Major League Soccer may return to action in late June with a tournament in Orlando in which all its 26 teams will participate, multiple reports said Wednesday.
The league proposed competition, which should be approved by the MLS Players Association, would allow players and coaches to gather for 3-4 weeks of training in ESPN’s Wide World of Sports complex on June 1. Then a series of matches would help without fans and take place in the Orlando complex.
The LAFC and the Galaxy are among a few teams, including earthquakes in Northern California, that have not yet been allowed to conduct training due to the stringent on-site orders in their area due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
ESPN reported obstacles will have to be overcome to complete the plan, in particular through testing. Players, coaches and support staff should all test regularly. The league’s plan would prohibit family members from traveling with teams.
In addition, the players’ association and the league are currently involved in sensitive negotiations on salary cuts. Owners have requested that all players agree to a 20 percent salary cut, among other concessions.
There is no indication yet whether or not the tournament games count towards the regular season rankings. The tournament winner’s prize may be a berth in the CONCACAF Champions League, according to ESPN.
The league’s proposed tournament would have divided teams into groups, followed by five games in group play. This is followed by a knockout phase, which includes consolation games, so that all teams played the same number of games.