Major League Soccer and Minnesota United today announced that following the conclusion of the MLS is Back Tournament, the league will continue its 25th season in the home markets of the league’s 26 clubs. Minnesota United will return to play at Allianz Field Friday, August 21 against Sporting Kansas City at 6:30 p.m. CT. The return to play in home markets will feature comprehensive health and safety protocols, including regular testing of players, coaches and essential staff for COVID-19. Minnesota United’s 2020 season is presented by Allianz, Allina Health, Bell Bank, Blue Cross Blue Shield of MN, Federated Insurance and M Health Fairview.
Each club will play 18 additional regular season games in a phased approach, culminating with Decision Day on Sunday, November 8. MNUFC has decided the following Phase 1 games will be played behind closed doors to ensure the safety of our players, staff and fans. All MNUFC games will be broadcast on Fox Sports North and SKOR North.
Minnesota United Phase One Schedule
|FRI 8/21||Sporting Kansas City||6:30 p.m.||Fox Sports North+||SKOR North|
|SAT 8/29||@ FC Dallas||7:30 p.m.||Fox Sports North+||SKOR North|
|WED 9/02||@ Houston Dynamo||7:00 p.m.||Fox Sports North+||SKOR North|
|SUN 9/06||Real Salt Lake||7:00 p.m.||Fox Sports North||SKOR North|
|WED 9/09||FC Dallas||7:00 p.m.||Fox Sports North||SKOR North|
|SUN 9/13||@ Sporting Kansas City||7:30 p.m.||Fox Sports North||SKOR North|
* Subject to change, will play on FSN, FSN+ or FSGo
In an expansion of the postseason for 2020, 18 clubs will compete in the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs – up from 14 teams last year. The postseason will begin Nov. 20 and feature single-elimination matches, following a straight bracket format, played in the home markets of the higher-seeded teams. As the Eastern Conference has more teams (14) than the Western Conference (12), there will be a four-team play-in round for the Eastern Conference teams -- Seed 7 vs. Seed 10 and Seed 8 vs. Seed 9 – to advance to the Round-of-16. MLS Cup will be played on Dec. 12.
Due to travel restrictions between the U.S. and Canada, MLS announced the initial phase of the league’s revised schedule with each U.S. club playing six matches by Sept. 14.
MLS plans to announce the balance of the regular season schedule by early September as the league continues to work with infectious disease experts, league and club medical personnel, and government officials in all markets in charting a course for the completion of the 2020 season.
As with the MLS is Back Tournament, COVID-19 testing protocols will again play an important role in MLS’ competition framework. MLS continues to work closely with the league’s infectious disease advisors as well as advisors for the MLSPA on the plan for testing. All clubs are forming testing partnerships with a local certified lab, and all players, technical staff and essential club staff will be tested every other day, including the day before each gameday. Also, guidelines will be provided to players, coaches and essential staff to avoid the risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19 during their time away from club facilities.
In addition to adhering to health, safety and medical protocols, another focus of the new schedule is efficient travel. Teams will take chartered flights, and for the majority of road trips will arrive in the host market on gameday and depart after the game later that evening.
At this time, the majority of the matches in local markets will be played without fans in attendance. MLS and club leadership are working with local health authorities and government officials on a plan for limited capacity at certain games where allowed.
Please follow Minnesota United’s social channels and check our website mnufc.com for regular updates on the club and the season going forward.