Start of MLS season pushed back to April 17

Dec 12, 2020; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Columbus Crew officials hold the MLS Cup championship trophy after defeating the Seattle Sounders in the 2020 MLS Cup Final at MAPFRE Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Major League Soccer announced Wednesday that the start of its upcoming regular season has been pushed back from April 3 to April 17.

The updated start to the campaign comes two days after the league and the MLS Players Association ratified the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, which runs through the 2027 season.

“Major League Soccer today announced an update to the start of the MLS regular season,” the league said in a statement. “Following the ratification of the CBA on Feb. 8, the MLS regular season will now kick off on Saturday, April 17. MLS will announce the 2021 MLS regular season schedule in the coming weeks.”

The 2021 season will see each of the league’s 27 teams play 34 matches, including expansion Austin FC. The Eastern Conference will be comprised of 14 teams, while the Western Conference will have 13.

The dates for MLS Decision Day (Nov. 7), the start of the MLS Cup playoffs (Nov. 19) and the MLS Cup final (Dec. 11) will remain as scheduled.

–Field Level Media