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MLS announces their new schedule and playoff format

Major League Soccer has confirmed the new schedule for the month of September amid the coronavirus pandemic in the United States.

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MLS announces their new schedule and playoff format

Major League Soccer has decided to resume the 2020 season amid the coronavirus pandemic. With everything working according to plan, the MLS announced on September 11 the second phase of the season, and the playoffs format.

Phase two

Each MLS team will play a total of three more regular season games from September 18-27 and the rest of the schedule will be announced after the end of phase two, pending further developments regarding traveling inside the United States.

Each team has to adhere to comprehensive health and safety protocols, including constant testing of players, coaches and essential staff for coronavirus. MLS also announced the new format for the 2020 MLS Cup playoffs. The post-season will be single knockout matches played at the higher-seeded team’s stadium, and the final is set to be played on December 12.

There are 18 teams in the league this season, four more than last year, and the top eight teams from the Western Conference will qualify straight to the first round of playoffs. In the Eastern Conference only the top six teams will make it to the beginning of the post-season and seeds 7-10 will have to compete to determine the two additional spots.

Canadian teams with travel restrictions

Since the pandemic hit, the United States has closed its borders and mutually imposed travel restriction between the U.S. and Canada, including a 14-day quarantine period for people entering the country. Currently there are three Canadian teams in MLS, Montreal Impact, Toronto FC and Vancouver Whitecaps.

The three Canadian teams are currently facing each other in a series of nine matches played in their country and after that series they will travel to the United States for their three matches between September 18-27.

  • Montreal Impact will play Philadelphia Union on September 20 at the Red Bull Arena in New Jersey.
  • Toronto FC will play Columbus Crew on September 27 at Rentschler Field in Connecticut.
  • Vancouver Whitecaps will play Portland Timbers on September 27 at Province Park in Oregon.