On May 28, 77 days (or 2 months and 16 days) after the league was first put on hold, Major League Soccer announced that voluntary small groups of training could take place at a club’s training facility. That was followed up on June 4 with the announcement that full training could be resumed across the league.
Obviously, all of these announcements come with the assurance that players will follow the health and safety protocols provided by the State, but it nevertheless remains a key point in our hunt for Soccer’s return.
Frank De Boer’s Atlanta United are rocking some pretty good numbers in most MLS odds after their 2-0-0 start to the season, and were the first side to resume training. The Five Stripes developed a training routine that involved six to seven players and made best use of the space needed to comply with the health and safety protocols, which has since been copied by several other clubs in the division.
Chicago Fire followed on May 29, but chose to take a more time-focused approach than Atlanta. Workouts amongst the players, who had volunteered to come in, were split up into four separate hour-long slots and took place across the club’s SeatGeek Stadium.
At the time of writing, San Jose are the only Major League Soccer side not in training right now. The club announced on Thursday June 4 that they had been given the green light to proceed with training by Santa Clara County ‘sometime early next week’, though we’re not too sure when exactly that might be.
It remains to be seen whether or not this delay will negatively impact the Earthquakes’ performances on the pitch, but one look at most MLS betting tips will undoubtedly lead some punters to thinking that San Jose will be better of looking down, rather than up, the table when the action resumes.
A return to full-team training is perhaps the biggest step forward the league has announced since the action was stopped earlier this year. The noises coming from the heads of the league over a restart in the somewhat near future seem to be positive for the time being, which means that fans can slowly start to look forward to seeing their favourite stars back out on the field again.
As ever with these strange times, all we can really do is watch this space though.
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