Major League Soccer is looking to start the season again with all the teams playing in Orlando, Florida this summer.
Details of the plan are still being considered, but the league’s 266 teams and limited staff could be housed in a complex of sports games without fans at Disney World’s ESPN’s World Sports Complex, an individual with knowledge of the plan told the Associated Press. The man spoke to the press on Wednesday on condition of anonymity because the plan had not been officially announced. The Washington Post first reported the proposal.
Teams can travel to Florida as early as June 1 for training camp. The league was postponed to March 12 after the teams played just two games.
“I think the league is still at a stage where, as far as I understand, they have considered that particular idea and the teams are trying to get feedback on how it might appear and how it might work.” Nashville coach Gary Smith said. “Personally, again, we are in the region without registering here. Of course, with most other people, you’ve probably never seen anything like it before. So you need to be a little more open about how a season can be. “
Other proposals include teams playing tournament-level competitions in four different cities. There is also the possibility that teams could return to home stadiums for games after the season resumes in Orlando.
It was not immediately clear whether any plans had been submitted to the players’ union.
Earlier Wednesday, Florida Gov. Ron de Santis said his state was open to leagues looking to start again or start their season.
“All professional sports are welcome here to practice and play,” De Santis said. “What I’m going to tell the league commissioners is that if you have a team in a place where they don’t let you do any work, we’ll find a place for you in the state of Florida.”
The ESPN facility has 1 field, so it can accommodate multiple groups. MLS held its All-Star Game in Orlando last year.
“If this community is willing to do it, what can I say, Orlando is the perfect city to hold an event like this,” said Orlando City coach Oscar Pereza. “Experience, infrastructure, everything. Orlando has to endure it all. If the league decides to do it, I think it would be a big decision to play here. Now they’re just rumors, but I don’t see any other city doing events like Orlando.” There are experiences and opportunities. “
The MLS took the first step in resuming the season last week, when teams were allowed to start voluntary individual drills at team facilities under strict guidelines. The next step will be a small group workout.
However, several groups, including the Seattle earthquake and the St. Joseph earthquake, were unable to participate due to restrictions on sitting in their community homes.
Sporting Kansas City coach Peter Carmis said Wednesday that his team has begun the process of collecting tests for both the coronavirus and related antibodies, the next step being to play again. Sporting was the first team to develop a complete protocol for personal training.
“At the end of the day, I think as teams we all want to play games again as soon as possible for a lot of different reasons. And I’ll tell the players, I think, I want it too, “Vermes said.” We all want to make sure. We do it in a safe environment and in a meaningful way. “