By Lewis Gould
According to The Athletic, ESPN, which is owned by Disney, has been heavily involved in discussions about the potential Major League Soccer Orlando tournament, which, among other major hurdles, needs the approval of the MLS Players Association before it can become reality.
The plan calls for all 26 teams to travel to Florida, where they would be quarantined together at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort. The teams would train for about a month at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports complex before playing a minimum of five fan-free matches in a tournament that would run at least through the end of July.
One source said that the latest plan calls for most match days to include four games — a pair in the morning and a pair in the evening, with each game in the pair separated by an hour break. The scheduling would avoid midday matches to bypass the worst of the summer heat in central Florida.
Sources said that the league views working with Disney and ESPN as the easiest way to return to play. If it goes to Orlando, MLS would essentially be operating under Disney’s roof. The company owns the resort that would house the league, the facility where teams would play and the network that would broadcast many of the matches.