MLS 2021 season

Welcome to the Major League Soccer 2021 thread!

Key dates:

  • Feb. 22: MLS Preseason training begins (6 weeks)
  • Apr. 3-4: MLS is Back - Opening Weekend 2021
  • Late Aug.: MLS Heineken® Rivalry Week
  • Late summer : MLS All-Star Game presented by Target, Leagues Cup, Campeones Cup
  • Nov. 7: MLS Decision Day
  • Nov. 19: Audi 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs begin
  • Dec. 11: 2021 MLS Cup
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It’s schedule release day!

  • Regionalized schedule w/ limited interconference games; all travel during pandemic will be via chartered flights :slight_smile:

  • Top-7 teams from each conference make playoffs

I’m pretty gutted the Fire won’t be playing any West Coast games. I was really excited about potential road trips to Portland and Vancouver. Hopefully, I can watch a few Seattle games live to get my fix.

Some lovely new shirts for the new season!

That La galaxy shirt is actually really nice.

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Yeah big fan of the more ‘classic’ styles going on there with the Dallas and Colorado stripes. Cincinnati is another winner in my books too. Undecided on Montreal’s snowflake logo…

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Or their name change :pensive:

I’d totally missed that! Ah that’s a shame. Do you know the reasoning for the rebranding?

I picked up one of their pins when I saw beat Chicago Fire there in 2013 - will have to seek out the new design…

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Honestly, no decent reason. Just a rebrand and the fans hate it.

The Fire changed their badge partly to make it look less like a Firefighter badge. They did a laughably shit job though and it’ll be a new badge for 2022. They’re actually asking the fans what matters to them, so it may be alright this time.

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Don’t mind that Houston one, sponsor aside (more an aesthetic criticism than the actual sponsor itself)

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Oh wow just had a look and the Chicago rebrand has a vague similarity to the Whitecaps logo too! Oh dear. Agree that a fan pick might be a much more favourable solution :smiley:

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Know the basics

How many teams are there? This year: 27. Next year: 28 (adding Charlotte). The year after: 29 (adding St. Louis). After that? It’ll be 30…eventually.

What’s the schedule like? All 27 clubs will play 34 regular-season matches ― 17 home and 17 away. That’s a refreshingly normal number of games.

The clubs are split into Western and Eastern Conferences (the West will have 13 teams to the East’s 14). In an effort to cut down on travel amid an ongoing pandemic, teams will largely play against teams in their own conference, with more games against teams closer to them.

How many teams make the playoffs? The top seven from each conference, so 14 in total.

What’s up for grabs? The playoffs culminate with MLS Cup – that’s the major trophy and the team that wins it is considered the year’s champion. The team with the best regular-season record is awarded the Supporters’ Shield. Winning either or finishing on top of a conference will earn a team a berth into next year’s CONCACAF Champions League.

What about the Canadian teams? Due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, The league’s three Canada-based teams will play in alternate locations in the United States to start the season, and perhaps longer depending on when those restrictions are lifted or relaxed. CF Montreal will play at Inter Miami’s DRV PNK Stadium, Toronto FC will play at Orlando City’s Exploria Stadium, and the Vancouver Whitecaps will play at Real Salt Lake’s Rio Tinto Stadium.

Will fans be allowed? Yes, though exactly how many depends on the team and their city’s COVID-19 restrictions. No team will be hosting more than 50 percent of capacity to start the year.

Where to Watch

In the UK , select games are broadcast live on Sky Sports and FreeSports.

More TV information for other territories here.

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I don’t think these predictions are too harsh. Anywhere from 6th-12th would not be unexpected.