The USL announced the groups for the 2020 USL Championship regular season restart plan, with the regional plan for teams to play their 16-game slate this season leading to some logical opponents for LA Galaxy II.
Los Dos have been matched up with Orange County SC, San Diego Loyal, Phoenix Rising FC, and Las Vegas Lights FC for the group phase, where they are expected to play 12 of their remaining 15 games this season. The other three games will come from opponents outside the group but still relatively local, so likely Sacramento Republic, Reno 1868 and maybe another team. And the top two finishers in each group will go into a 16-team playoff bracket to conclude the season.
The group is totally logical, but it’s not an easy one. Phoenix Rising put together a historically good season last year and there’s no reason yet to believe they won’t be good again this year. Orange County look like they’ve built a deep squad again this year and could compete for the title. And San Diego and Las Vegas are total wild cards for different reasons, SD an expansion team that has only played two games ever, and Las Vegas just firing head coach Eric Wynalda the other day out of the blue.
Having said all of that, Los Dos started the season with an absolutely commanding win over Rio Grande Valley FC on the road and reached the postseason themselves last year. However, two key players from that game and last season, Kai Koreniuk and Carlos Harvey, have signed with the Galaxy first team and will either be available only in the closing weeks of the season or not at all for Los Dos. That is the point of the Galaxy II team, but it could hurt their chances in the USL Championship. We’ll see.
Teams will attempt to play home-and-away matches, but that is contingent on local regulations and whether public health authorities will allow stadiums to be used at all. Furthermore, if public health authorities allow it, teams can allow fans into stadiums for games, almost certainly at a reduced capacity and definitely with enhanced hygiene and safety standards throughout.
With the league aiming to restart July 11, we should be getting a specific schedule pretty soon, and we’ll pass that info along when we get it.
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