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Much Uncertainty Still Around Beginning of MLS Season

Training Camp In Montreal, Warm-up games in Vancouver.

MLS: Montreal Impact-Coach Thierry Henry Press Conference
Sporting Director Olivier Renard (left) remains in the dark still, concerning several aspects of how the 2021 MLS season will begin to unfold.
Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

There are.... many more questions than answers...

What we do know is that CF Montreal training camp gets underway in two weeks and it will be at home. No Florida trips this year.

But regarding the MLS schedule, although it’s been decided the new season kicks off on the first weekend in April, CF Montreal’s sporting director, Olivier Renard said today, “We do not yet have any information on the calendar. I don’t know if the league will start with us playing against the Canadian teams in order to push back the dates [to travel].”

On pre-season Renard acknowledged that training on the synthetic surface for several weeks here in Montreal is not easy for the players, yet felt it may be the lesser of two evils.
Said Renard, “Compared to last year, we think maybe it’s better to have a little tactical delay, but to have a mental freshness for everyone by staying close to their loved ones before potentially going to the US for several weeks.”

Warm-up games before the serious stuff begins are a necessity and it looks like CF Montreal and Vancouver Whitecaps will be getting to know each other quite well.

The club is in discussion with the ‘Caps about arranging some friendlies.

“We are also looking to travel to Vancouver during the preparation to have friendly matches against them because it is easier to travel within Canada.” “If we do, we’ll be leaving for seven or eight days, but not for several weeks as we usually did last season,“ said the sporting director.

It’s already beginning to feel a lot like 2020, when Canadian clubs were forced to decamp to the US for extended periods, to enable fulfillment of their fixtures. Renard is acutely aware of the possibility. He feels there are ‘strong chances’ for the team to relocate to the US for lengthy periods for a second straight year.

It’s not a scenario anyone wants however the sporting director feels, with an increased youthfulness in the group, the squad will handle being away from home comparatively better in 2021.

“Having a young squad will help us compared to last season. I’m talking about players who aren’t married and don’t have children. If we have to spend several weeks or months on the road, that will undoubtedly help us. “