MLS sets 2020 conferences: new clubs Inter Miami in East, Nashville SC in West
Following the incorporation of Inter Miami and Nashville in 2020, the MLS is set for further expansion with three more clubs joining up in 2021 and 2022.
The MLS has announced the conference alignments for the upcoming 2020 season, which sees the addition of two new franchises, Inter Miami and Nashville SC.
As expected, David Beckham’s Inter Miami will be placed in the Eastern Conference, while Nashville, although being much closer to the East Coast, will be in the Western conference, to ensure an equal 13 teams in each division.
In the Western Conference, Nashville, who have just announced the signing of Senegalese forward Dominique Badji from FC Dallas, will have to face current MLS champions Seattle Sounders and 2019 Supporters Shield winners LAFC.
MLS 2020 format
Despite there being an additional club in each division, each team will continue to play a 34-game regular season with 17 home matches and 17 away matches.
“Every team will play their 12 intra-conference opponents twice – once home and once away for a total of 24 matches – with the other 10 regular-season matches coming against the opposite conference. Those inter-conference opponents will be revealed with the full 2020 schedule release,” the MLS stated.
The 2020 Major League Soccer season will be the 25th edititon of the U.S. championship, with the regular season beginning on February 29 and ending in October 2020. The MLS Cup Playoffs will begin in October or November 2020, and conclude with MLS Cup final in November 2020.
MLS expansion set to continue in 2021 and 2022
Following the incorporation of Inter Miami and Nashville in 2020, the MLS is set for further expansion with three more clubs joining up in 2021 and 2022: Austin FC (2021), Sacramento Republic FC (2022) and St. Louis (2022).
MLS Eastern Conference 2020 (13 clubs)
Chicago Fire FC
Columbus Crew SC
Inter Miami CF
New England Revolution
New York City FC
New York Red Bulls
MLS Western Conference 2020 (13 clubs)
Real Salt Lake
San Jose Earthquakes
Sporting Kansas City
MLS All Stars vs Liga MX XI
During the MLS 2020 season, the MLS All Stars will take on Liga MX XI, a selection of the best players from the Mexican league, with the match taking place at the Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles on July 29.
It will be the first-ever game between the MLS All Stars and Liga MX’s top players.
"As we celebrate our 25th season, we wanted to deliver an unique and unprecedented format for our annual All-Star Game," MLS commissioner Don Garber said in a statement in November.
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