The 2020 MLS regular season has been on hiatus for close to three months, but many teams are taking the first step at getting back to a sense of normalcy.
MLS clubs around North America have begun individual training sessions in order to hopefully get ready for a possible resumption of the league season. According to several reports, Orlando’s Wide World of Sports Complex is being linked as the possible hosting site for all 26 teams to resume play in mid-June.
Philadelphia Union captain and midfielder Alejandro Bedoya spoke out on Wednesday about the process, admitting the situation seems “rushed” by MLS.
“Every one of us, I think, would agree that we want to get back to playing,” Bedoya told “ESPN show Banter with Taylor Twellman”.
“I want to get back out there, being competitive in games. The staff also wants to be out there. Fans want to be watching games, but I will say that this all feels a little bit rushed.”
“I think the players, we’re taking all the risk again by going down there, being isolated. I think it’s a strong term to say it’s like being in a luxurious prison.”
All 26 teams would be quarantined in hotels in Orlando, emerging only to play matches at the complex. There has been no decision made yet on if the remaining regular season matches would be played in while, or a new competition would take the place of the season due to the time lost already.
Bedoya and the Philadelphia Union returned to individual training this week, however not at their usual facilities in Chester, PA. The Union have begun training in Wilmington, Del., due to the stay-at-home orders in Chester, giving the players their first chance to be with their teammates and coaching once again.
The MLS season was two weeks in prior to the postponement due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The league has since cancelled the All-Star Game slated for Los Angeles, the second-annual Campeones Cup and Leagues Cup which also features Liga MX competition.
Bedoya understands the want and need to back on the field, but isn’t a fan of the proposal written up by league executives.
“Essentially we’re going to be sequestered in a hotel in Disney, not being able to do much,” Bedoya said. “This isn’t normal preseason where we can have the freedom to go out to dinner with the guys, go to the movie theater to watch a movie, even go for a quick run to CVS to get the essentials.
“This is just straight lockdown for eight weeks minimum is what they’re asking, 10 weeks if you’re in the final,” Bedoya said. “I don’t know about you but a lot of guys have families. Even if you’re single, a young player, eight weeks alone not being able to do much. It’s like I said, a luxurious prison.”
MLS individual training sessions have been extended through June 1st, despite no official decision yet to be made on the season. Should the COVID-19 numbers continue to drop, then the likelihood of having matches in the near future could increase.