Across the length and breadth of the planet, still threatened by the pandemic of coronavirus, the soccer leagues try to adapt to resume their activity. In the case of Major League Soccer (MLS) The return of the United States has been made official this Wednesday: it will resume its 2020 season the July 8 with a special tournament in Orlando.
After only two days could be played before the interruption by COVID-19, the 25th season will resume again with a format similar to that of a soccer World Cup in which the 26 clubs of the league and it will be called ‘MLS Special Tournament is Back’. It will be held in the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. It is the same venue chosen by the NBA to resume its contest.
"We are pleased to join Disney in relaunching the 2020 MLS season and playing soccer again. The opportunity to have 26 clubs in a controlled environment allows us to help protect the health of our players, coaches and staff, "he said Don garber, Commissioner of the American Professional Soccer League.
All clubs will begin to arrive at Orlando from June 24 to make a preseason, already with the permission to make group workouts following the medical protocols and exams of the MLS. Must arrive no later than seven days before their first match.
At the start of the competition, it will be similar to the format of the FIFA World Cup: there will be matches almost every day – the vast majority will be played at night – and each team will play three group stage matches, to place classify to the regular season of the MLS 2020. This stage will last 16 consecutive days and the top two teams from each group along with the top four third will advance to the knockout stage, which will include the knockout stages, quarterfinals, semifinals and final to play the August 11. In the event that a knockout stage match is a draw after 90 minutes, there will be penalties.
The MLS has also confirmed that it will incorporate the new protocol established by the IFAB which allows up to five substitutions per party. Additionally, teams can convene up to 23 players on each payroll for games.
KEY DATES OF MLS RETURN:
• 11th of June: Draw of the group stage of the MLS Special Tournament is Back
• June 24: The teams begin to arrive in Florida
• July 8: The group phase of the MLS is Back Special Tournament begins
• July 25-28: Round of 16
• July 30-August 1: Quarter finals
• August 5-6: Semifinals
• August 11: Final of the MLS Special Tournament is Back
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