MLS finalize 2021 season dates; Fans now yearn for April 3

We finally know when the 2021 Season will take place! Late Monday (Jan. 25) afternoon, Major League Soccer announced when things will kick-off for the next season. Now that the 2021 season dates have been released, fans are looking to April!

Mandatory Credit: Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire

2021 season dates

MLS announced its plans for the 2021 season with preseason kicking off in late February, the season starting on April 3, decision day on November 7, playoffs starting on November 19 and MLS Cup taking place on December 11. These are the first steps toward another MLS season that will be played through the COVID-19 pandemic.

The hope will be that the later stages of the season will be able to feel a bit more “normal” but that isn’t a guarantee. Starting the season almost a month-and-a-half later than the 2020 season will give clubs more time to finalize their rosters and prepare for another taxing season. It also gives the League and the MLS Players Association a time frame to discuss while finishing up collective bargaining agreement talks.

The force majeure clause is set to take effect this Friday (Jan. 29) should a deal not be struck between MLS and the MLSPA. Whether or not we see a new deal struck by that deadline is still to be seen. The League wants to protect itself financially, while the Players Association wants the best for the players actually playing. The two sides should have the same interests in mind, or at least blend those views together to get the best for all. For now, teams know the dates of a 2021 season, which gives them the opportunity to prepare for a fast-approaching preseason.

Preseason is in sight

While the season is no 67 days away, preseason will be here before we know it. In just 27 days MLS clubs are to report to preseason. Fans of every club are highly anticipating this, especially Union fans.

Union sporting director Ernst Tanner has said he wanted to have the roster of his team finalized at the start of preseason. We now know that that is in 27 days. Does this mean the Union will see some new signings come through in this next month?

There are definitely some spots that would be sure up by new transfers. Using some of the money that has been brought in this transfer window to sure up the first-team would be a welcome sight. If Philadelphia wants to compete for trophies, they need to do something. The Union has progressed year-over-year since 2017. New signings will be needed to continue that rend in 2021.

Only time will tell how things will progress! But now that we are seeing dates released for a 2021 season gives fans something to yearn for. A new season is on the horizon! Whether it’s normal or not, at least we’ll still have one!

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Mandatory Credit: Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire