Coronavirus: MLS players finalise return plan amid Orlando tournament reports

Omnisport

MLS players have finalised a plan to return to playing this season amid reports the 2020 campaign will become a tournament in Orlando.

The latest MLS season, which began in February, was halted after just two weeks due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The regular season had been scheduled to run until October, but much of the calendar has been wiped out by the suspension amid the global crisis.

Scroll to continue with content
Ad

However, the Major League Soccer Players Association (MLSPA) announced on Wednesday its members had come to an agreement on the remainder of the campaign.

In a statement announcing a new collective bargaining agreement, to run through 2025, the MLSPA said: "Today's vote also finalises a plan to resume the 2020 season and provides players with certainty for the months ahead.

"It allows our members to move forward and continue to compete in the game they love."

It has been reported MLS teams will compete in a televised tournament at Disney's ESPN Wide World of Sports complex in Orlando in early July, replacing the standard season.

Clubs will reportedly first play a group stage and then knockout rounds, although MLS is yet to confirm the details of the league's resumption.

Asked last month about a return to the pitch, New England Revolution captain Carles Gil told Stats Perform News: "I don't mind where and when it is, but sooner is better. And especially in the safest way possible.

"If it has to be in Orlando, let it be in Orlando. And if we can restart the league as it has always been, it is even better. My opinion is to go on, safety granted, the best way possible."

Meanwhile, apparently referring to the nationwide protests against racism and police brutality following the death of George Floyd, the MLSPA's statement on Wednesday added: "There are problems we face collectively that are both more urgent and more important than competing on the field.

"We are grieving, we are fed up, we expect change, and we expect action."

What to read next