October 23, 2017. MLS Commissioner Don Garber and Atlanta United Owner Arthur Blank, talks after the press conference where Atlanta was selected to host the 2018 MLS All Star game at the Mercedes-Benz stadium on Monday 23, 2017.
Photo: MIguel Martinez/MundoHispanico
Photo: MIguel Martinez/MundoHispanico

Don Garber says MLS hopes to play as many games as possible

MLS Commissioner Don Garber on Tuesday said the league hopes to play as many games as possible once its season resumes.

Speaking on ESPN, Garber said to do so may include moving the regular season into late November while hopefully keeping the single-elimination playoff format that started last season and moving the MLS Cup into December. The season’s championship game was supposed to be played in early November.

To resume, Garber said the health of everyone involved — supporters, players, employees, front office, game-day operations etc. — is the first priority. When players can get 3-4 weeks of training and the league has the guidance on getting crowds back into stadium, the season may re-launch. Though Garber said playing in empty stadiums is one idea among many being discussed.

Garber said the league is following guidelines put forth by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, federal, state and local governments. The league has 26 teams in 22 markets ranging from Vancouver to Miami. He said a task force composed of leaders in the league office, owners, the league’s medical staff and consultants are communicating every day.

Like other professional sports leagues around the world, MLS is in the middle of a suspension to maintain precautions against spreading the COVID-19 coronavirus.

The league two weeks ago was beginning the third of its 34 rounds when it announced a suspension that will last at least until May 10.

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