With MLS giving players the green light to train individually at their training facilities on a voluntary basis starting May 6, clubs are starting to plot their way forward on how best to plan for it, pending local government mandates.
It'll be the first step toward a future return to full training. Players have been getting by with at-home workouts amid the COVID-19 pandemic with a full team training moratorium set to run through May 15, nearly two months since the league suspended play on March 12.
“It’d be nice to be able to go back to [Seattle's training facility] Starfire, but at the same time, we have to make sure we do our part in society," Sounders midfielder Cristian Roldan said. "We’d love to be back in the facility, practicing and practicing social distancing on the field, but it depends on our local government.”
Once progress is made and teams can begin returning to training, Roldan says players will need a mini-preseason to get back to playing shape.
“I’m hearing that we’ll probably have about three weeks to a month to prepare for the season," Roldan said. "I think that’s fair. We understand it takes a lot to get your body back into a 90-minute rhythm.
“I certainly believe that there are going to be games this year," Roldan said. "I’m really looking forward to them.”
MLS Commissioner Don Garber has indicated that the league is looking at various options regarding a restart of the 2020 season. Roldan and his teammate Stefan Frei have a few ideas of their own.
"For me, to make it fair for everyone, we should play every team once," Roldan said. "But that’s just my opinion. At the end of the day, it’s not my decision.”
Frei added that perhaps teams should conduct a regular season in which they only play teams within their conference, to minimize travel and fit as many games in, thus keeping the playoffs intact.
"We have options, that's the good thing," Frei said.