Details are emerging regarding MLS’s plan to restart the 2020 season with a centralized tournament in Orlando, and LA Galaxy star Chicharito is reportedly concerned about it.
All 26 teams would head to Orlando to train, then play a tournament with a minimum of five games played in-conference in group play split into four groups, the competition concluding with a eight-team knockout tournament comprised of the top two teams in each group, according to a report in The Athletic on Thursday.
However, players haven’t signed off on the plan and reportedly have a whopping 100 questions about the restart and the parameters themselves. Notably, Chicharito is reportedly among the stars holding the most reservations, and the reason is obvious: Players will be asked to be away from their homes for two months or longer, and Chicharito’s wife is pregnant with their second child. They also have a young child already who needs to be cared for, and in this era of coronavirus stay-at-home orders, you can’t summon help from relatives by asking them to hop on a plane like in the pre-pandemic days.
The result is some players, like Chicharito, may have to think hard about whether they want to leave their families or whether they want to sit out. As much as I want to see MLS return, and as much as I understand we’re all having to make a lot of hard decisions these days, I also understand that Chicharito’s reservations are valid and ought to be respected.
So it’s a real conundrum. Personally, I think sheer boredom and financial considerations are pushing the plans to reopen sports, including MLS, and I definitely understand that. I also hope that if soccer does proceed, as I expect it will, players will be given permission to sit out the Orlando tournament for family reasons if they wish. It’s not ideal but it’s the only way I can see something like a restart proceeding, but we’ll have to wait for more information to find out how things progress and what the details will be. We’ll keep you posted.
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