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34-game MLS season to kick off April 3-4

Preseason training will open February 22

Photo by Carl Gulbish

The 2021 Major League Soccer season will be kicking off Easter weekend in early April.

The league announced Monday that the season will open on Saturday, April 3, followed by opening weekend games on Easter Sunday.

Preseason training will begin six weeks earlier on February 22.

The plan is for a 34-game schedule for the league’s 27 teams. The Eastern Conference will have 14 teams and the Western Conference will have 13 with the addition of Austin FC.

Details of how many games will be played against opponents — like whether the Union will play every conference opponent twice and eight of the teams in the Western Conference once — were not announced.

Plans for the Canadian teams, which played home games in Connecticut, New Jersey and Oregon in 2020 due to travel restrictions, were also not been announced.

Teams will be taking charter flights for all road trips until further notice and strict Covid-19 testing and safety protocols will still be in place.

The Philadelphia Union will open its first Concacaf Champions League campaign with the first leg of the Round of 16 on April 6, 7 or 8. The draw will be held on February 10.

KEY DATES – MLS 2021 SEASON
February 10 - Concacaf Champions League Draw
February 22 - MLS Preseason training begins (6 weeks)
April 3-4 - MLS is Back - Opening Weekend 2021
April 6-8 - Leg one of Champions League Round of 16
April 13-15 - Leg two of Champions league Round of 16
Late August - MLS Heineken® Rivalry Week
Late summer - MLS All-Star Game presented by Target
November 7 - MLS Decision Day
November 19 - Audi 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs begin
December 11 - 2021 MLS Cup