Reports are emerging regarding a restart plan for MLS, but among the many, many details is one that may not be for the early risers in the Bay Area: Some games could be played at 6 am PT.
That would be to avoid the worst of the summer heat in Orlando, where all 26 teams would convene to hold a group-play tournament to restart the season this summer, according to a report in The Athletic on Thursday. The other game windows would come in the evening, at 5 pm PT and 7:30 pm PT, reportedly.
And while chances are pretty good MLS would put the western teams on at night, I would not be shocked if they made teams rotate on that slot, or teams with a lower profile nationally, like the San Jose Earthquakes, got the short straw and had to take some very early slots.
Listen, I realize having to wake up early to watch an MLS game is not the most pressing concern at the moment, but if the league released those particular times as a trial balloon, I beg them to reconsider. Player safety is of the utmost importance, but I think 6 am kickoffs would be really unpalatable for a fair share of fans, even shifting an hour or making all night games would be better.
As for the more germane details of the plan, teams would play in six-team groups within their own conference. After training and quarantining in Orlando they would play a minimum of five games, with the top two finishers in each group advancing to an eight-team knockout tournament.
Players haven’t signed off on this plan and some reportedly have some major concerns about it, especially the plan to leave their homes and families for two months or longer. My hunch is that soccer will come back this summer but players will be allowed to opt out of the Orlando tournament plan for family or health reasons. We’ll see, and we’ll keep you posted on updates to MLS restart plans as we learn them.
What do you think? Leave a comment below.