Major League Soccer has been shut down since March 12 after just two rounds of games. All teams were allowed to begin voluntary individual workouts in May as long as they followed their local government’s rules and regulations. MLS is planning to keep teams in their home markets until mid-June and then gathering as a league in Orlando at the Walt Disney World’s Wide World of Sports complex for a month of play. The only dispute as of Wednesday is the pay cut proposed to players and that could lead to a lockout. Let’s take a look at what their plans are so you can begin to plan ahead your bets against our MLS odds.
Soccer MLS COVID-19 Status & Return Date
Atlanta United, Sporting KC, Minnesota United and Colorado Rapids all started the season 2-0. Both expansion teams, Inter Miami CF and Nashville SC are 0-2 as are FC Cincinnati and NYCFC. FC Cincinnati changed coaches during the pandemic with former Manchester United and Netherlands star Jaap Stam taking over for interim coach Yoann Damet on May 21.
MLS is most likely to resume with a tournament that will see each team play five matches in a group play format and those games would count in the regular-season MLS standings. A single-elimination knockout stage would follow the group stage. Dates and group seeds have not been announced. The Seattle Sounders are the defending champions as they beat Toronto FC 3-1 to raise the MLS Cup at CenturyLink Field in November.
Regular Season Play
As mentioned those group stage games would count toward the regular-season standings. MLS commissioner Don Garber is hopeful that the MLS can return to regular season games after the tournament in Orlando. All teams have 32 regular-season games remaining on the 2020 schedule which was originally supposed to end on October 3-4.
CONCACAF Champions League
There’s been no announcement yet from CONCACAF on the future of the 2020 CONCACAF Champions League which is at the quarterfinal stage. Four MLS teams are still alive in the competition with Montreal, New York FC and Atlanta United FC losing the first QF leg and LAFC was yet to kick off against Cruz Azul. Three Liga MX teams and Olimpia from Honduras also remain in the quarterfinals.
The tournament was scheduled to conclude on May 7 before the COVID-19 suspension. The winner of the CONCACAF Champions League advances to the Club World Cup in December in Qatar.
All-Star Game Cancelled
The All-Star Game, which was scheduled for Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles on July 29 has been cancelled. The game was supposed to feature an all-star team from the MLS against an all-star team from Liga MX, Mexico’s top-flight league. While not official, the league plans to put the 2021 MLS All-Star Game in Los Angeles and again include Liga MX All-Stars.
With the Liga MX Clausura officially cancelled on May 22, MLS announced the cancellation of the 2020 Leagues Cup and the 2020 Campeones Cup on May 19. The Leagues Cup features eight MLS teams and eight Liga MX teams in a 16-team knockout stage tournament. The Campeones Cup pits the champions of both leagues against each other in a winner-take-all contest.