Taking a page from many Latin American countries, the NASL announced on Wednesday that they will play the 2013 season with a "split-season" format with a one-month break in between. The winner of each season will then meet in a one-game Soccer Bowl shortly after the second season. If the same team were to win both seasons, the team with the second-best record in the two seasons combined would advance to the championship game.
"Our Scheduling Sub-Committee arrived at this recommendation after an exhaustive review of a number of alternatives," NASL Commissioner David Downs said in a statement. "The new format takes into consideration a variety of factors including fan and player comfort in our many warmweather cities."
"But the bottom line," Downs added, "is that we believe this new competitive format will bring more excitement and meaning to each of our regular season matches for all of our teams throughout the year."
Each of the two season will include a full round-robin with each NASL team playing the other once at home and once away. There are already 10 teams announced for the 2013 season, which would mean each team plays 38 matches over the course of the two seasons.
The break will mostly coincide with the opening of most of Europe's transfer window, which would at least theoretically allow players to transfer out without causing a midseason disruption to their teams.