Despite the long delays and cancellations, European football was able to get off to a great start for the ending of the 19/20 campaign, and whilst a number of games continue to trickle through at a bit of a slower pace, fans are now waiting for the 20/21 campaign to get underway.
For US fans, however, there is some good news as the MLS is set to get underway this week but there may be some challenges to overcome as major US sporting events don’t have the best track record right now.
Keeping cases low –
The biggest challenge for MLS to overcome will be the growing number of coronavirus cases across other sporting events in the country – currently the organization has received a lot of praise for keeping numbers low where others have failed, particularly looking toward MLB and the rising number of cases there.
By taking similar measures by creating a bio-secure environment much like what has been seen in the NBA, confirmed cases have remained low but in a strange turning of events recent news suggests that the MLS will abandon many of these changes in an effort to get things back to normal, if cases do begin rise it is expected cancellations and postponements will begin quickly.
Understanding a ‘new normal’ –
A huge reason for the success in European football had been the way in which many of the new requirements were adopted – having no fans in attendance, limiting the number of staff or team members attending a stadium, creating different zones within the stadium to ensure safety for as many as possible.
If MLS is to follow the example set out here, many of these same measures may need to be followed but as increasing pressure is being placed for the opposite to be true there could be some difficulties – we’ve already seen recent changes in baseball tackling the number of personnel present at a game, and early steps need to be taken here to ensure success.
Big schedule, big challenges –
Much like had been seen in Europe, increasing the schedule of play opens up a number of risks that need to be overcome – players will remain at increased risk of injury throughout the end of the season as the downtime and sudden increase in play play their part.
A measured approach will also need to be taken as upset results will be likely, the time away from the game can make it a little more difficult to judge who may come out on top and we’ve already seen some unexpected results because of this.
As mentioned above too there is also the biggest challenge of exiting the bubble too early to get things underway – whilst it has served as a way to keep players and teams safe, it has also meant a restrictive approach to returning to the game and as these restrictions are lifted could also have a big impact on performance for many.
There is some good news for punters however, US fans can look forward to some exciting betting opportunities once these games do get started – whilst there may be some unexpected results it does provide an opportunity for some fans to win big because of these results, the increased capacity of games also allows for more opportunities to become available for punters looking to be a little more involved too.
For those who aren’t too excited about major league soccer there is plenty of good news, however, as it is expected the new campaigns for the 20/21 season in Europe will begin in early to mid-September, although no fixtures have been announced yet fans can expect to hear about any potential changes and expected measures to come soon.
It’s unlikely that we’ll see any fans in attendance or any big adjustments to what had previously been occurring, but over the coming months we may begin to see some relaxation at least for some of the changes, with player safety remaining increasingly important as some surges in cases have occurred the restrictions here are unlikely to change or be lifted, and until that aspect falls under control many of the spectator restrictions will remain as they are too.