The United Soccer League announced Thursday the league’s regular season will expand to 34 games per team in 2018, and the regular season will be extended to 31 weeks.
The USL Board of Governors approved the move Wednesday at the league’s Mid-Season Meetings in Chicago. The league’s regular season will now surpass 500 total games for the first time.
USL President Jake Edwards said he was pleased with the board’s decision.
“The league’s commitment to club services, broadcast and various strategic initiatives combined with the continued investment of our owners into the clubs have produced record attendance this season,” Edwards said in a news release. “An additional home match now provides a significant revenue opportunity as attendance continues to grow.
“Next year’s expanded season, highlighted by three new clubs that will join the USL in 2018, will deliver even more first-class soccer excitement to even more fans across North America.”
USL will retain the current two-conference format for the 2018 season and the 16-team playoff structure across the conferences.
The 2018 regular season will kick off March 16, and it will conclude on the weekend of Oct. 12-14. The USL Final Cup is scheduled for the weekend of Nov. 9-11.