(Miami) MLS, which partially resumed in a new format on July 8, hopes to restart its regular season at the end of August, five months after its hiatus, the technical director of the North American Soccer League told AFP on Friday. , Alfonso Mondelo.
Suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic after only two days in mid-March, the MLS resumed on July 8 in an unprecedented tournament format with group matches and then knockout matches, which begin on Saturday, in the Disney bubble World in Orlando Florida.
If the final of this "MLS is back" tournament is scheduled for August 11, organizers then hope to resume the season at the end of August with a tight schedule of 20-23 games per club, compared to 34 initially planned.
"The idea is to start over at the end of August [...] so that we reach November for the playoffs and the MLS final can take place in the second week of December," said Alfonso Mondelo.
"The idea is that there are between 15 and 18 [games per club] in addition by October to reach between 20 and 23 days in the regular season, and then be able to play a few playoff games," a- he clarified, knowing that some tournament games in Florida counted for this regular season.
"We will not take any risks, the priority is the safety of the players and the general public," said Mondelo, who said he works in relation with the various states and the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC).
MLS will also need to find a way to schedule additional games for Dallas and Nashville, who had withdrawn from the tournament due to the high number of COVID-19 cases among those teams.