes, the top seven teams from each conference advance to the playoffs. The team with the most points in each conference earns the top seed, while the other six teams are seeded based on their points total. This seed-based system ensures that teams are ranked fairly and rewards those who performed consistently well throughout the regular season.

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Number of teams in the playoffs

A total of 14 teams qualify for the MLS playoffs, with seven teams from each conference vying for the ultimate prize: the MLS Cup. This creates an exciting and intense postseason, as teams battle it out in a single-elimination format to determine who will advance to the next round.

Wildcard round

In the MLS playoffs, the first round is known as the wildcard round. This round features the fourth through seventh seeds from each conference competing against each other. The winner of each wildcard match then proceeds to the conference semifinals, while the losers are eliminated from the playoffs. The wildcard round adds an element of unpredictability to the playoffs, as lower-seeded teams have a chance to upset higher-seeded opponents and make a statement.

Conference semifinals

Following the wildcard round, the MLS playoffs move into the conference semifinals. In this round, the top three seeds from each conference join the two wildcard winners to compete for a spot in the conference finals. The conference semifinals consist of a two-legged series, where each team plays one home and one away match against their opponent. The team with the highest aggregate score at the end of the two matches advances to the next round.

Conference finals

Once the conference semifinals conclude, the remaining four teams, two from each conference, face off in the conference finals. Similar to the conference semifinals, the conference finals follow a two-legged series format. The team that emerges victorious from each conference final advances to the grand stage: the MLS Cup Final.

MLS Cup Final

The MLS Cup Final is the culmination of the entire season, where the two best teams from each conference meet to compete for the MLS Cup. This highly anticipated match determines the champion of the MLS and crowns the top team of the season.

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The location of the MLS Cup Final varies each year, as it is usually held at a predetermined venue that is neutral to both competing teams. The host city is selected based on factors such as stadium capacity, location, and the ability to accommodate large crowds. These host cities provide an electric atmosphere for the final, with passionate fans from all over the country coming together to witness the crowning of the MLS champion.


The MLS Cup Final takes place at the conclusion of the playoffs, typically in early December. This timing allows for a full season of regular season action and an exciting playoff journey before the grand finale. As the final match of the season, the MLS Cup Final serves as a fitting climax to a year of breathtaking soccer moments.


The MLS Cup Final follows a single-match format, where the two conference champions face off in one winner-takes-all showdown. The match is played at a neutral venue, providing an equal playing field for both teams. This format intensifies the stakes and makes every moment of the final exceptionally exciting for players and fans alike.

Past winners

Throughout its history, the MLS Cup Final has seen various franchises etch their names into the annals of soccer history. Teams like LA Galaxy, D.C. United, and the Houston Dynamo have tasted success multiple times, cementing their legacies as MLS powerhouses. However, the competition is fierce, and each year brings new contenders looking to claim their place in MLS history.

In conclusion, the MLS season offers an exhilarating journey from the regular season all the way to the MLS Cup Final. With a diverse range of teams, a balanced schedule, and an intense playoff format, the MLS captivates fans across North America. As the league continues to grow and expand, the anticipation for each new season and the quest for the MLS Cup only grows stronger. So grab your favorite team’s jersey, prepare to chant in the stands, and get ready to immerse yourself in the thrilling world of the MLS.