With the holiday season ended, the 2020 MLS year is coming fast.
The 2020 MLS SuperDraft begins with the initial two rounds on January 9 — three and four are put for the following Monday, players will begin to report to training camp January 18 as preseason gets underway, and the season proper gets kicks off on February 29 when D.C. United sponsors the Colorado Rapids in Audi Field at 1 pm.
The inclusion of two growth clubs — Nashville SC and Inter Miami CF — brings the number of teams in each seminar and sees MLS enters its 25th season with all the competition format continuing to evolve.
The schedule stays, but no longer will a team meet with every cross-conference competition at least once. The home and away match against in-conference rivals remain in place, accounting for fixtures, but only ten conference games can be accommodated.
For they won’t confront FC Dallas, LAFC, or Minnesota United FC this season.
With the schedule released on December 19 and home openers announced, here are my 10 most TFC.
February 29 at San Jose Earthquakes
When they visit Avaya Stadium to face Matias Almeyda’s Earthquakes, the year opens in California for TFC. This season the Argentine coach rejuvenated San turning them into a force of the season.
The Quakes couldn’t sustain the effort in the final months of the campaign and ended up missing out of the MLS Cup Playoffs, but will no doubt be seeking to build on that base when 2020 gets underway.
March 7 vs. NYCFC
When NYCFC come to town A week on, TFC make their return.
With much of this 2019, MLS Cup run it’s going to have been nearly five weeks since the Reds last graced their home pitch. And with it could not begin in a better fashion.
NYCFC topped the Eastern Conference last year just to falter at the first hurdle in the playoffs, as a result of an Alejandro Pozuelo dual, ending Dome Torrent’s tenure in a devastating manner. Norwegian Ronny Deila will be taking over the reins of the club season and will be willing to observe the side to start out the new one by beating the barrier that conquered his predecessor.
The last time the Reds hosted New York’s gloomy side, Pozuelo left his TFC introduction in some style. What will he have in store this time?
August 1 in Chicago Fire
With all the attention on the growth clubs along with the flashy lights that have come to MLS since the league has continued to grow in recent years, it is easy to miss more subtle alterations by a number of the longstanding clubs.
One such move will take place in Chicago with all the Fire arriving downtown to Soldier Field, having spent the last decade-plus in Bridgeview, Illinois, well outside of the town’s core.
The relocation is part of an attempt to reinvigorate a club which has failed to reach the playoffs in eight of their last ten seasons — both times they didthey were defeated in the Knockout Round — a gigantic task that falls upon the shoulders of recently installed head trainer Raphael Wicky.
If the Fire hopes to compete in the East, Toronto is one of the teams they must be gunning for.
September 19 at Portland Timbers FC
Each year of MLS action has phases.
There’s the first season warm-up, then the spring flurry, the midseason pause, the summertime grind, and the fall race which culminates from the playoff push.
From September, who’s in contention for a post-season berth and who’s on the bubble will be clear.
That makes these games of the season quite crucial to get a club’s ultimate destiny. The excitement is raised evermore as the stakes get higher and higher. The air in these types of matches reaches another level, and so a visit to Providence Park in Portland to face Giovanni Savarese’s side is one to anticipate.
October 4 at New York Red Bulls
Conclusion Day 2020. Red Bull Arena. The New York Red along with TFC Bulls.
Always a difficult place to play with, final days in New York City for TFC haven’t been kind in the past, but with the new year appearing glowing all obstacles are welcome.
However the season plays out, it’s sure that Chris Armas’ side will be a tough opponent when this season comes in ten months. Reserve it.
The Red Bulls come on April 11 to Toronto.