MLS players approve plan to resume 2020 season with Florida tournament

The MLS has approved small-group training for its teams while maintaining strict health protocols and guidelines due to the Covid-19 pandemic ((credit: Minnesota United))

Major League Soccer will make a return to the pitch this summer, we just don’t know when yet.

The MLS Players’ Association announced Wednesday morning it has voted to approve a ratified collective bargaining agreement through the 2025 season. It includes a return-to-play plan to resume the 2020 season at some point this summer with a World Cup-style tournament to be played in Florida. The MLS season was suspended on March 12 due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Details about the tournament, including pairings and a start date, have not been released.

The MLSPA released a statement Wednesday after approving ratification to its collective bargaining agreement, both on returning to play an on social injustice in the wake of George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis on May 25 in an officer-involved incident.

“Today’s vote also finalizes a plan to resume the 2020 season and provides players with certainty for months ahead. It allows our members to move forward and continue to compete in the game they love.

However, we recognize we are all moving forward – as players, as fans, as societies, as a world – into a future that looks much different than the one we envisioned a few months ago. There are problems we face collectively that are both more urgent, and more important, than competing on the field. We are grieving, we are fed up, we expect change, and we expect action. This change won’t come on the field, but it will come partly through the force and determination of all who seek justice and equality. We hope our return to the field will allow fans a momentary release and a semblance of normalcy. We are committed as a group to doing all that we can – both as leaders in our sport as well as leaders in our communities – to help carry our countries our communities, our league, and our sport forward,” the statement reads.

When the MLS suspended its season, Minnesota United was 2-0 with a pair of road wins and preparing for a four-game home stand in the second season at Allianz Field. The Loons had being doing individual outdoor training, adhering to state and local Covid-19 guidelines, at their practice facility at the National Sports Center in Blaine.

Small-group workouts were anticipated to start Monday, but were on hold while league owners and the MLSPA were in CBA negotiations. Soccer will be back, but not until national medical experts and government officials deem it’s safe.