MLS season to kick off April 3 but still no clarity on what awaits Canadian teams

·1 min read

The Major League Soccer season will run April 3 through Nov. 7 with the MLS Cup final scheduled for Dec. 11.

How the season will look for the three Canadian teams remains up in the air, however

In announcing the 2021 dates, the league said it is continuing to work with CF Montreal, Toronto FC and the Vancouver Whitecaps on the issue of travel restrictions between Canada and the U.S. due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. All three Canadians teams had to relocate to the U.S. to finish out the 2020 season.

MLS said more details on the Canadian teams will be announced in the "near future."'

Each of the 27 teams — the league is up a club with the addition of expansion Austin FC — will play a 34-match regular-season schedule before the playoffs kick off Nov. 19.

The league had previously said it was targeting a mid-March start to the 2021 campaign. In 2020, the regular season opened Feb. 29.

Clubs can open pre-season training on Feb. 22, six weeks ahead of the season's opening weekend. The league says players will have to quarantine and conduct individual trainings upon reporting back to their clubs.

During the regular season, all players, technical staff and essential club staff will be tested for COVID-19 every other day, including the day before each match day. Clubs will take chartered flights for all road trips.

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This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 25, 2021

Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press