During the MLS Is Back Tournament, the commissioner, Don Garber, said that teams will play in front of fans “where we can” and the regular season will resume soon. “Fifty-one games in 35 days and delivery for our fans, getting our players on the field, having our media partners and our sponsors being able to reengage, getting back that momentum that we had in the launch of the 25th season – that’s the thing that has us all feeling pretty good tonight,” Garber said. “What drives MLS is this soccer culture, getting into our markets and getting our players back, getting them home, getting them to play in their stadiums, and being able to train in their training grounds. We will get back to our markets. We’ll be announcing their schedule soon. We’re going to be able to play with fans where we can and not play with fans in most of our markets.”

When players leave the bubble, the risk for more infections will go up, but Garber was confident that the season will be able to resume without a hitch. “We learned a lot in the bubble,” he said. “We learned about testing. We learned about the incredible commitment of our players wearing masks and social distancing and taking real responsibility for keeping themselves safe. And that really will give us the sense of what we need to do to finish the season, have playoffs and have an MLS Cup before the end of the year.”

The MLS Is Back Tournament was a great success, and it is worth asking whether or not the league will put on something similar in years to come. “Perhaps this is something we could recreate in the early part of the year, but there has been no planning for that whatsoever,” he said. “The focus is in our markets, in front of our fans when we can, getting our players home and getting back to some sense of a new normal once we’re able to achieve a regular cadence of games.”

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