Report: MLS Plans to Resume Training on June 1, Hold Summer TournamentMay 13, 2020
Major League Soccer reportedly has a proposal for a return to play that could see teams training again by June 1.
According to Jeff Carlisle of ESPN, the proposal, which would need to be approved by the league's players association, calls for every team to descend on the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex in Orlando, Florida, to start training on June 1 for a summer tournament that would begin three to four weeks after training starts.
The league has been on hiatus since March 12 because of COVID-19 concerns.
The tournament would be played without fans present, but there are still a number of other challenges the two sides would have to agree on such as widespread testing for players and staff and what the plan would be if someone tested positive for the coronavirus.
Carlisle noted one proposed format would divide the league's 26 teams into groups to play approximately five games each in the group stage. While those who emerge at the top of the tables would advance to the knockout stage, there would still be consolation matches to make sure teams played the same number of games.
That is because the games could count toward the regular season standings in the MLS. The tournament could also be for a spot in the CONCACAF Champions League, although there is no set plan at this moment.
There is also the reality that the league and players association are currently engaged in negotiations regarding potential salary cuts.
Carlisle and Noah Davis reported MLS issued a proposal to the players association calling for a 20 percent pay cut across the board and "additional financial reductions apart from salary cuts that could run into the tens of millions of dollars."
Both sides would surely have to reach a financial agreement before any plan was finalized regarding a potential tournament in Florida.
Every team in the league played two games before the season was put on hiatus. The Colorado Rapids, Atlanta United FC, Sporting Kansas City and Minnesota United FC were the only teams to win both of their games.