After a heartbreaking knockout loss in the first round of the 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs, the Portland Timbers' chance for retribution is right around the corner.
Monday afternoon, the MLS unveiled key dates for the 2021 MLS season including the 34-match regular season beginning Saturday, April 3.
MLS’ 26th regular season will conclude on MLS Decision Day, November 7, and the 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs will begin November 19. MLS Cup will be played on Saturday, December 11.
Clubs can begin preseason training on February 22, six weeks prior to MLS is Back opening weekend. In accordance with MLS health and safety protocols, players will be required to quarantine and conduct individual trainings upon reporting back to their clubs.
Similar to the 2020 MLS season, COVID-19 testing protocols will again play an important role, with the league working closely with the MLSPA’s infectious disease advisors on health and safety protocols, including testing. During the regular season, all players, technical staff and essential club staff will continue to be tested every other day, including the day before each matchday. In addition, clubs will take chartered flights for all road trips until further notice.
The MLSPA and MLS are currently negotiating the bargaining agreement for the upcoming season.