Soccer to resume play in “MLS is back Tournament”. Major League Soccer (MLS) has followed the NBA’s footsteps in resuming play at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at the Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Disney World has become the premiere destination for sports’ re-debuts due to its spacious sports facilities including vast soccer fields where the tournament will air.
“We are pleased to team up with Disney to relaunch the 2020 MLS season and get back to playing soccer,” said MLS Commissioner Don Garber.
“The opportunity to have all 26 clubs in a controlled environment enables us to help protect the health of our players, coaches and staff as we return to play. We also recognize that the death of George Floyd and others has focused our country on issues of racial injustice, inequality and violence against black men and women. Together with our owners, players and staff, the League and its Clubs are deeply committed to creating meaningful and impactful programs to address these issues that have plagued our society for far too long.”
The tournament will begin on July 8. With 54 teams, 26 matches, 6 groups, a champion will be crowned, and the tournament will commence on August 11. The regular season will resume after the tournament. The stakes are extremely high, with $1.1 Million in prize money and a 2021 Concacaf Champions League spot.
As important as it is for the world to get back to normalcy in watching soccer, the health and safety of players is essential. CDC guidelines will be followed, including regular testing and social distancing. Safety will be upheld, even if that means breaking pre -game traditions like kissing the ball or exchanging jersey’s, of which both will be prohibited.
While on the bench players, coaches, and trainers will be required to wear masks. The format may look and even feel unfamiliar, however, once the whistle blows, the game we all love to watch will be back.