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MLS announces 2020 season restart

MLS announces 2020 season restart set for Aug. 12

August 8, 2020 By Juan Aguerrevere
Major League Soccer released the schedule for the return of the 25th season in home markets kicking-off on Aug. 12.

The 2020 MLS season stopped abruptly on March 8 as a result of the growing concern for player, staff and fan safety amid the COVID-19 pandemic. League officials took steps forward toward a possible league restart by announcing the MLS is Back Tournament, which kicked off in Orlando on July 8. Now, on Saturday, Aug. 8, the MLS revealed the schedule for the first phase of the return of the season in home markets.

The league is planning to continue comprehensive health and safety protocols like the ones followed at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex bubble during the MLS is Back Tournament, which had a successful turn-out with 0 positive cases since kick-off. Health and safety protocols will include regular testing of players, coaches and staff. Also, the majority of games will be played behind closed doors with the possibility of allowing limited capacity at certain games.

The new schedule will see each team play 18 regular-season matches in a phased approach. Most teams will play six games against regional opponents through Sept. 14 in what will be considered the first phase of the league's return. 

FC Dallas and Nashville SC will be the two exceptions as both teams will play three additional games to make up for those missed at the MLS is Back Tournament. These two teams will open phase one of the tournament as they are scheduled to meet on Aug. 12 at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas, and again at the same location on Aug. 16. 

Major League Soccer is currently working closely with the league's Canadian franchises regarding the travel restriction between the U.S. and Canada. More details regarding Canadian clubs' schedules will be announced in the future.

The regular season will end on Decision Day on Nov. 8, and the MLS aims to release the remainder of the schedule in early September.

2020 MLS Season: Games to Watch

New York Derby – Aug. 20 

Also known as the Hudson River Derby, New York City FC and the New York Red Bulls will meet on Aug. 20. The Red Bulls lead the all-time series 9W-5L-2D. 

El Trafico – Aug. 21 

One of the league's newest and most exciting rivalry matchups will continue on Aug. 21 when the LA Galaxy and Los Angeles FC play their eight all-time game series. The all-time record is tied with both sides claiming two wins and drawing three. A total of 40 goals were scored across the seven games. 

Florida Rivalry – Aug. 22

The league's newest rivalry matchup consisting of Orlando City SC and Inter Miami CF will be played on Aug. 22. Orlando won the first game 2-1 on MLS is Back Tournament opening day. 

Rocky Mountain Cup – Aug. 22

The exciting Rocky Mountain Cup match will be played on Aug. 22, with the Colorado Rapids squaring up against Real Salt Lake. RSL leads the all-time series record 22W-16L-11D.

The Cascadia matchup – Aug. 23

The Seattle Sounders and the Portland Timbers will face-off on Aug. 23 in what is considered to be one of the MLS marquee rivalries. Seattle leads the all-time record 50W-35L-14D. 

How to Watch 2020 MLS Season

The rest of the season will be broadcasted through ESPN, FOX Sports and Univision platforms for U.S. audiences, as well as regionally through individual club broadcast partners. All regional broadcasts will be showcased out-of-market on ESPN+ in the U.S. Canadian broadcast schedules will be announced later.

 

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