Reports: MLS ponders proposal to have all 26 teams play in Orlando

Reports: MLS ponders proposal to have all 26 teams play in Orlando

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Reports: MLS ponders proposal to have all 26 teams play in Orlando

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If MLS matches are to be played again any time soon, they just might take place in Orlando.

MLS is proposing a plan to have all of its 26 teams congregate in central Florida to play in a round robin-style tournament, according to multiple reports that emerged on Tuesday. The Washington Post reported on the Orlando plan late Monday.

Under the proposal, the league would reportedly target June 1 as the date for teams to begin training in Orlando, and July 1 for when matches would begin. The games would be held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, which is located on a piece of the enormous 220 acres that Walt Disney World owns in Orlando.

The proposal would require the housing of more than 1,000 participants, including players, coaches, and support staff. They would all reportedly live under quarantine in one of Disney’s nearby resorts, with workouts and multiple games held each day. League broadcast partner ESPN would reportedly air the matches.

According to The Athletic, player and team sources “expressed skepticism about the feasibility of the plan“, a plan that would require teams to play multiple matches in a short time frame in the notoriously hot month of June in Orlando, and doing so after a short preseason to prepare and build up up match fitness.

There is also the issue of securing enough tests to cover repeatedly testing the group of more than 1,000 participants needed to pull off the Orlando plan.

The plan would also be contingent on the MLS Players’ Union agreeing to the plan, which is far from a sure thing.

Florida reopened some nonessential businesses last week, though the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex is currently still closed.

MLS action came to a halt back in March after two matchdays because of the COVID-19 pandemic. League officials have said multiple times that the goal is to play as many games of the 2020 season as possible, even if it means moving the playoffs and MLS Cup back to December, or even later.

Some MLS teams started holding individual workout sessions at their respective practice facilities last week, and there is reportedly hope that small-sided group trainings can begin soon.

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