The major difference between European sports and American sports is that teams compete in multiple competitions during one season, as opposed to American teams which typically play in one competition only. To take English soccer, the top 92 teams will all compete in:
- A division of the Premier League / Football League - each team plays each of 19-23 other English1 teams twice during the season, home and away.
- The FA Cup, a single elimination knock out competition which just about every single football club in England down to the smallest recreational team can enter.
- The League Cup, another single elimination knock out competition for the top 92 teams only.
The most successful clubs in the previous season will also compete in one of the two UEFA competitions, the Champions League or the Europa League, against clubs from other European countries. It is possible for one team to win the Premier League, the FA Cup, the League Cup and one of the European competitions in the same season (the "quadruple" - a quintuple is not possible as one team cannot be in both the Champions League and Europa League in the same season).
While there is a schedule for when each competition takes place, they all overlap, typically with Premier League, Football League and FA Cup matches on Fridays through Mondays, and League Cup and European matches on Tuesdays through Thursdays, but there are always exceptions and you will often have days when matches from four or even all five competitions happen.
On top of all that there are defined "international windows" when the Premier League and European football do not happen and players play for their national teams instead, often in World Cup or European Championship qualifiers.
1. For historical reasons, those 92 teams include three Welsh teams.