Comparing USL-Pro and NASL Schedules from 2012 and 2013

On January 10, NASL released their 2013 Spring Regular Season schedule.  The schedule is a balanced format in which each of the 7 teams play each other team twice, once at home and once away.  A team will play each team once before playing any team a second time.  There will be three matches a week with one team having a bye each weekend.  The last matchday will be the Fourth of July, a Thursday, and FC Edmonton will have a bye that day.

2012’s NASL schedule was also a balanced format with each team playing the other 7 teams 4 times during the regular season (as was 2011’s).

Division III USL-Pro’s 2012 schedule was notably messier by comparison.  Each team played 24 matches, 12 at home and 12 away, but the placement of those matches raised a few eyebrows.

As an example, the Rochester Rhinos played 5 of their first 6 games on the road and then finished the season with 5 straight at home with 8 out of the last 10 games in Rochester.  The Rhinos started their season with two games against LA Blues on successive weekends.  After that the team had to play back-to-back nights in different cities twice (meaning they played in Charlotte Friday and then in Charleston the next night, and then in Harrisburg before playing in Dayton the following night).

A closer look at USL-Pro’s 2012 schedule:
Rochester had two instances of matches on back-to-back nights [May 11&12, May 25&26], and two instances of two games in three nights [June 15&17, July 12&14]

Richmond had three instances of games on back-to-back nights [Jun 1&2, June 15&16, July 27&28] and one instance of two games in three nights [Aug 17&19 (at Antigua)].

Dayton had three instances of back-to-back games [May 18&19, July 20&21, Aug 17&18] and two instances of two games in three nights [Jun 15&17 (at LA), July 18&20], which means Dayton had a game on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday of the same week all in different cities. Continue reading