Mark your calendars, as the LA Galaxy will be back in action in the coming weeks, with MLS announcing Wednesday details of their plan to return to action out of the coronavirus shutdown.
The plan, widely reported in recent weeks, is as follows: All 26 teams in MLS will head to Orlando, Florida for a centralized tournament. Teams will stay at Disney World and use the sports facilities at the Disney Wide World of Sports, arriving in late-June. Every team will play at least three games in the tournament, group-stage games that will count in the 2020 regular-season standings. Top finishers in that phase will go on to the 16-team knockout stage, with the ultimate winner of the restart tournament earning a spot in the Concacaf Champions League at some point (that competition remains on ice for the 2020 edition, with no word yet how it will be resolved).
After the tournament, teams will return to home markets and resume the regular season.
The three-month layoff for the LA Galaxy presents perhaps an opportunity at a fresh start for the 2020 season. They tied the Houston Dynamo 1-1 on the road in the season opener, before losing 1-0 to the Vancouver Whitecaps at home in the second game. Needless to say, expectations are higher for the Galaxy, and they’ll be aiming to make a deep run in the restart competition.
Before heading out to Florida, LA will continue to train here in Carson until it’s time to depart. Teams will head to Orlando by June 24, holding an acclimation/mini-training camp there until games begin on July 8. The games will be played like a World Cup, so a few games a day, every day, in the group stage as teams cycle through the schedule. The round of 16 will take place July 25-28, quarterfinals on July 30-Aug 1, semifinals Aug. 5-6 and the final on Aug. 11.
The draw for the group stage will be held Thursday at 12:30 pm PT. The Galaxy will only play Western Conference opponents in the group stage.
Given the state of the world in many respects, the timing is a bit surreal, but if you’re reading this, you most likely care about sports and will look forward to the return of the Galaxy, so there’s now something tangible to look forward to. Of course, we’ll be covering it all, so stick with us as MLS comes back.
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