For the 2014 season, NASL will continue using its split-season format which mirrors most of the Latin America but is unique to American professional soccer.
Spring season (Apertura):
The 10 clubs participating in NASL in 2014 will play nine matches each during the spring season, which means that some teams host five matches while others only host four. There are serious concerns about the integrity of the competition when the winner of the shortened, uneven spring season will win the right to host the championship match against the winner of the fall season.
During the spring season, all matches are on Saturday or Sunday with the exception of one Monday night football matchup as New York Cosmos host Minnesota United FC on May 12. This match is part of the preceeding weekend’s matchday but was pushed until Monday.
A nearly five-week extended break in between tournaments, in order to accommodate the entire World Cup, starts after Sunday 8 June’s matches and ends with Saturday 12 July’s matches.
Fall season (Clausura):
There will be 10 teams again in the fall season so each weekend will feature 5 matches. In order to squeeze all of league’s matches into a 17 week schedule, each team will play one midweek match on a Wednesday at some point during the fall season.
One anomaly in the scheduling is a Thursday night match that counts as part of the matchday for the weekend that immediate follows. Minnesota United FC hosts Carolina RailHawks on Thursday July 17 for the second matchday of the fall season.
San Antonio Scorpions are scheduled to host Carolina on a Wednesday (July 23) before travelling to Tampa Bay for a match on the weekend. The weekend match was originally scheduled for Friday (July 25) but is now listed on Saturday.
On Wednesday 6 August, Indy Eleven hosts Fort Lauderdale Strikers and New York Cosmos hosts FC Edmonton. FC Edmonton plays the Sunday before and all teams play a match on the Saturday after.
Ottawa Fury hosts Atlanta Silverbacks on Wednesday 1 October, both teams play the Saturday before and Saturday after.
On Wednesday 15 October, Tampa Bay Rowdies host Minnesota United FC. Both teams play the Saturday before and the after.
NASL clubs will face each opponent once at home and once away during an 18-game balanced schedule and a total of 90 games to be played over a 17-week period. Each team will play one midweek game as soccer under Wednesday night lights comes to the NASL in July, August and October.
FC Edmonton faces a crunching schedule when they play at home against San Antonio on Sunday August 3 before travelling to Long Island to play the Cosmos on Wednesday and to Minnesota to play on Saturday August 9.
With the adjustment to San Antonio’s match at Tampa Bay Rowdies, all teams will get two full days rest before and after their Wednesday matches. This means that for another season running, no teams in the NASL have to play 2 matches in 3 days.