MLS presents the Orlando Plan in bid to resume 2020 season
Major League Soccer is running out of time to come with a plan to resume the 2020 season during the coronavirus pandemic in the United States.
On 6 May, the majority of the Major League Soccer (MLS) clubs returned to training with players taking part in individual workouts. After a few days of that announcement the MLS decided to extend individual or small group workouts until 1 June and after that the coaches can do entire sessions with the entire team ahead of the start of the campaign.
Time is running up for the MLS to decide how they will resume the season amid the coronavirus pandemic in the United States. So far the most viable option is the ‘Orlando Plan’ that consists behind closed doors at the Disney sports complex and other stadiums in the city.
According to ESPN and The Athletic, the latest proposal from the MLS consists of a planned mini-tournament and the 26 teams will split into four groups, two of them would consist of teams from the Eastern Conference, and two from the Easter Conference, and two would consist of teams from the Western Conference, with Nashville SC temporarily switching from West to East.
The top seed in each group will be Supporter Shield holders LAFC, reigning MLS Cup champions Seattle Sounders, last year’s US Open Cup winners Atlanta United and hometown team Orlando City. Group stage games will count in MLS regular-season standings but games in the knockout stages will not.
The Major League Soccer is hoping to resume the 2020 season, after only playing only two games of the regular season, with this mini-tournament in June and July amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Players, coaches and support staff would live under quarantine and receive regular coronavirus tests. It is hoped that there will be multiple games every single day and this would mean that players could be away from home for eight to 10 weeks, which has led to discomfort among some of them.
“I would start off by saying that I think every one of us agree that we want to get back to playing,” Philadelphia Union midfielder Alejandro Bedoya told ESPN. “I want to get back out there, being competitive, [playing] games. The staff wants to be out there, fans want to be watching games, but I will say that this all feels a little bit rushed.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis recently announced that the state is open to all professional sports teams in the United States who want to resume action amid the coronavirus crisis.