MLS Proposes a Plan To Resume Its Season With All 26 Teams Playing In Orlando

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Madelyn Burke: Major League Soccer has a plan that will potentially get its season back on track. The league is proposing that all 26 MLS teams come to Orlando this summer, play competitive matches without spectators, and the matches will be held at the Disney Sports Complex and possibly other locations. So joining me for more on this is Planet Football's Luis Miguel Echegaray. Luis, what are some of the details that have come out about this report?

Luis Miguel Echegaray: Yeah, it's a good question, Madelyn, and it's one that's just recently resurfacing. Obviously, originally reported by The Washington Post's Stephen Goff, were basically under the proposal, players, coaches, additional staff would live under quarantine, as you mentioned, in a resort by Disney World in Orlando, Florida, and play primarily at the ESPN Wide World of Sports. I actually know it pretty well. I've been there a few times, which basically sits on Disney World's land under this program. Under this plan, basically all these teams and the coaches and the staff would live, but no family or friends under the report would be allowed to come. So, basically, they would just live there, play there, and that would be it. There are so many questions to this, Madelyn, obviously, and nobody can blame the league for trying to come up with ideas. For one, Florida started re-opening some nonessential businesses, but that actually doesn't fall down to the venue like ESPN Wide World of Sports. So that's still one question. The other question, aside from the logistical side, is testing right? They are trying to see if they can test players on a frequent basis during the week. How can you possibly do this when so many people are gonna be not just living there, but playing and being in close contact physically, figuratively, all the time? And the other addition, I think, the other issue is the human side of it. You're asking players, staff, and anybody involved with a team to basically live without their families for an extended period of time. Obviously, everybody wants sports to come back. But there are so many issues that have to fall at hand in order for this to happen.

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Madelyn Burke: You mentioned that the fact that players and coaches having to live without their families. Have players or coaches spoken out and have you heard any sort of reaction to this plan?

Luis Miguel Echegaray: No, everybody's pretty much kept it quiet and diplomatic. Obviously, since it's just a report and nothing official has come out, but I will tell you, though, that before this news came out, ESPN reported last week how MLS is still trying to negotiate with the Players Association on wages and contracts. One of the proposals was for every single player to take a 20 percent reduction in their wage. It doesn't matter if you're a star, making a lot of money like Joseph Martinez, or somebody at the bottom of the pool, everybody would take a 20 percent wage cut. It's a proposal apparently, reportedly that MLS has given to the players association. So, you know, in addition to being asked to lower your wages, you're now also reportedly may be thinking about moving all the way to Orlando and not seeing your friends and family for a long time. 

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Obviously, they are professionals and they will do what is needed in order to get things going. Yet, the most important thing, as everybody knows, is health and safety for everybody, not just MLS.

Madelyn Burke: Absolutely. Luis Miguel Echegaray, thank you so much for the insight.