MLS Eyes Resuming Season In Home Markets Later This Month
MLS is "taking substantial steps toward resuming the regular season in home markets late this month," according to Steven Goff of the WASHINGTON POST. Sources said that the first full weekend "would occur Aug. 21-23." However, a source said that Nashville SC and FC Dallas -- which did not participate in the MLS is Back Tournament because of coronavirus outbreaks shortly after arriving at the Disney World bubble -- "would be the first to restart by facing one another twice, Aug. 12-15 in Texas." Goff reports MLS and the MLSPA have been "in constant contact about continuing the season through the fall, culminating with MLS Cup in December." Over the weekend, the MLSPA "provided feedback about the league’s latest proposals." Among the "issues the league and the players’ association are discussing is testing: In the Florida bubble, results came back within 12 hours, but in home markets, timetables could vary." This "would pose problems when needing to retest an individual or test the entire team on short notice after a positive result in the delegation." The league "seems likely to allow spectators, provided the home team complies with local health guidelines" (WASHINGTON POST, 8/4).
PRESIDENT'S PERSPECTIVE: In Cincinnati, Pat Brennan notes FC Cincinnati President Jeff Berding yesterday "painted a picture of how MLS might manifest itself locally and elsewhere the rest of the year." Brennan notes the near future for MLS "could include a limited number of spectators inside stadiums and player-safety initiatives including chartered flights and no hotel stays." Berding, appearing on a Facebook Live show yesterday, said, "They (MLS) are working on the schedule for return-to-play in home markets, so we envision the regular season will begin probably the third week in August and we’ll start playing home and away matches. I think the question of fans versus no fans, we’re prepared for both. Maybe 20, 25 percent fans at Nippert, as well as no fans, similar to how the Reds are doing." He added, "We’re going to try to have our players and coaches fly charter to the cities to play the match and then immediately return back, so there’d be no hotels. ... We’re going to try to reduce the risk and take care of player health by just having them go and play the match" (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 8/4).