MLS kicking off 26th season with games in Houston, Seattle


Major League Soccer will kick off its 26th season on April 16 with a match in Houston between the Dynamo and the San Jose Earthquakes and another in Seattle between the Sounders and Minnesota United.

The rest of the season openers are scheduled for the weekend of April 17-18.

The league’s newest team, Austin FC, will play its inaugural game April 17 against LAFC at Banc of California Stadium. That game will be broadcast nationally on FOX. Austin will open at its home, Q2 Stadium, on June 19 against the Earthquakes.

Cincinnati FC will inaugurate its new West End Stadium on May 16 with a match against Miami.

The defending MLS Cup campion Columbus Crew, which will open their new stadium later this season, open play at their current stadium on April 18 against Philadelphia.

The league’s three Canadian teams will relocate to the United States to start the season because of coronavirus-related travel restrictions between the two countries. Vancouver will move to Sandy, Utah, and play its games at Rio Tinto Stadium. Montreal will be based at Inter Miami’s Fort Lauderdale, Florida, facilities, and Toronto FC will be based in the Orlando area.

Toronto was dealt a setback this week when training for the upcoming season was paused because of multiple positive COVID-19 cases.

All five of the league’s broadcast partners, ABC, FOX, Univision’s UniMas and Canada’s CTV and TVA, will broadcast games on the opening weekend.

The full season schedule will be announced in the coming weeks, the league said Wednesday.

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