April 16 (UPI) -- The first matchups of the 2021 MLS season, MLB and NBA regular-season games and two NASCAR races in Richmond, Va., fill the weekend sports schedule. Several boxing and UFC bouts also take place Saturday.
MLS teams look to start an uninterrupted season Friday when four teams launch the 2021 campaign. The 2020 MLS season stopped after two games last March due to COVID-19. Teams returned to the field for an Orlando, Fla., tournament in July and resumed the regular season in August.
The Houston Dynamo face the San Jose Earthquakes in the first game of the 2021 campaign at 8 p.m. EDT Friday in Houston.
MLS starts new season
Twenty-six of MLS' 27 teams are in action from Friday through Sunday. Real Salt Lake is the only team without a game on the league's opening weekend.
The Seattle Sounders host Minnesota United in the second game of the season at 9:30 p.m. EDT Friday in Seattle. The Dynamo-Earthquakes game does not air on national TV, but the Sounders face Minnesota on FS1.
The season continues with eight games Saturday and three games Sunday. LAFC battles first-year franchise Austin FC at 6 p.m. EDT Saturday on Fox.
The weekend MLS slate features two additional national broadcasts. Inter Miami battles the Los Angeles Galaxy at 3 p.m. EDT Sunday on ABC. The Columbus Crew plays the Philadelphia Union at 5:30 p.m. EDT Sunday on FS1.
Top NBA matchups
Six exciting NBA matchups air on national TV from Friday through Sunday.
Kawhi Leonard and the Los Angeles Clippers face Ben Simmons' Philadelphia 76ers at 7 p.m. EDT Friday on ESPN. Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks then host the New York Knicks at 9:30 p.m. EDT on ESPN.
The Los Angeles Lakers face the Utah Jazz at 4:30 p.m. EDT Saturday on ESPN. Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors face the Boston Celtics at 8:30 p.m. on ABC.
ESPN airs another two games Sunday. The first matchup features Zion Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans against the Knicks at 1 p.m. EDT. The Miami Heat then host the Brooklyn Nets at 3:30 p.m. on the same network.
NASCAR at Richmond
NASCAR's Martin Truex Jr. will attempt to win for the third time in his last five Cup Series races when drivers start their engines at the 2021 Toyota Owners 400 on Sunday in Richmond, Va. Truex won Sunday's Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500 and is the favorite to win again on Richmond Raceway's 0.75-mile track.
The Toyota Owners 400 starts at 3 p.m. EDT Sunday and airs on Fox.
Cup Series standings leader Denny Hamlin, Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano and Kyle Larson join Truex as Top 5 betting favorites to win the ninth race of the season. Chase Elliott, Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick, Cole Custer and Ryan Blaney are among the Top 10 favorites for the 300-mile event.
NASCAR Truck Series drivers compete in the 2021 ToyotaCare 250 at 1:30 p.m. EDT Saturday at Richmond. That race airs on FS1.
Braves at Cubs at 2:20 p.m. EDT on MLB Network (Out of market only)
Rays at Yankees at 7:05 p.m. EDT on MLB Network (Out of market only)
White Sox at Red Sox at 7:10 p.m. EDT on MLB Network (Out of market only)
Mets at Rockies at 8:40 p.m. EDT on ESPN+
Astros at Mariners at 10:10 p.m. EDT on MLB Network (Out of market only)
Dodgers at Padres at 10:10 p.m. EDT on MLB Network (Out of market only)
Flames at Canadiens at 6 p.m. EDT on ESPN+
Islanders at Bruins at 7 p.m. EDT on NHL Network
Kings at Avalanche at 9 p.m. EDT on ESPN+
Clippers at 76ers at 7 p.m. EDT on ESPN
Knicks at Mavericks at 9:30 p.m. EDT on ESPN
Dynamo vs. Earthquakes at 8 p.m. EDT on ESPN+
Sounders vs. Minnesota United at 9:30 p.m. EDT on FS1
Devils at Rangers at 12:30 p.m. EDT on ESPN+
Capitals at Flyers at 12:30 p.m. EDT on NHL Network
Penguins at Sabres at 3 p.m. EDT on NBC
Panthers at Lightning at 7 p.m. EDT on ESPN+
Blackhawks at Red Wings at 7 p.m. EDT on NHL Network
Oilers at Jets at 10 p.m. EDT on NHL Network
Diamondbacks at Nationals at 1:05 p.m. EDT on ESPN+/MLB Network (Out of market only)
Rays at Yankees at 1:05 p.m. EDT on MLB Network (Out of market only)
White Sox at Red Sox at 4:05 p.m. EDT on FS1
Twins at Angels at 9:07 p.m. EDT on FS1
Truck Series ToyotaCare 250 at 1:30 p.m. EDT on FS1
Montreal vs. Toronto at 2 p.m. EDT on ESPN+
Orlando vs. Atlanta United at 3 p.m. EDT on TUDN
LAFC vs. Austin at 6 p.m. EDT on Fox
D.C. United vs. NYCFC at 8 p.m. EDT on ESPN+
Dallas vs. Rapids at 8 p.m. EDT on ESPN+
Red Bulls vs. Sporting Kansas City at 8 p.m. EDT on ESPN+
Fire vs. Revolution at 8:30 p.m. EDT on ESPN+
Nashville vs. Cincinnati at 8:30 p.m. EDT on ESPN+
Jazz at Lakers at 4:30 p.m. EDT on ESPN
Warriors at Celtics at 8:30 p.m. EDT on ABC
Jake Paul vs. Ben Askren streams at 9 p.m. EST on PPV at TheFightClub.com
UFC Fight Night on ESPN/ESPN+
Ricardo Ramos vs. Bill Algeo at 10 p.m. EDT
Luis Pena vs. Alexander Munoz after first fight
Abdul Razak Alhassan vs. Jacob Malkoun after second fight
Andrei Arlovski vs. Chase Sherman after third fight
Jeremy Stephens vs. Drakkar Klose after fourth fight
Robert Whittaker vs. Kelvin Gastelum after fifth fight
Capitals at Bruins at noon EDT on NBC
Rangers at Devils at 3 p.m. EDT on NHL Network
Penguins at Sabres at 3 p.m. EDT on ESPN+
Golden Knights at Ducks at 4 p.m. EDT on ESPN+
Islanders at Flyers at 6:30 p.m. EDT on NBCSN
Kings at Avalanche at 9 p.m. EDT on NBCSN
Pelicans at Knicks at 1 p.m. EDT on ESPN
Nets at Heat at 3:30 p.m. EDT on ESPN
Rays at Yankees at 1:05 p.m. EDT on ESPN+
Astros at Mariners at 4:10 p.m. EDT on MLB Network (Out of market only)
Dodgers at Padres at 4:10 p.m. EDT on MLB Network (Out of market only)
Braves at Cubs at 7:08 p.m. EDT on ESPN
Inter Miami vs. Galaxy at 3 p.m. EDT on ABC
Crew vs. Union at 5:30 p.m. EDT on FS1
Whitecaps vs. Timbers at 10 p.m. EDT on ESPN+
Cup Series Toyota Owners 400 at 3 p.m. EDT on Fox