MLS regular season returning: What to expect

Major League Soccer is finally returning to regular season games after a 45 day long tournament between all but two of the 26 teams. While the tournament was successful, there will still be new guidelines in place to prevent from the spread of COVID-19.

Fans

The biggest change occurring is the amount of fans that will be allowed in attendance.

During the recent tournament, no fans were allowed to attend. However, in the upcoming games, it will be up to the venues to decide if and how many fans will be permitted.

In a recent match between FC Dallas and Nashville SC, who were both forced to withdraw from the MLS is Back tournament due to COVID-19 cases, there were 2,912 fans who socially distanced in the stadiums and were required to wear masks.

Fans gather at the Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Dallas while adhering to social distancing guidelines. [Photo Source: cbsnews.com]

Unfortunately, not all stadiums will allow fans to attend. Atlanta United fans will not be able to attend games at the Mercedes Benz Stadium until at least October.

Travel Restrictions

Due to the restrictions on travel from Canada to the United States, Toronto FC, Vancouver Whitecaps FC, and Montreal Impact (the three MLS teams based in Canada), will be unable to compete in the regular season.

For now, they are competing among each other.

Vancouver FC plays against Toronto in a recent match (Photo Source: Toronto FC)

As for the other teams, they will be playing in six regional games with only three teams in each group to prevent excessive travelling for each team.

Testing and Mask

Even so, players and coaches will be tested every other day to insure that any player who test positive for the coronavirus will not be able to expose other teammates or coaches.

If a player does test positive, they will not be able to return to practices and games until they have received two consecutive negative results.

During the games, coaches and referees will be required to wear a mask at all times. The players will also wear them during warmups and when they are not on the field.

Inter Miami players enter the field in mask during the MLS is Back tournament (Photo Source: ClickOrlando)

The season resumes on Aug 21 at 7:30 p.m. EST, tune in to see all the new changes in action!

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