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Report: MLS considering 26-team season restart in Orlando

Major League Soccer

ORLANDO, FL - MAY 04: Orlando City forward Nani (17) receives a long cross from Orlando City forward Dom Dwyer (14) during the MLS soccer match between the Orlando City SC and Toronto FC on May 4, 2019, at Orlando City Stadium in Orlando, FL. (Photo by Andrew Bershaw/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Major League Soccer is considering the housing of all 26 teams in Orlando for a localized season, according to a report by The Washington Post’s Steven Goff.

The move would separate players from their homes and families for months, but MLS is intent on resuming the season as quickly as possible.

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Leagues all over the world are seeking logistic answers to postponed or even unstarted seasons (MLS played two match days before the coronavirus pandemic pause).

Eventually the matches would return to home cities, albeit likely behind closed doors.

From The Washington Post:

The players, coaches and support staff, numbering more than 1,000, would live under quarantine at one of the large resorts near Disney World for an undetermined length of time, said those people, who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak on the matter.

MLS, the MLSPA, and Disney did not respond to Goff’s comment on the story, which is sure to divide opinion.

For one thing, MLS is still growing and would love to have the primetime spotlight to itself, or at least be a part of the discussion when other sports return to the fold. The league has grown in renown and quality, and people are aching for live sports while observing social distancing and quarantine measures at home.

There’s a very personal side to this, too. Even if MLS was able to make the village as safe as possible, it would be depriving its players of time with their families. And, as the report points out, the MLSPA is still discussing a wage cut with the league. It’s difficult to imagine the cut being that significant if the league is asking players to say goodbye to their loved ones for months.