After three months of no live-action in the MLS, the league is set to make a comeback on 8th July. The first game will be staged in Disney World, Florida, without any audience, though it will air live. The reason for the selection of Florida is to have neutral ground for easy control of all the twenty-six teams. This decision was made by football officials in a bid to ensure the safety of the players, coaches, and other supporting staff.
Walt Disney’s Company was selected due to its ability to provide high-quality services to both the players and the official during matches. It also has the managerial skills needed to host around 2000 people into one environment for five weeks. All the 26 clubs will take part in what is being termed as MLS is back, which will run up to 11th August.
According to the organizers, the remaining MLS fixtures will be played in tournament mode. That will see each game played count in the standings of Major League Soccer regular season. The winner of the tournament will earn a spot in the 2021 CONCACAF champions’ league. The plan in place set by MLS is to continue with the regular season followed by playoffs and the 25th MLS cup.
MLS commissioner Don Garber did not provide a timetable for when teams will return to play home matches. Garber assures all fans that things will go back to normal. But that will depend on the status of the current situation.
Most American football fans are happy with the opening of the major league soccer, with Betway punters getting their wagers ready ahead of time. Betway offers solid odds on all MLS games, and you can also wager on other major leagues around the globe like the EPL, La Liga, and Bundesliga, to name a few.
Clubs will start arriving in Orlando from 24th June for training purposes before the games resume. The players are expected to be in the ESPN wide resort of sports not later than seven days before their first match.
All the players will be staying in one hotel, and no other guests or visitors will be allowed in the vicinity. Additionally, players will undergo routine checkups and maintain social distance during their stay. They will also be expected to wear face masks in the hotel.
Each team is required to play three league matches. The results will count in the MLS regular season standings. The top two teams in each group will proceed to the knockout stage. The four best third-placed teams will also advance to the knockout stage.
The teams will be placed into different groups during the live draw on Thursday, with the Eastern conference featuring three groups of six teams and two others with four teams. However, fans will have to wait a little bit longer before things can resume to normal and matches start being played in front of a live audience. Fortunately, the remaining fixtures in this year’s campaign will be completed in time behind a closed stadium.