The schedule for the resumption of the regular MLS 2020 season in national markets will soon be announced, MLS Commissioner Don Garber said during an appearance on FS1 on Wednesday evening.
Garber was speaking during the interval of the first semifinal of the MLS is Back Tournament between the Portland Timbers and the Philadelphia Union. The tournament will conclude with the final in Orlando on August 11th.
“What drives MLS is this culture of football and entering our markets and bringing our players home, taking them to play in the stadiums and training on the training grounds,” said Garber. “We will return to our markets, announce our program soon. We will be able to play with fans where we can and not play with fans in most of our markets.
“But we learned a lot in the bubble. We learned the tests, we learned the incredible commitment of our players: wearing masks and socially distancing ourselves and taking the real responsibility to keep us safe. And this will really give us an idea of what that I have to finish the season, have the playoffs and have an MLS Cup later this year. “
After the early retirement of FC Dallas and Nashville SC, there have been no positive COVID-1
“We focused on the health and safety of our players and everyone involved, and most importantly, we managed to achieve this,” said Garber. “We wanted to create something that was unique and that was special. Think about this, 51 games in 35 days and delivery for our fans, bringing our players to the field, having our media partners and sponsors able to re-engage, recovering the momentum we had with the launch of season 25. That’s what makes us feel pretty good tonight. “
As for the tournament which is about to become an annual event, as suggested by Philadelphia Union coach Jim Curtin this week, Garber pointed out that it was not currently on the agenda.
“Maybe that’s something we could recreate earlier in the year,” he said. “None of this has been planned. Our focus is in our markets, in front of our fans when we can, bringing our players home and bringing back a sense of normalcy once we are able to get a regular cadence of games. “