The league announced the first phase of the continuation of play today, which will see the Fire play three matches on the road, and three home games at Soldier Field.
Here’s the schedule:
- Thursday, Aug. 20 at Columbus Crew SC (6:30 p.m. CT, WGN & ESPN+)
- Tuesday, Aug. 25 vs. FC Cincinnati at Soldier Field (6:30 p.m. CT, WGN & ESPN+)
- Saturday, Aug. 29 at NYCFC (6:30 p.m. CT, WGN & ESPN+)
- Tuesday, Sept. 1 at FC Cincinnati (6:30 p.m. CT, WGN & ESPN+)
- Sunday, Sept. 6 vs. New England Revolution at Soldier Field (6:30 p.m. CT, WGN & ESPN+)
- Saturday, Sept 12 vs. Columbus Crew SC at Soldier Field (6:30 p.m. CT, WGN & ESPN+)
The Fire’s home matches will be played without fans in attendance, at least for phase one.
“With health and safety as our focus, our Club has made the decision to play our next three home matches at Soldier Field without fans,” Fire President Nelson Rodríguez said in a statement. “The limited number of players, staff and workers who need to be at the stadium on those three days will be provided a safe environment as we continue to focus on their well-being. We invite our fans to watch on WGN and ESPN+ and listen on Univision Radio.”
These six games are part of MLS’s plan to play 18 additional regular season games. With the five matches already played (two in March and three at MLS is Back in Orlando), that means all teams would play a 23 game regular season.
Jonathan Bornstein after training yesterday:— Patrick McCraney (@patrickmccraney) August 9, 2020
"To be honest, it's amazing to know we're gonna be playing more games this 2020 season. As professional soccer players, that is exactly what we want to do." #cffc #cf97 pic.twitter.com/ne0dMnrBOH
This initial phase will see the U.S.-based clubs play six games each. Because of the travel restrictions between the U.S. and Canada, the league is working with the three Canadian clubs on what to do next. More details on that will be out soon.
Because they both missed the MLS is Back Tournament, FC Dallas and Nashville SC will play each other three times to make up the matches missed. The first two matches will be Aug. 12 and Aug. 16, with a third still to come.
MLS will continue to regularly test players for COVID-19. In addition, all teams will take chartered flights, and for the majority of the away matches, the team will arrive in the host market the day of the match, and leave immediately after.
The league expects to announce the remainder of the schedule by early September. The MLS Cup Playoffs are scheduled to begin on November 20, with 18 clubs taking part.