MLS will officially resume the 2020 season in July
The Major League Soccer is the first American league that has a set date to resume after the coronavirus pandemic and they will do a tournament in Orlando.
The Major League Soccer (MLS) announced the morning of 10 June that they are ready to resume activity in July after the coronavirus pandemic called a hiatus on activity in March. Due to the pandemic the MLS will have to change their 25th anniversary celebration and to resume the 2020 season they will do a 26-team tournament at the Wide World of Sports complex in Disney.
“The opportunity to have all 26 clubs in a controlled environment enables us to help protect the health of our players, coaches and staff as we return to play. The opportunity to have all 26 clubs in a controlled safe environment enables us to help protect the health of our players, coaches and staff as we return to play” MLS commissioner Don Garber said in a statement.
How is the tournament going to structured?
Due to the circumstances the MLS decided to divide the 26 teams into 6 groups with each club playing three games. The top two teams in each group, plus the four best third-place will qualify to the round-of-16. The MLS also announced that for this tournament Nashville SC will be moved to the Eastern Conference and each conference will have 3 groups each with one of six teams and two of four teams. The Western Conference will have 3 groups, each one of them will have 4 teams.
- 24 June: Teams will be arriving in Orlando, Flo.
- 8 July: Group stage begins with all the 26 teams in the MLS to be divided into 6 groups, playing in a “World Cup-style” group stage and all those three games would count toward the regular-season standings.
- 25-28 July: At the end of the group-stage, teams who qualify move on to the round-of-16 knockout stage.
- 30 July - 1 August: Semifinals.
- 11 August: MLS tournament final
The top seeds of each group
The top seeds of each of the six groups are already defined. Since Orlando City is the host, they will be the top seed of Group A. The other 4 top seeds will be the four semi finalists from the 2019 MLS Cup, Atlanta United, LAFC, Seattle Sounders FC and Toronto FC. The last top seed will be given to Real Salt Lake because they had the next-highest points total in the Western Conference from last year. There will be a draw tomorrow at 03:30 p.m. ET to know where each of the rest of the teams are going to play.
On 12 March the MLS decided to postpone the 2020 season due to the coronavirus pandemic with only two regular season games being played. As of last months many of the clubs returned to practice in their local facilities but with individual workouts.
MLS sent a message about equality over Floyd’s death
The announcement of the return of the MLS came 16 days after the death of George Floyd that sparked protests all over the 50 states of the country and they decided to send a message supporting the cause for equality and justice.
“We also recognize that the death of George Floyd and others has focused our country on issues of racial injustice, inequality and violence against black men and women. Together with our owners, players and staff, the League and its Clubs are deeply committed to creating meaningful and impactful programs to address these issues that have plagued our society for far too long,” said commissioner Don Garber.
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