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Oct 14, 2013

MLS mulls schedule change, report says

Major League Soccer is considering adopting a European-like schedule as early as the start of the 2014 season, according to a report.

The plan has the backing of FIFA and would shift the MLS season start to late July or early August and build in a six- to eight-week winter break, according to a report in the New York Daily News. The report also says the MLS championship would be played in late May or early June. The MLS season now begins in March and runs through the first week of December.

The vice president of MLS communications, Dan Courtemanche, said via Twitter that he considers the proposed season change mere speculation.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter has long been a proponent of a change to the MLS calendar, calling i t "very important" in a 2011 interview.

MLS commissioner Don Garber has reportedly discussed adopting the European calendar for several years, but talks have intensified in recent weeks, according to a league source.

"It would be better for US Soccer, and specifically also for the [United States] national team. And the popularity inside the country," Blatter said in a 2011 interview.

"(MLS teams) have to play in summer because they are using the stadia of American football. And when they have their own stadium, they can change the calendar -- they have to change the calendar."

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