MLS Kicks Off 2022 Regular Season Feb. 26, Runs Through Decision Day in October

Major League Soccer on Friday announced the format and several key dates for its 2022 schedule.   

The regular season will begin on Saturday, Feb. 26 and run through Decision Day, the regular season finale, on Sunday, Oct. 9. 

It’s the earliest date that MLS has ever started its season. The intention is to accommodate the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, which kicks off Nov. 21. The MLS Cup will be played on Saturday, Nov. 5, more than a week prior to the player release date on Nov. 14, to prevent any overlap with the international competition. 

In 2022, Atlanta United will play a 34-game regular season. The club will host 17 games at Mercedes-Benz Stadium and play 17 games away. It will meet each of its Eastern Conference opponents twice and play eight Western Conference teams. 

Atlanta United will also be getting a new conference opponent next season. Charlotte FC will be joining the Eastern Conference for its inaugural season. Nashville SC will move to the Western Conference to give the league an even 14 teams on each side.  

Next year’s schedule will also consist mostly of weekend matches. The league plans to schedule five or fewer midweek matches for each team. Atlanta United will likely see one midweek match in May, June and July, then two in August.  

In MLS play, Atlanta United played eight matches on Wednesdays in 2021. It had one on a Thursday and two on Fridays, including its first-ever Friday match at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. 

The league plans to avoid scheduling matches during the FIFA international windows coming up next year in March, June and September. This could impact a few Atlanta United players. Miles RobinsonGeorge BelloJosef Martínez and Ronald Hernández, were all called up to their international squads in 2021 and may see more time if the U.S. and Venezuela are competitive in their qualifiers. 

Atlanta United’s regular season schedule will be announced later this year.

Key 2022 Dates
Event
Date
MLS regular season begins
Saturday, Feb. 26
Decision Day
Sunday, October 9
MLS Cup
Saturday, Nov. 5
Player callups
Monday, Nov. 14
FIFA World Cup in Qatar begins
Monday, Nov. 21