After months of waiting, the 26th season of MLS is finally set to get underway!
The regular campaign is expected to run from Friday, April 16th until Sunday, November 7th, followed by the playoffs, which will take place from Friday, November 19th through Saturday, December 11th.
Austin FC will join the MLS family as the newest expansion club, which now brings the league to a total of 27 teams.
On matchday one, which starts on Friday, April 16th, and runs through Sunday, April 18th, fans will be treated to a double header to kick off proceedings.
First up is Houston Dynamo vs SJ Earthquakes, with a kick-off time anticipated at 20:00 EST (17:00 PST). The hosts finished last in the Western Conference last term after a miserable campaign that saw them win just four matches, while the visitors ended up in eighth spot.
Following this tie, it's Seattle Sounders vs Minnesota United at 21:30 EST (18:30 PST). Last season saw the Sounders lose the 2020 MLS Cup to Columbus Crew, and they'll be hoping to reedeem themselves after that disappointment, despite finishing as runners-up in the Western Conference. Minnesota, for their part finished in fourth place.
On Saturday, April 17th, there are plenty of big games on tap. First up will be the Canadian Classique, also known as the 401 Derby featuring CF Montreal (Montreal Impact) vs Toronto FC, kicking off 14:00 EST (11:00 PST). Next,Orlando City will be locking horns with Atlanta United at 15:00 EST (12:00 PST). Then, it's a juicy clash as Los Angeles FC welcome debutants Austin FC at 18:00 EST (13:00 PST).
Sunday, April 18th will feature a very interesting match between Inter Miami and LA Galaxy. Inter Miami, who are co-owned by David Beckham and coached by his former Manchester United colleague Phil Neville, will be looking to enjoy a better sophomore campaign after finishing 19th in the overall league and tenth in the Eastern Conference. This game will be unique as it will pit Beckham's team against the side he once featured for as a player in MLS. Who will come out on top?
Here's the full schedule of matches to tune into on matchday one of the 2021 MLS season.
Friday, April 16th
Houston Dynamo vs San Jose Earthquakes - 20:00 EST/17:00 PST
Seattle Sounders vs Minnesota United - 21:30 EST/18:30 PST
Saturday, April 17th
CF Montreal vs Toronto FC - 14:00 EST/11:00 PST
Orlando City vs Atlanta United - 15:00 EST/12:00 PST
Los Angeles FC vs Austin FC - 18:00 EST/15:00 PST
Dallas vs Colorado Rapids - 20:00 EST/17:00 PST
DC United vs NYC FC - 20:00 EST/17:00 PST
New York Red Bulls vs Sporting KC - 20:00 EST/17:00 PST
Chicago Fire vs New England - 20:30 EST/17:30 PST
Nashville SC vs Cincinnati - 20:30 EST/17:30 PST
Sunday, April 18th
Inter Miami vs LA Galaxy - 15:00 EST/12:00 PST
Columbus Crew vs Philadelphia Union - 17:30 EST/12:30 PST
Vancouver Whitecaps vs Portland Timbers - 22:00 EST/19:00 PST