“What drives MLS is this football culture and entering our markets and returning our players and bringing them home, getting them to play in their stadiums and to be able to train on their fields. drive, ”Garber said. “We will return to our markets, we will announce our calendar soon. We’re going to be able to play with fans where we can, and not play with fans in most of our markets.
“But we learned a lot in the bubble. We learned about the tests, we learned about the incredible commitment of our players – to wear masks, to distance ourselves socially and to take real responsibility for protecting themselves. And that will really give us an idea of what we need to finish the season, have the playoffs and have an MLS Cup before the end of the year. ”
Following the early withdrawal of FC Dallas and Nashville SC, there have been no positive COVID-19 tests for the hundreds of players and club and league officials in the Orlando bubble for several weeks.
“We focused on the health and safety of our players and everyone involved and most importantly, we were able to achieve it,” Garber said. “We wanted to create something that would be unique and that would be special. Think about it, 51 games in 35 days and delivering to our fans, bringing our players to the field, making sure our media partners and sponsors can re-engage, regain that momentum that we had with the launch of the 25th season. That’s what makes us feel pretty good tonight. ”
As for the tournament becoming an annual event, as Philadelphia Union coach Jim Curtin suggested this week, Garber stressed it’s not currently on the agenda.
“Maybe that’s something we could recreate at the start of the year,” he said. “There was no planning for it. Our focus is in our markets, in front of our fans when we can, to bring our players home and get back to normal once we are able to hit a steady pace of matches. “