A few weeks ago I wrote an opinion piece breaking down how feasible the reported plan to resume the 2020 Major League Soccer season (which you can read here). The plan The Athletic reported is nearly 100% accurate (at this time the league has not announced plans for the Canadian teams). The season will be played in each teams home market and conducted in two phases with 6 games in phase one and 12 games in phase two. 18 teams rather than 14 will qualify for the MLS Cup Playoffs.
How this impacts Minnesota United.
The Loons first six games will consist of 3 home and 3 away matches, all home games will be played behind closed doors. These games will be available on FOX Sports North, SKOR North, and ESPN+. The six matches that MNUFC will play, as currently announced, are as followed.
- Friday 8/21 vs Sporting Kansas City at 6:30 PM
- Saturday 8/29 @ FC Dallas at 7:30 PM
- Wednesday 9/2 @ Houston Dynamo at 7:00 PM
- Sunday 9/6 vs Real Salt Lake at 7:00 PM
- Wednesday 9/9 vs FC Dallas at 7:00 PM
- Sunday 9/13 @ Sporting Kansas City at 7:30 PM
Major League Soccer has stated in their release:
“MLS plans to announce the balance of the regular season schedule by early September as the league continues to work with infectious disease experts, league and club medical personnel, and government officials in all markets in charting a course for the completion of the 2020 season.”
How this impacts the rest of the league.
“MLS continues to work with the league’s three Canadian clubs regarding plans to continue the regular season. More details on schedules for the Canadian teams will be announced in the near future.”
And just as The Athletic reported FC Dallas and Nashville SC will play a three game series against each other to make up the three missed games from the MLS Is Back Group Stage, which also counted for the regular season. Most teams in the league currently will not be allowing fans. Here is how each team has setup their fan situation going forward.
- ATL, CHI, COL, DCU, MNUFC, NE, NYCFC*, NYRB, POR, SJ, SEA - No Fans
- CIN, HOU, LAFC - No Fans for 1st Home Match, Future games TBD
- CLB, LAG, IMCF, NSH, OCSC, PHI - No Answer on Fans
- FCD (5,110), RSL (5,000), SKC (14%, Appx 2,585) - Limited Attendance
*Note New York City FC will be playing at Red Bull Arena not Yankee Stadium until at least the end of the New York Yankees baseball season
Decision Day 2020 will happen on November 8th with the MLS Cup Playoffs starting on November 20th. The Playoffs will open with play in round matches between the 7 vs 10 seeds and 8 vs 9 seeds in the Eastern Conference. Following this the MLS Cup Playoffs will will continue with a standard single elimination format culminating in the MLS Cup Final on December 12th.