Major League Soccer (MLS) unveiled its plan for the rest of its 2020 season this afternoon.
After the MLS-is-Back tournament concludes on Tuesday evening, league play will resume for American clubs Nashville and Inter-Miami on August 12, with most clubs getting back to action the weekend of 21/22 August. Hopefully the same weekend will also see a return to action for Canadian clubs.
While game schedules have been published for the US clubs, as yet nothing has emerged to detail the next fixtures for the Canadian clubs. All we know at this stage is that Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver will play each other a few times before games resume against American opposition.
MLS wrote in a statement: “Major League Soccer continues to work with all three Canadian clubs in the league on plans for the continuation of the regular season. Further details on the Canadian team schedule will be announced shortly.”
The return to play in home markets will feature comprehensive health and safety protocols, including regular testing of players, coaches and essential staff for COVID-19.
Each club will play 18 additional regular season games in a phased approach, culminating with Decision Day on Sunday, Nov. 8. To make up the three matches missed from the MLS-is-Back tournament, FC Dallas and Nashville SC will play an additional three matches, against each other, with the first two games on Aug. 12 and 16 and a third game to be scheduled in the fall.
In an expansion of the postseason for 2020, 18 clubs will compete in the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs — up from 14 teams last year. MLS Cup will be played on Dec. 12.
Due to the travel restrictions between the U.S. and Canada, MLS announced the initial phase of the league’s revised schedule with each U.S. club playing six matches against other U.S. teams by September 14.
MLS plans to announce the balance of the regular season schedule by early September as the league continues to work with infectious disease experts, league and club medical personnel, and government officials in all markets.