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

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.

Comments

  1. Apparently MLS execs don’t visit Orlando much in the summer… I’d say FL and TX are the worst places to do this. After a couple games, they will have to tweak the rules even more to allow 11 subs and cooling breaks every 5 minutes. I know these are professional athletes who can handle the heat/humidity better than the average Joe, but game after game of this, some of these games probably during the day, the FL heat/humidity will wear the players down and affect the quality of play. I know every state has heat waves, but May-September is one perpetual heat wave down here…

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  2. Special times, special plans.
    I dont really have an opinion, just overcome peoples hesitancies, because if anyone think they know better, they might not.
    I do want soccer, that is my opinion.

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  3. Sounds pretty half baked to me. And why Orlando? Just because Disney is offering facilities? If they are going to do a special tournament, it would make a lot more sense to use several different venues. My suggestion–Seattle, Portland, LA, New York, maybe Columbus or KC. These choices are based on the virus and weather. .The Pacific Northwest has relatively low rates of the virus and both cities have cool weather. California also has a relatively low rate and June is usually cool, plus there are two different stadiums to use. New York had it bad, but is pretty much over it and you have two different stadiums you can use (counting the one in New Jersey). Finally, one site in the Midwest for some geographical balance and neither would be that hot and both have relatively low outbreaks.

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    • FL is opened up. Seattle is NOT.
      .
      Otherwise, YES Seattle. I will rent from a high rise over the stadium and “work” from home.

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  4. Even with the shortage of tests these idiots plan on hoarding thousands of them so the can play some soccer games nobody cares about?
    There‚Äôs a special place in hell….

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    • your leader said there would be tests for anyone who wants it, so it’s not hoarding. I go to one or two games per year, but I watch dozens and dozens of games on ESPN streaming or on television. The fan atmosphere obviously impacts what and how much I watch, absent that I’d say I’d still watch a dozen or so games of my favorite team (LAG), and about the same of my nearby team (SJ). If they plan on playing nearly a whole season, they’re going to have to come up with a plan for playing games in home stadiums and having fans, even if they are spread out and masked.

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