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USL Championship 2021 season format, tentative start date announced

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32-game regular season on tap according to current plans.

Craig Mitchelldyer-Portland Timbers 2

USL announced a flexible start date and competition organization for the upcoming 2021 USL Championship season on Thursday.

First, the season is tentatively tabbed to kick off on or around May 1, with the Board of Governors approving a start date between Apr. 24 and May 15. The release does not get into it, but there are several possible reasons for the flexible start date. First and foremost, the coronavirus pandemic continues to disrupt life around the United States, and there are plenty of uncertainties around holding sporting events in 2021. In addition, the USL Championship has a symbiotic relationship with MLS, and generally starts its season a week or two after MLS, so they are likely waiting to find out when the top flight will kick off in 2021.

In addition, USL announced the 2021 season format for the USL Championship will have the clubs divided into four divisions, with plans to play a 32-game regular season schedule. The four divisions will be considerably larger than the 2020 main competition format, which was four- or five-team groups, with teams playing a few games outside those regional groups.

Obviously there’s plenty of waiting for all of this to come through and we know now that plans don’t always come together. But, this is what’s on tap and we’ll see what happens as we gear up for the 2021 season. Let the season countdown begin!

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