2021 MLS season to launch April 3-4

FC Cincinnati Stadium rendering July 2019

The 2021 MLS season is set to launch April 3-4 with an MLS is Back promo weekend, as teams are cleared to begin training on February 22.

The 27-team circuit (Austin FC joins this year) features a schedule with 34 matches and will conclude on Decision Day, Nov. 7. The Audi 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs will get underway on Nov. 19, culminating with MLS Cup on Saturday, Dec. 11. Major League Soccer will announce the complete 2021 regular season schedule, including the national broadcast schedule for the league’s media partners in the U.S. and Canada, in the coming weeks.

In addition to regular-season matches, the 26th season will include the MLS All-Star Game presented by Target, Campeones Cup and Leagues Cup during the late summer window. MLS clubs also will participate in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, Canadian Championship and Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League in 2021.

There are plenty of details to be worked out. For instance, the status of travel for the three Canadian teams–Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto–is still to be determined. With a closed border between the United States and Canada as of now, the Canadian teams would need to train and play in the United States (the MLB approach) or train and play in Canada (the NHL approach). And no word on the status of fans returning to matches during the 2021 MLS season, though with an April opening, there’s plenty of time to monitor trends and establish safety protocols with local health officials.

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