Orlando City SC Announces Schedule for In-Market Continuation of Play
ORLANDO, Fla. - Just days before Orlando City's appearance in the MLS is Back Tournament final, Major League Soccer has announced that following the conclusion of the tournament, the league's 25th season will continue in the home markets of its 26 clubs. In addition, the league has announced phase one of the Lions' continuation of play schedule, presented by Orlando Health. The schedule sees the Lions face three different teams, with matchups against intrastate foe Inter Miami CF, Atlanta United FC and expansion side Nashville SC.
The return to play in home markets will feature comprehensive health and safety protocols, including regular testing of players, coaches and essential staff for COVID-19.
The Lions road match at Atlanta will be aired nationally on Univision with the remaining five games available locally on Fox 35 Plus, the official TV home of Orlando City SC. Local matches will be called by play-by-play announcer Evan Weston, analyst Miguel Gallardo and newly-announced sideline reporter Ali Krieger - a standout for both the Orlando Pride and U.S. Women's National Team.
Beginning Saturday, Aug. 22, the Lions will play six games against the three different opponents over a span of three weeks. The schedule kicks off with a bang, opening with a rematch of the MLS is Back Tournament opener when the Lions travel to Ft. Lauderdale for the second iteration of the Florida derby against Inter Miami on Aug. 22 at 8 p.m. ET.
The following week, the Lions return to the friendly confines of Exploria Stadium to begin their home slate with a matchup against Nashville SC on Wednesday, Aug. 26. It will mark the Club's first match at Exploria Stadium since Feb. 29.
The next week Orlando will head on a two-game road trip, starting with the first meeting of the season between the boys in purple and Atlanta United on Saturday, Aug. 29 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, followed by the Club's first trip to Music City to face Nashville on Wednesday, Sept. 2.
Orlando closes out the Phase 1 schedule with a two-game homestand, hosting both Atlanta United and Inter Miami on Sept. 6 and Sept. 12, respectively. All three of Orlando's home matches will kick off at 7:30 p.m. ET from the grounds of the Club's distinctive, purple-clad stadium in downtown Orlando.
The Club is also exploring the possibility of opening matches to a limited number of fans, which could see the venue operate at a reduced capacity in order to adhere to social distancing and safety guidelines. More information will be available at a later date, pending authorities' approval.
Each club will play 18 additional regular season games in a phased approach, culminating with Decision Day on Sunday, Nov. 8. 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 will be played on Dec. 12.
Due to travel restrictions between the U.S. and Canada, MLS announced the initial phase of the league's revised schedule with each U.S. club playing six matches by Sept. 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.
Health and Safety Information:
As with the MLS is Back Tournament, COVID-19 testing protocols will 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 will be tested every other day, including the day before each match day. Also, guidelines will be 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 will take chartered flights, or buses, and for the majority of road trips will arrive in the host market on matchday and depart after the match later that evening.
Orlando City Phase One Schedule:
Date Opponent Venue Time (ET) Broadcast
Sat., Aug. 22 Inter Miami CF Lockhart Stadium 8 p.m. Fox 35 Plus
Wed., Aug. 26 Nashville SC Exploria Stadium 7:30 p.m. Fox 35 Plus
Sat., Aug. 29 Atlanta United Mercedes-Benz Stadium 3:30 p.m. Univision
Wed., Sept. 2 Nashville SC Nissan Stadium 8:30 p.m. Fox 35 Plus
Sun., Sept. 6 Atlanta United Exploria Stadium 7:30 p.m. Fox 35 Plus
Sat., Sept. 12 Inter Miami CF Exploria Stadium 7:30 p.m. Fox 35 Plus
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Major League Soccer Stories from August 8, 2020
- Rapids Announce Upcoming Regular Season Scheduling, Beginning August 22 against RSL - Colorado Rapids
- Inaugural Season Continues with Home Debut on August 22 - Inter Miami CF
- Everything You Need to Know About Resuming the 2020 MLS Season - Colorado Rapids
- Nashville Soccer Club Unveils Return to Play Plans Through September 12 - Nashville SC
- Major League Soccer Announces Continuation of Play in MLS Home Markets - New York Red Bulls
- Real Salt Lake Continues 2020 Season - Real Salt Lake
- LA Galaxy's First Six Matches of Continued Major League Soccer Season Announced - LA Galaxy
- MLS' 25th Season Continues in Local Markets in August - D.C. United
- MLS Announces Schedule for Continuation of 25th Regular Season - Atlanta United FC
- Timbers Continue Regular Season against Seattle Sounders FC at Providence Park on August 23 - Portland Timbers
- Chicago Fire FC to Continue 2020 MLS Regular Season at Soldier Field - Chicago Fire
- Philadelphia Union Announce Schedule for Continuation of Play in Home Markets - Philadelphia Union
- Sporting Releases Schedule for Next Six Matches, Announces Reduced-Capacity Plan - Sporting Kansas City
- First six games of FC Cincinnati's continuation of the regular season unveiled - FC Cincinnati
- Revolution Announce Six Games as MLS Season Continues in Home Markets - New England Revolution
- Orlando City SC Announces Schedule for In-Market Continuation of Play - Orlando City SC
- Columbus Crew SC's 25th Regular Season to Continue as Major League Soccer Announces Plan to Return to Home Markets - Columbus Crew SC
- MLS Regular Season to Continue in Local Markets in August - San Jose Earthquakes
- New York City FC Announces Continuation of Play with Phase 1 of 2020 MLS Regular Season - New York City FC
- MNUFC to Continue MLS Season in Local Markets - Minnesota United FC
- FC Dallas Resumes MLS Play with Two Home Matches vs Nashville SC - FC Dallas
- Houston Dynamo Return to BBVA Stadium in MLS Play August 21 vs. FC Dallas - Houston Dynamo
- MLS' 25th Season Continues in Local Markets in August - MLS
- Pizarro, Robles Excited for Continuation of MLS in South Florida - Inter Miami CF
- MLS' 25th Season Continues in Local Markets in August - Philadelphia Union
- Major League Soccer Announces Schedule for 2020 Continuation of Play - Seattle Sounders FC
- LAFC and MLS Announce Continuation of 2020 Regular Season in Home Markets - Los Angeles FC
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