LAFC and MLS today announced that the league’s 25th season will continue in the home markets of the 26 clubs beginning Wednesday, August 12. LAFC’s first match is scheduled for Saturday, August 22 against the Galaxy at Banc of California Stadium without fans in attendance.
Each club will play 18 additional regular season games in a phased approach, culminating with Decision Day on Sunday, Nov. 8. LAFC’s first phase of matches features six games against Western Conference Clubs including Seattle Sounders FC, Portland Timbers, Real Salt Lake, San Jose Earthquakes and Galaxy. Media credential information for LAFC home matches will be sent out at a later date.
Following the Aug. 22 match against the Galaxy, LAFC will travel east to take on Real Salt Lake on Wednesday, August 25. The Club then heads to Seattle for a Sunday afternoon matchup against the Sounders FC on Aug. 30, before returning home to host San Jose on Wednesday, September 2. The Black & Gold will round out the first phase of matches with a second Galaxy matchup on Sunday, Sep. 6 and home matchup against Timbers FC on Sunday, Sep. 13.
MLS plans to announce the balance of the regular season schedule by early September as the league continues to work with infectious disease experts, league and club medical personnel, and government officials in all markets in charting a course for the completion of the 2020 season.
The return to play in home markets will feature comprehensive health and safety protocols, as MLS continues to work closely with the league’s infectious disease advisors as well as advisors for the MLSPA on the plan for testing. All clubs are forming testing partnerships with a local certified lab, and all players, technical staff, and essential club staff will be tested every other day, including the day before each match day. Also, guidelines will be provided to players, coaches and essential staff to avoid the risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19 during their time away from club facilities.
In addition to adhering to health, safety and medical protocols, another focus of the new schedule is efficient travel. Teams will take chartered flights, and for the majority of road trips will arrive in the host market on matchday and depart after the match later that evening.
The continuation of Major League Soccer’s 25th Season will air nationally in the U.S. on ESPN, FOX and Univision platforms, as well as regionally through individual club broadcast partners. All matches not aired by an English-language network will be streamed live in English on Twitter. Canadian broadcast schedules will be announced at a later date.
At this time, the majority of the matches in local markets will be played without fans in attendance. MLS and club leadership are working with local health authorities and government officials on a plan for limited capacity at certain games where allowed.