Major League Soccer announced an update to the 2021 preseason start dates on Saturday, with MLS players now set to report on March 1 for a seven-day quarantine period, medical exams and testing ahead of team training getting underway on March 8.
The news follows the announcement earlier this week of an updated season 2021 regular-season start date of April 17 following the ratification of a new Collective Bargaining Agreement between the league and the MLS Players Association. The new preseason start date will allow for six weeks of training before the start of the regular season. MLS will announce additional details of the 2021 MLS regular season schedule in the coming weeks.
In some limited cases, players may begin training prior to March 8.
Players may begin their seven-day quarantine period prior to March 1 on a voluntary basis. In such case, players may conduct individual training during the quarantine period, or may engage in group training following the seven-day quarantine period provided that each player has conducted medical exams and testing. Technical staffs and coaches may not be present during group trainings prior to March 1.
Concacaf Champions League teams
The four MLS clubs that have already qualified for the Concacaf Champions League — Atlanta United, Columbus Crew SC, Philadelphia Union and Portland Timbers — may require players to report on Feb. 24 for their seven-day quarantine period before beginning group training on March 3. The first legs of the Concacaf Champions League Round of 16 matches are due to be played ahead of the start of the MLS season on April 6-8.
On a voluntary basis, players may begin their quarantine period prior to Feb. 24. In such case, players may conduct individual training during the quarantine period and may engage in group training prior to March 3 provided that each player in the group training has conducted medical exams and testing. Technical staffs and coaches for the four teams may not be present during group trainings prior to Feb. 24.
In preparation for the Canadian Championship Final, Toronto FC are permitted to open training camp on Feb. 17, provided that all players participating in team training have conducted a seven-day quarantine period, medical exams, and testing. Players and staff returning to Canada are required to quarantine for 14 days upon entry into the country in compliance with Health Canada guidelines.
Toronto FC will take on Forge FC in the rescheduled Canadian Championship Final on a date still to be announced. The winners will go on to play Club Leon in the Concacaf Champions League Round of 16.