MLS reveals schedule as Austin, Columbus, Cincinnati get first dates for new stadiums

Major League Soccer unveiled its 2021 regular season schedule, including an Aug. 21 rematch between MLS Cup finalists Columbus Crew SC and Seattle Sounders FC, as well as opening dates for the league's three newest stadiums.

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The league had previously announced April 16 as Opening Day as part of a 13-match weekend slate. Expansion side Austin FC will open its inaugural season on the road against LAFC on April 17, but won't be set for a home match at its new stadium until June 19 against the San Jose Earthquakes.

FC Cincinnati will open its new stadium on May 16 against Inter Miami CF, with defending champions Columbus showcasing its new home against the New England Revolution on July 3.

All 27 MLS clubs will play in 34 regular season matches, 17 home and 17 away. At the end of the regular season, the top seven teams from each conference will qualify for the MLS Cup Playoffs, which are set to begin on Nov. 19. The MLS Cup final is scheduled for Dec. 11.

Due to travel restrictions brought forth by the coronavirus pandemic, the three Canadian teams -- Toronto FC, CF Montreal, and the Vancouver Whitecaps -- will play all their matches in the U.S. until a return to their home markets is permitted.