MLS at a glance
What: 26th season of Major League Soccer, the top professional soccer league in the United States and Canada.
Teams: 27, with the addition of Austin FC. Charlotte joins the league next year, and St. Louis will join in 2023. An expansion franchise planned for Sacramento fell apart amid the pandemic, and MLS is looking at its options for a 30th team.
Key dates: Friday, 34-match regular-season begins; Nov. 7, last day of regular season; Nov. 19, playoffs begin (top seven teams from each conference); Dec. 11, MLS Cup.
2020 in review: The Philadelphia Union won the Supporters' Shield as the top team in the regular season, and the Columbus Crew won the MLS Cup, defeating the Seattle Sounders 3-0 for its second league title and first since 2008. LAFC forward Diego Rossi won the Golden Boot at age 22, becoming the youngest player in MLS history to lead the league in goals scored (14 goals in 19 matches).
What's new (besides Austin FC): There is a new collective bargaining agreement that runs through the 2027 season; three new stadiums will open — in Austin, Cincinnati and Columbus; and the Montreal Impact has rebranded as Club de Foot Montreal, or CF Montreal.
Pandemic-related: Canadian teams will once again play in the United States for the foreseeable future: Vancouver in Utah, Toronto and Montreal in Florida.