A long-awaited day in the offseason of Major League Soccer has arrived, schedule release day. After a season unlike any other in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Dynamo will return to more of a “normal” schedule in 2021. Houston will play six nationally televised games this season in addition to playing the opening game of the MLS season on April 16 against the San Jose Earthquakes.
The Dynamo will play every team from the Western Conference at least twice in 2021 and will play eight teams three times. Houston will also play two teams from the Eastern Conference, FC Cincinnati at BBVA Stadium on July 3, and the season finale against CF Montreal in Canada on November 3. Major League Soccer’s Decision Day will take place on Sunday, November 7, however the Dynamo will have a bye.
With the full schedule now out, what are 5 games to look forward to in 2021, let’s take a look?
Friday, April 16 vs San Jose Earthquakes
That’s right, the Dynamo kick off the Major League Soccer season with the first league game of 2021 taking place at BBVA Stadium against the Earthquakes. The club will celebrate “Welcome Back to BBVA Stadium Night” to celebrate the return of MLS and the club’s 10thseason in their downtown home. This will be the ninth consecutive season that Houston opens the season at home.
Saturday, May 1 vs Los Angeles Football Club
Last season, before the pandemic hit, the Dynamo opened their season against the LA Galaxy and Mexican star Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez. A huge crowd welcomed the Mexican and fans will have another chance this year to pack BBVA to see an El Tri attacker. Carlos Vela and LAFC will visit Houston to begin the month of May. Last season the Dynamo played a thrilling 3-3 draw with Bob Bradley’s side at the MLS Is Back Tournament and with the LA club looking to be a strong challenge again in 2021, this should be a must-see event in downtown Houston.
Wednesday, August 4 at Austin FC
Texas’ newest MLS team makes their debut in 2021. The first meeting between the Dynamo and the club from the state capital will take place in Austin on August 4. Austin FC is opening their brand new Q2 Stadium this summer, and this will likely be a trip many Dynamo fans will be keen on taking, even though it’s a midweek encounter. Whether or not El Capitan will be in play for Austin’s meetings with the other Texas teams remains to be seen.
Saturday, August 21 vs FC Dallas
The original Texas Derby returns to BBVA Stadium on August 21. FC Dallas is one of four teams that will come to Houston twice in 2021 (Vancouver, Portland, and Colorado being the other three). The Dynamo will look to take back possession of the cannon with this meeting and a September 18th meeting, as well as a trip to Frisco on May 8 to decide its ownership.
Sunday, October 31 vs Colorado Rapids
Houston finishes its home schedule with a visit from the Rapids on Halloween. This game is scheduled for 2:30 in the afternoon so hopefully there is some perfect fall weather in Texas, and we can all enjoy some MLS in the afternoon before returning home to Trick or Treat with the kiddos that evening. And who knows, the Dynamo could be fighting for valuable points in a playoff push at this point late in the season.
Which games are you most excited to see? Let us know in the comments.