With the 2020 MLS season set to resume its revised schedule, let’s find out what lies ahead for the still-blossoming league, its players and the top teams that will be in championship contention moving forward. Following its thrilling MLS is Back Tournament, the revamped 2020 schedule features each team playing an additional 18 regular-season games in what is being described as ‘a phased approach.’ Let’s find out more about the plans and current state of the Major League Soccer so you can plan ahead your bets against their MLS odds.
MLS Betting – What’s Next for the League, Championship and Player Movements
Phase 1 will consist of almost every team playing a half-dozen (6) matches against regional opponents through Sept. 14. FC Dallas and Nashville SC are the lone exceptions as each franchise will play an additional three games in order to make up for their missed games after each club was withdrawn from the MLS is Back Tournament due to positive coronavirus tests. The second phase of the restart would involve teams playing 12 games from September 16 to November 8,
The regular season is set to end on Decision Day, Nov. 8 with the league planning to release the remainder of its schedule in early September. Due to travel restrictions between Canada and the U.S., the league’s three Canadian-based franchises will have their own unique schedules to adhere to their COVID-19 guidelines.
As far as the postseason is concerned, 18 teams will qualify for the postseason in the single-elimination tournament after 14 were allowed into the postseason a year ago. The Audi MLS Cup Playoffs will begin on Nov. 20, with MLS Cup being held on Dec. 12.
Major League Soccer has been working with the MLS Players Association and infectious disease advisors to formulate a comprehensive testing plan moving forward. Each team is currently forming its own partnership with a local certified laboratory and will test players and staff every other day.
When it comes to travel, teams will take chartered flights or buses for the vast majority of their road trips while arriving on game day and departing after each match is completed. The good news is that there will be a ton of almost non-stop rivalry action going down from here until the completion of the regular season.
The New York Derby will get underway on Aug. 20 with the Texas Derby getting underway a day later. On Aug. 22, ‘El Trafico’ (LA vs LAFC), the Florida rivalry (Inter Miami vs. Orlando City SC) and the Rocky Mountain Cup (RSL vs. Colorado) will all take place while the Cascadia matchup between the Portland Timbers and Seattle Sounders FC takes place on Sunday, Aug. 23. Last, but not least, the Hell is Real Derby between FC Cincinnati and Columbus Crew SC will be played twice during the first phase of the schedule on Aug. 29 and Sept. 6.
The Transfer Season Is Here!
Now, as far as the transfer season is concerned, it runs from Aug. 12 through October 19. Here is a look at the most recent transactions.
Tuesday, Aug. 18
After the terminating the contract of former starting keeper Jesse Gonzalez, FC Dallas added another Brazilian GK Phelipe Megiolaro from Gremio on loan for the rest of the season with an option to buy this winter. Megiolaro, 21, has appeared with the Brazilian U-23 national team and made two senior appearances with Gremio.
The Chicago Fire FC signed midfielder Fabian Herbers to a contract extension through the 2023 season with a club-option for 2024. The 27-year-old has made four starts for the Fire this season after making just seven starts all of 2019.
Mon., Aug, 17
LAFC used its top waiver order spot to sign 18-year-old Senegalese center back Mohamed Traore. The defender has appeared with Senegal’s U-17 squad and was with Montverde Academy in Florida (the same school MLS Rookie of the Year Andre Shinyashiki came from.)
The Philadelphia Union continue to see rising talent graduate from their academy to the first team, as the club announced the signing of 17-year-old midfielder Jack McGlynn to a first team deal, effective in 2021. For the time being, McGlynn will stay with the club’s USL Championship affiliate. He’s already made six appearances for Union II and is the club’s 14th Homegrown signing.
Nashville SC officially announced the signing of US youth international GK Brady Scott. The 21-year-old was on the United States roster at both the 2017 and 2019 U-20 World Cups.
The Houston Dynamo acquired former LA Galaxy forward Ariel Lassiter on loan from Costa Rican side Alajuelense. Lassiter enjoyed a career year with 21 goals over a split campaign with the Costa Rican powerhouse.
The Eastern Conference-leading Columbus Crew SC acquired midfielder Fatai Alashe from FC Cincinnati on Monday, meaning Cincy’s first two MLS signings (Alashe and Fanendo Adi) now both play for their archrivals. Alashe, 26, played just 459 minutes over a season and a half with Cincy.
The Whitecaps signed 18-year-old keeper Isaac Boehmer to a Homegrown contract through the end of the season (with options for future years.) Boehmer joins the Whitecaps after their last MLS match saw the club without a backup keeper on the bench behind Thomas Hasal after starter Maxime Crepeau and backup Bryan Meredith were unavailable.
Columbus (4-0-1) sits atop the Eastern Conference standings with four wins in five matches while Toronto is second with a pair of wins and no losses in five matchups. Out west, Sporting Kansas City (4-1-0) sits atop the standings, also with four victories in five outings. Minnesota is in second place with three wins and no losses in five games while Portland is third at 3-1-1.