As debates rage about what a possible return of the 2020 Major League Soccer season could look like during the COVID-19 pandemic, Montreal Impact goalkeeper Evan Bush sees both sides of things.
During a recent TVA Sports interview, Bush said that having games back, in whatever form that takes, comes with immense upside.
“I think there's a big opportunity here for MLS where if you’re able to get the teams back in front of cameras, whether that’s with fans or without fans, remote locations, in stadiums – whatever it is – I think there’s going to be a big, big market for it,” Bush said. “I think that there’s going to be a ton of people who now are looking at it as kind of their escape from the quarantine.
“I caught myself watching some marble racing on ESPN The Ocho – all of these ridiculous things you’re watching now because you’re filling a void. The quicker they’re able to get players on the field, in front of the cameras, engaging again with the fan base, I think that’ll be something that they certainly strive to do.”
As eager as some may be, Bush highlighted several logistical challenges facing Montreal, the Vancouver Whitecaps and Toronto FC, the three MLS teams in Canada.
Perhaps most pressingly, the border between the United States and Canada is currently closed to nonessential travel through mid-May to limit the novel coronavirus' spread. Should that alleviate, there's also the looming likelihood of quarantines.
“Speaking from Montreal’s standpoint, just trying to envision what that [travel] looks like, it’s not easy,” Bush said. “To have teams, unless you’re going to play Toronto and Vancouver every week, it’s not really practical that you can do it any other way – at least to start.
“If you have a team coming from New York or Chicago, an easy flight that's probably going to be mandatory charters for at least the rest of this year, when they get here, then what? They have to be in quarantine for two weeks away, and then when they go back they have to be in quarantine for two weeks.”
Bush, now in his ninth season with the Impact, delves into much more with TVA Sports. You can check out the full interview here.