In an announcement on April 14, Major League Soccer Communications said it was looking “extremely unlikely” that play will resume in mid-May. They had been hoping to still play a full season and currently have enough room on the calendar to do so, but the longer this goes on, the less likely that will happen.
MLS Statement on Return to Play pic.twitter.com/BKuFw9Mb17— MLS Communications (@MLS_PR) April 14, 2020
MLS Commissioner Don Garber also spoke with ESPN/Taylor Twellman, saying that the league wants to play as many games as possible and they’re looking at all possible options “from tournament formats and neutral locations” to “ultimately playing an abridged regular season.” He added that they “might be playing further into the winter. That’s even hard to imagine because we had a zero Celsius MLS Cup in Toronto in mid-December in 2017, but we’re going to have to push this season as far as we can so that we can crown a champion in 2020.”
He explained that at first, games would most likely be played behind closed doors and that the training moratorium, which currently ends on April 24, will be extended for “at least a couple weeks.”
MLS is keeping a close eye on European leagues to see how they handle resuming training and playing. As the Bundesliga begins training and plans to start games again as early as May, it’s been reported that fans won’t be allowed in stadiums until 2021.
LAFC coach Bob Bradley told reporters in a recent Zoom call that “I miss the game so much, I miss training every day. I miss the games, most of all I miss going into the stadium, looking around feeling the crowd and the atmosphere. But if that’s not possible right away, I still think it’s going to be important that we show our fans that the game is going again. If it’s without fans, it’s not forever... that ability to reconnect and show everybody that the game continues will be very important.”
The question that comes to mind for me is, will Colorado Rapids fans even be able to watch the games if MLS comes back behind closed doors? Will MLS broadcast the games in a way that is accessible for everyone or will it not even matter for Rapids’ fans because of Altitude?