MLS enters its 26th season with an expansion team and three new stadiums, and after a COVID-19 year, the league is financially stable and competitive from top to bottom.
Austin FC joins the league as a member of the Western Conference. Founded in 2018, they will be playing in Q2 Stadium in north central Austin.
FC Cincinnati will be debuting their new stadium called West End Stadium. FC Cincinnati will open its new West End Stadium on May 16 with a match against Inter Miami live on FOX and FOX Deportes. Columbus Crew SC will be debuting the “New Columbus Crew stadium” this season.
Inter Miami will be renaming their stadium to DRV PNK Stadium, formerly known as Lockhart Stadium.
According to Five Thirty Eight, LAFC will represent the West Conference, and Philadelphia will represent the Eastern Conference, but LAFC is predicted to win it all.
Opening Weekend: April 16-18
- Friday: 2020 Western Conference Final rematch between Seattle Sounders FC and Minnesota United on FS1 and Fox Deportes.
- Saturday: Austin FC will make its anticipated debut against LAFC on FOX and FOX Deportes
- Sunday: Inter Miami CF host David Beckham’s former club, the LA Galaxy, on ABC and ESPN Deportes.
A marquee matchup during the first weekend of Heineken Rivalry Week, the reigning champion Columbus Crew SC will host Seattle Sounders FC in a rematch of the 2020 MLS Cup live on FOX and FOX Deportes on Aug. 21 at 5:30 pm ET. The match will be held at New Crew Stadium in downtown Columbus, Ohio.
Heineken Rivalry Week
From August 20-29, you’ll get national broadcasts of some of the best rivalry matches in the league, including:
- LA Galaxy vs. San Jose Earthquakes (Aug. 20; 10 pm ET | ESPN, ESPN Deportes)
- Minnesota United vs. Sporting Kansas City (Aug. 21; 3:30 pm ET | ESPN, ESPN Deportes)
- Columbus Crew SC vs. Seattle Sounders FC (Aug. 21; 5:30 pm ET | FOX, FOX Deportes)
- New York Red Bulls vs. NYCFC (Aug. 21; 8 pm ET | FS1, FOX Deportes)
- Atlanta United vs. Nashville SC (August 27; 3:30 pm ET | Univision, TUDN)
- Columbus Crew SC vs. FC Cincinnati (Aug. 27; 6:30 pm ET | ESPN, ESPN Deportes)
- Orlando City SC vs. Inter Miami CF (Aug. 27; 8:30 pm ET | ESPN, ESPN Deportes)
- LAFC vs. LA Galaxy (Aug. 28; 8 pm ET | FOX, FOX Deportes)
- Austin FC vs. FC Dallas (Aug. 29; 8 pm ET | FS1, FOX Deportes)
- Seattle Sounders FC vs. Portland Timbers (Aug. 29; 10:30 pm ET | ESPN, ESPN Deportes)
Decision Day – November 7
- All teams to face intra-conference opponents
- Games from each conference will kickoff simultaneously in back-to-back broadcast windows
- Kickoff times and broadcast details will be announced at a later date
Audi 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs
- At the end of the regular season, the top seven teams from each conference will qualify for the Audi 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs, set to begin on November 19. More information about postseason schedule will be announced at a later date
- Major League Soccer’s championship match will be played on Dec. 11 at 3 pm ET and air live on ABC, UniMás, TSN and TVA Sports.
Who do you think will win the MLS this season?
Santiago Leon is the Founder and CEO of the Sports Cast. He covers almost every sport: NFL, NBA, and world soccer. He’s also founder of sleon productions, which he specializes in technology and serves clients with solutions to make their business grow.