The 2020 MLS season will feature two 13-team conferences, as the league grows with the additions of expansion clubs Inter Miami CF and Nashville SC.
Under the alignment unveiled Monday, the 26-team MLS will feature an Eastern Conference and a Western Conference. Each will field 13 clubs, with Inter Miami CF launching in the East and Nashville SC beginning play in the West.
The 2020 season will feature 34 games, with all clubs playing 17 home matches and 17 road games. Notably, in a change from tradition, clubs will not play every other team in the league at least once next season. Instead, the complete schedule–which has not been released—will call for teams to play 24 games against their intraconference rivals, and 10 matches against interconference opponents. More from MLSsoccer.com:
Each club will continue to play a 34-game regular season with 17 home matches and 17 away matches. Every team will play their 12 intra-conference opponents twice – once home and once away for a total of 24 matches – with the other 10 regular-season matches coming against the opposite conference. Those inter-conference opponents will be revealed with the full 2020 schedule release.
The 26 teams competing in the 2020 season marks an all-time high for MLS, which fielded 24 clubs in 2019. Three expansion clubs are lined up for future seasons, with Austin FC’s launch in 2021 to be followed by the first seasons of play for St. Louis and Sacramento in 2022.
Rendering courtesy Inter Miami CF.