MLS Commissioner: MLS is working in “real time” on the 2020 calendar for three Canadian clubs

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When the first phase of the modified 2020 MLS regular season schedule was released, the league’s three Canadian clubs were not included due to travel restrictions between the United States and Canada in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.But plans are underway, Commissioner Don Garber said on a conference call with reporters. The changing clubs are the Montreal Impact, Toronto FC and the Vancouver Whitecaps – and they would face a progressive approach to training and intra-country play.

“There is no plan to exclude Canadian teams from continuing to play [in 2020]Garber said. “We are working in real time to first get approval from our Canadian clubs to start training. And we hope that will happen soon. Then it’s a follow-up process to get approval for the overall return to play in Canada, which would be the three clubs playing against each other.

“I hope we can receive this approval and answer questions and concerns [Canadian authorities] a, then we might get approval for what the future of that might be in phase two, ”Garber added. “It’s a job that is not finished. The first phase is to get them back to practice and the second phase is their approval to play against each other north of the Canadian border. ”

Before returning home at the end of July, the three clubs competed in the MLS is Back tournament in Orlando. Each reached the round of 16, with Montreal and Toronto both exiting Group C. Vancouver exited Group B, even without several key players, before being knocked out on penalties against Sporting Kansas City in the Round of 16.

While schedule details for Canadian clubs are settled, the first phase of the return to play in domestic markets will see most of the other MLS teams play six games against regional opponents until September 14. The regular season will reach its peak with Decision Day. on November 8, and the league aims to release the rest of the schedule in early September.

The end result is a shortened regular season in which 18 clubs advance to the Audi MLS Cup playoffs, up from 14 last year. The playoffs begin on November 20 and end with the MLS Cup on December 12.

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