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Sepp Blatter says MLS will switch to FIFA calendar

MLS is going to the international calendar, according to Blatter. But that seems unlikely.

Lars Baron

Sepp Blatter is under the impression that MLS will change their calendar to align with the FIFA calendar. At least that is what he told the media in Canada today.

The MLS calendar currently runs from March until early December, playing through the summer. The FIFA calendar runs from August until May and most of the leagues in the world follow it. That allows for a summer break in which international tournaments can be played, with international dates built in throughout the year in which clubs take a week off as players play qualifiers or friendlies.

MLS commissioner Don Garber said just last year that the league had considered an international calendar, but decided against it. There is more sports competition during the winter, while temperatures are well below freezing through the winter in many MLS markets. Even a winter break, similar to what the Bundesliga has, wouldn't solve those problems, Garber said in December.

"We have not been able to figure out a way to solve the break and also figure out a way to justify moving those games from the very valuable May and June time period into February and end of December," Garber said. "We will continue to look at it … but it’s not something we’re going to do in the short-term."

MLS has struggled with the international calendar before, playing through tournaments and even international dates, but they have made a greater effort to avoid them recently. The league took a two-week break during the World Cup and has avoided scheduling matches on international dates when possible.

Blatter could be confusing going to an international calendar with avoiding all international dates going forward. That is much more feasible than MLS playing from August until May and seeing as Garber said just nine months ago that they couldn't make the FIFA calendar work, it seems unlikely the league will go to it anytime soon.

UPDATE: As suspected, Blatter is kinda full of it. Here's what the head of MLS Communications had to say on the matter: