The Major League Soccer (MLS) is set to resume the 2020 season. Following in the footsteps of the Premier League and Spanish La Liga, among others, action will resume this month.
In a bid to deal with the unexpected break caused by the pandemic, the league will be taking a new format. In a press statement released, the league said:
“Similar to a FIFA World Cup, the tournament will feature a continuous schedule of matches nearly every day…”
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Ironically, this tournament-format of the league will take place in Florida, one of the country’s coronavirus hot spots. As if that’s not enough to deal with, only 25 teams will now take part in this MLS Is Back event.
A few days ago, FC Dallas had to withdraw from the competition after over 10 players tested positive. This was before they were billed to restart the league in Group B, alongside San Jose Earthquakes, Seattle Sounders, and Vancouver Whitecaps.
While other groups (Group C, D, E, and F) will feature four teams, Group A will feature six teams. Each of these teams will play three group stage games. The motivation to win these games in the new MLS season?
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Asides the prize money, the winner of the tournament will also qualify for the Concacaf Champions League next year.
One of the threats to the successful completion of this tournament is the rate of positive results coming out of the test labs. On Tuesday, the opening-day game, between Nashville and Chicago had to be postponed. This happened because five Nashville players tested positive.
This week, the tournament will be kicked off by a new Florida derby, a game between Orlando City and David Beckham’s Inter Miami. It’s the first time both sides are meeting, and it remains to be seen ow the game will play out.
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Two of the teams to look out for in this tournament are last year’s play-off finalists, Toronto FC and Seattle Sounders. Both sides swept Atalanta Utd and Los Angeles FC asides respectively to qualify for a final that Seattle won. The Sounders will now be looking to continue from where they stopped while Toronto FC will want to win the trophy and follow in the footsteps of Toronto Raptors in the NBA.
Once it kicks off, there’ll be at least a game played every day, with at least three games per day during the weekend. Which teams will you be rooting for when the tournament kicks off? Which sides are you favoring to go the distance in the tournament?
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