One concept that some Americans struggle with, when learning about English soccer, is the International Break.

Old Trafford, home of Manchester United, will look like this during some weekends.

An international break is a time when many leagues of Europe — usually the top two leagues in each country — take a weekend off so that their players can go home and play for their national teams. This can be in exhibition matches called “friendlies,” or in games related to continental championships like Europe or the African Cup of Nations, or it could be related to the World Cup.

The point is, you might look at the Premier League schedule for 2017-18 and say to yourself, “Why aren’t there any games that weekend?” And now you know.

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International Breaks for the 2017-18 Season

There will be no games in the Premier League or English Football League Championship during the weekend of …

  • September 2
  • October 7
  • November 11
  • January 6 (because the Premier League teams are playing in the FA Cup)
  • January 27 (many will still be in the FA Cup that weekend)
  • February 17 (FA Cup again)
  • March 24

Note that on those FA Cup weekends, many Premier League teams will be playing — and if they are home, tickets are a lot easier to come by.

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