MLS Plans for a Safe Return post COVID-19

MLS+Plans+for+a+Safe+Return+post+COVID-19

COVID19 has affected everyone in one way or another. It has altered our lives in ways we never could have imagined, but thankfully, society is gradually creating a new normalcy. Many Americans rely on the entertainment of professional sports, which have unfortunately been shut down for months due to the pandemic.  

Thankfully, the beloved Major League Sports of America have begun the process of safely returning to the playing field. Even though fans are not permitted into the sporting events, they are being televised so that fans can cheer on their favorite teams from the safety of their homesMajor League Soccer was one of the first franchises to begin the reopening process. The MLS is comprised of 26 teams, 23 in the US and 3 in Canada.  

As of July, the athletes have been isolated in what is being referred to as the “bubble”This simply means that all 26 teams are competing and living in Orlando, FL until the completion of their season, with some teams being eliminated earlier than others based on performance 

Austin Linbergh of ESPN has been reporting from the quarantined site in OrlandoLinbergh states, “the league is committed to ensuring the safety of their players, officials, and fans.  Unfortunately, some teams, such as FC Dallas, have had to postpone games because of Coronavirus outbreaks among their players. The infected players have been treated and are quarantining until it is safe for them to return. The athletes reported they were “pretty happy” with life in the bubble, especially since they were served meals of choice whenever they pleased and were given the choice to have family members visit, while remaining socially distanced. The players admit that playing without the usual passionate crowds to cheer them on is a drastic change, although they have grown accustomed to it.  

Michael Bradley of Toronto FC stated, “it was very strange at first, but once the match starts and your concentration is solely on the game, it all goes away”. Bradley and his teammates feel lucky just to have the opportunity to play the game they love, even without fans chanting their names. The Columbus dispatch reports that the MLS brought about 1200 people to the “bubble”, or roughly 45 members per team. This includes players, coaches, support staff, and medical professionals. The return of Major League Soccer has been long awaited, and fans are ecstatic to see their favorite players return to the field safely.