TAMPA, Fla. – The United Soccer League announced Thursday that the league’s regular season will be extended to 33 weeks beginning in the 2019 season. The regular-season schedule, however, will remain at 34 games for a second consecutive year.

The decision was approved by the USL Board of Governors at the league’s mid-season meetings in Atlanta Wednesday.

“The league’s continued growth and addition of numerous outstanding ownership groups has brought the opportunity to continue the expansion of the season,” USL president Jake Edwards said. “This move will allow the league’s clubs more opportunity for Saturday night home games, the rising number of which this season has helped the league overall maintain its course to a new single-season high in both cumulative and average attendance in the league’s modern era.

“As we welcome more outstanding markets to the league for the 2019 season, the scope of the league has never been wider on a national scale, another factor that has enabled this move.”

The 2019 USL regular season is expected to kick off on the weekend of March 8-10, with the 33-week regular season set to conclude on the weekend of Oct. 18-20. The 2018 USL Cup Playoffs would start the weekend of Oct. 25-27, with the 2019 USL Cup set for the weekend of Nov. 14-18.