MLS League Status and Return Date | Coronavirus Update (COVID-19)
The pandemic produced by COVID-19 completely stopped the world of sports. However, with the passing of the months and the -partial- control of the spread of the pandemic, sports have slowly begun to return, specifically soccer. In the United States, no sport beyond mixed martial arts is active.
MLS League Status and Return Date
MLS suspended its operations on March 12, just after the league will kick off on February 29. As of today, it is speculated that the MLS would return to action on July 1, taking into account that the venue (s) must be defined.
It all looks like MLS will be resumed at a single venue, called ESPN’s Wide World of Sports, in Orlando, Florida. At the time of its suspension, the MLS had barely played two days. Therefore, the leaderboard is very even and with nothing defined, since it is mathematically impossible to rank over just two days.
However, only three teams had started with two wins in the two games played. These teams were Sporting Kansas City, Minnesota United FC and Atlanta United FC. It is striking, too, that both finalists from the previous year started with four points.
The current champions Seattle Sounders started with a victory over the Chicago Fire and then tied against the Columbus Crew. For its part, the second place last year, Toronto FC, started with a draw at home at the home of the San Jose Earthquakes and then asserted their local status by defeating New York City FC.
Only four teams of the 26 that make up the league started with zero points in their first two games. Nashville SC, Cincinnati FC, New York City FC and, surprisingly, the expansion team that came in with many reflectors due to its owner, David Beckham, Inter Miami CF.
The team with the most titles in MLS history, Los Angeles Galaxy, did not start well to end its title drought, which is now in its sixth year, accumulating just one point from the first six disputed. The Galaxy has not tasted a title since 2014, and while it is early in the season, its start was not very promising.
According to the bookies, the favorites with the best odds to win the MLS in 2020 are Los Angeles FC, listed +275. Los Angeles FC have four points after beating Inter Miami and tied in a high-voltage game with the Philadelphia Union, which ended 3-3. With figures like Kenneth Vermeer at the door, and an attack made up of Diego Rossi and, of course, Carlos Vela, the team is emerging as a serious contender this and the next few years.
Behind them is Atlanta United, who after his great figure, Josef Martínez injured his ligaments on the opening day, his odds fell to +800. Now, after two months of hiatus, Martínez will return earlier than expected – in terms of days played – and that will increase the opportunities for the black and red.
The third favorite is New York City FC, which after starting with two losses, the break came in handy to cool the waters, and settle again. When you restart the league, they should upgrade their version and start producing great encounters. With figures like Ronald Matarrita, Maxi Moralez, Gary Mackay-Steven and Gedion Zelalem, the team led by Ronny Deila has many better versions to offer.
When will MLS return?
In short, the MLS will return at the beginning of July –possibly- and in a single venue. The format, for the moment, is the great unknown, since several options are considered to resume in the safest, quickest and most satisfactory way for the teams.