SEATTLE – Major League Soccer released Tuesday the final stretch of its 2020 schedule to complete a season amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The Sounders have an additional nine matches – five slated to be played at CenturyLink Field. Fans will not be permitted to attend the home matches because of government restrictions regarding crowd sizes.
While the MLS has returned to regular-season action, the pandemic is still impacting scheduling. Same-day travel to guard against the virus limited the Sounders to playing teams within a reasonable flight time. Seattle is not playing Sporting Kansas City or FC Dallas and has only played two Eastern Conference teams, two of those matches being in March.
Seattle’s second match against the Chicago Fire FC was during the MLS is Back tournament in Florida in July, with the Fire winning 2-1 in group-stage play.
Travel restrictions implemented by the Canadian government, which include a 14-day quarantine, means MLS’s three Canadian teams will play all of their remaining matches in the U.S. The Vancouver Whitecaps FC “home” games will be played at Providence Park in Portland.
The Whitecaps play at CenturyLink on Oct. 3 and host the Sounders on Oct. 27.
MLS culminates the season with Decision Day on Nov. 8 when the league’s two conferences will kick off matches simultaneously. The 14 Eastern Conference teams will play seven games starting at 12:30 p.m. The 12 Western Conference clubs, including the Sounders hosting the San Jose Earthquakes, will kick off at 3:30 p.m.
An expanded postseason featuring 18 teams in single-elimination matches will open mid-November and MLS Cup is scheduled for Dec. 12.
The Sounders (6-2-3) lead the West table with 21 points. Kansas City (20) and Dallas (19) closely tail the Rave Green.
Seattle hosts Portland at CenturyLink on Wednesday. The full regular-season schedule has the rivals playing four times. The Sounders will also play San Jose and Los Angeles FC four times during the regular season.
MLS has yet to reschedule Seattle’s match against the Los Angeles Galaxy. The game was postponed Aug. 26 when the sides joined a pro sports-wide strike in support of Black Lives Matter protests against the shooting of Jacob Blake by a police officer in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
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