Major League Soccer Announces Schedule for 2020 Continuation of Play
SEATTLE, WASH. - Major League Soccer today announced its schedule for the initial phase of the continuation of the 2020 regular season, with Sounders FC set to play its first match following the MLS is Back Tournament in Orlando on Sunday, August 23 against the Portland Timbers at Providence Park (7:00 p.m. PT / FS1). The initial slate of six matches includes other road fixtures against the LA Galaxy (August 26) and Real Salt Lake (September 2). The club returns to CenturyLink Field for the first time since March with an August 30 home date against Los Angeles FC (7:00 p.m. PT / FS1), with other home matches scheduled against Portland (September 6) and San Jose (September 10). Due to the ongoing COVID-19 public health crisis, these home matches are scheduled to be played without fans.
Due to travel restrictions between the U.S. and Canada, MLS announced today the initial phase of the league's revised schedule with each U.S. club playing six matches by September 14. Major League Soccer continues to work with the league's three Canadian clubs regarding plans to continue the regular season. More details on schedules for the Canadian teams will be announced in the near future. MLS plans to announce the balance of the regular season schedule by early September as the league continues to work with infectious disease experts, league and club medical personnel, and government officials in all markets in charting a course for the completion of the 2020 season.
Each club is playing 18 additional regular season games in a phased approach, culminating with Decision Day on Sunday, November 8. To make up the three matches missed from the tournament, FC Dallas and Nashville SC are playing an additional three matches, against each other, with the first two games on August 12 and 16 and a third game to be schedule in the fall. In an expansion of the postseason for 2020, 18 clubs will compete in the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs - up from 14 teams last year. MLS Cup is being played on December 12.
"While we wish we could be playing this first batch of home games in front of our incredible fans, we have always said that public health must come first, and we will continue to let our regional health protocols guide this process," said Sounders FC General Manager & President of Soccer Garth Lagerwey. "Some really valuable lessons were learned at the MLS is Back Tournament in Orlando, and collectively we know what we have to do to continue playing matches safely. Hopefully being able to watch our club play with the appropriate safety measures provides enjoyment for our community during these trying times, as we all continue to do our part in the fight against COVID-19."
The regional television home of the Rave Green, Q13 FOX / JOEtv is ready to resume broadcasting Sounders FC's matches throughout Western Washington. Over on Sports Radio KJR 950 AM, Sounders Weekly with Jackson Felts resumes, airing Tuesdays at 7:00 p.m. PT. Fans can tune-in on August 18 to preview the weekend's fixture against the Timbers. All six scheduled matches are being broadcast on Sports Radio 950 AM KJR. The club's Spanish-language home El Rey 1360 AM is also carrying each match, with their studio show Somos Sounders FC continuing on Saturday mornings at 10:30 a.m. PT. Both radio broadcasts are carrying 30-minute pre- and post-match shows surrounding each contest.
As with the MLS is Back Tournament, COVID-19 testing protocols again play an important role in MLS' competition framework. MLS continues to work closely with the league's infectious disease advisors as well as advisors for the MLSPA on the plan for testing. All clubs are forming testing partnerships with a local certified lab, and all players, technical staff and essential club staff are being tested every other day, including the day before each match day. Also, guidelines are being provided to players, coaches and essential staff to avoid the risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19 during their time away from club facilities.
In addition to adhering to health, safety and medical protocols, another focus of the new schedule is efficient travel. Teams are taking chartered flights, and for the majority of road trips will arrive in the host market on matchday and depart after the match later that evening.
2020 MLS CONTINUATION OF PLAY INITIAL PHASE SCHEDULE - SOUNDERS FC
DAY DATE OPPONENT KICKOFF (PT) / TV
Sunday August 23 at Portland 7:00 p.m. / FS1
Wednesday August 26 at LA Galaxy TBD / JOEtv
Sunday August 30 vs. Los Angeles FC 7:00 p.m. / FS1
Wednesday September 2 at Real Salt Lake 6:30 p.m. / Q13
Sunday September 6 vs. Portland 7:00 p.m. / JOEtv
Thursday September 10 vs. San Jose 7:00 p.m. / JOEtv
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Major League Soccer Stories from August 8, 2020
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- Major League Soccer Announces Schedule for 2020 Continuation of Play - Seattle Sounders FC
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