After COVID-19 shut down competitions around the world, the MLS boldly found a way in the face of many obstacles to overcome the pandemic and host the MLS Is Back Tournament. With 51 games and only a few minor hiccups, the Portland Timbers were crowned champions at the ESPN Wide World of Sports at the Walt Disney World Resort defeating Orlando 2-1 in the final.
Weeks ago, this looked like the perfect ending to an odd year of sports, but days before the tournament final, the MLS shocked the world by announcing that the MLS will in fact have a regular season in 2020. Confusion and excitement have filled the hearts and minds of soccer fans across the United States and the globe as we get ready to cheer on our favorite sides all over again because as one door is closing, the next is opening. Opening day will see FC Dallas and Nashville, the two teams that were forced to drop from the tournament due to COVID-positive players, face off against each other in less than 24 hours of Portland lifting the trophy.
Plans are subject to change and because teams are planning to play in their stadiums, outside of a bubble environment but without fans, this first phase and those after it will probably evolve as the season progresses. Nevertheless, we’re here for all of the action on the pitch and you can be too with many games being broadcast on local channels with others available via streaming. Get to know what to expect this season and follow your favorite teams all season long.
Quick Points About the Regular Season
Though the MLS is back (again), things may be a bit different than you’re used to, but at this point, isn’t that to be expected? Still, there are plenty of changes to take note of this year. Take a look at some of the things you can expect to see this year from the MLS:
- No bubble but also no fans, the MLS will be taking strenuous steps to ensure player safety as teams host competitions in their stadiums. This includes all MLS teams.
- Canadian sides will have to only play against each other during the opening phase(s) due to travel bans.
- Unfortunately, for Charlotte, Sacramento, and St. Louis, it appears that this has not reversed the decision to postpone these expansion teams for now.
- The Audi MLS Cup Playoffs will host 18 teams as opposed to the 14 it held last season.
- Derbies and local rivalry games are still planned with many games at the beginning focused on regional opponents to reduce travel.
- As phases progress, the MLS is planning to work with health professionals and public officials to allow live attendance to games should it be deemed safe to do so.
MLS: Important Dates to Remember
Things are moving pretty quickly in the world of soccer. The MLS is keeping the momentum found at its summer tournament and continuing to bring the world game stateside with some of the world’s best talent on display. Stay up-to-date and mark your calendar with these events coming soon:
- August 12th the MLS regular season begins with FC Dallas v. Nashville SC
- August 20th is the New York Derby
- August 21st is the Texas Derby
- August 22nd brings us a thrilling day including El Trafico, the Florida Rivalry, and the Rocky Mountain Cup
- August 23rd gives us a classic Cascadia Cup matchup between rivals Seattle and Portland
- August 29th and September 6th will host the Hell is Real Derby
- September 14th ends the first phase of MLS Regular Season play
- November 8th is Decision Day, ending the Regular Season
- November 20th kicks off the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs
- December 12th will crown a new champion as the winners of the MLS Cup Final will lift the trophy
The MLS Regular Season Schedule
Looking to watch your favorite side take the pitch? With GoDISH, you can find plenty of matches broadcasted across local networks for your favorite teams and on nationally known networks including FOX, FS1, and Univision. Expect updates for weekly scheduled programming as more games unfold. The MLS is expected to release additional information in early September about important dates and match days going forward. Check out these exciting MLS matchups you can catch on DISH Network this season and contact us today to subscribe and enjoy an MLS season like no other:
|Matchup||Date||Time (CST)||Nationally Televised Network||DISH Network Channel|
|Toronto FC v. Nashville||November 24, 2020||5:00 PM||FS1||150|
|Philadelphia v. New England||November 24, 2020||7:00 PM||ESPN||140|
|Seattle v. LAFC||November 24, 2020||9:30 PM||ESPN||140|
*We will continue to update the schedule as matches are announced.