MLS schedule: no time to rest

According to Runeme, there is a football match between D.C. United and Los Angeles Galaxy this Saturday. The Galaxy is undermanned because MLS decided to ignore FIFA’s international schedule. More news on

While most leagues around the world are on break this weekend, avoiding conflicts with European Championship qualifiers and official friendlies, MLS planned a full slate of matches for all 20 clubs.

More than 50 MLS players are on international assignment, absences that impact rosters to varying degrees.

During a FIFA week in early September, half the league is off. A month later, there are three matches, although another three are scheduled immediately afterward.

Like last fall, the league will respect a FIFA window in November and take an extended break in the middle of the playoffs — a wise call as the United States and other CONCACAF countries engage in 2018 World Cup qualifiers.

MLS schedule: no time to rest

A league running from spring to fall, MLS cannot avoid conflicts with confederation championships in the summer: This year, Copa America (June 11-July 4) will have a minor impact but the CONCACAF Gold Cup (July 7-26) will hurt most clubs to differing extents. (Many MLS players come from CONCACAF countries, such as the United States, Canada, Costa Rica, Panama, Jamaica and Guatemala.)

Often a vocal critic of MLS headquarters, Galaxy Coach Bruce Arena took the current conflict in stride.

“That’s all part of it; we understand it,” he said. “We were prepared for it. It’s probably not the best thing for MLS, but as a league, we’re not yet positioned to not play during all the FIFA dates.”

United is seeking to rebound from a 2-0 defeat to the Red Bulls last Sunday, a sour performance that left Olsen spitting mad immediately afterward.

“We’ve had a great week of preparation,” captain Bobby Boswell said. “It’s been an edgy attitude because we were unhappy about what happened in New York. Everyone is aware of how dangerous L.A. is, even without Keane and Zardes.”