MLS Canadian teams to play in US stadia



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MLS Canadian clubs play games on US soil Image: Toronto FC, Montral Impact & Vancouver Whitecaps

The Canadian teams of Major League Soccer (MLS) will all play their next three matches of the league’s return-to-play plan on United States soil in the wake of the global COVID-19 pandemic which continues to plague the world.

Major League Soccer is a men’s professional soccer league sanctioned by the United States Soccer Federation which represents the sport’s highest level in the United States and Canada. The league comprises 26 teams – 23 in the US and three in Canada – and will expand to 30 teams by the 2023 season.

As part of the plan, Toronto FC, Montreal Impact and Vancouver Whitecaps will each stage one scheduled home game at American stadia.

Montreal Impact will host Philadelphia Union on September 20th at the Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey, which is primarily the residence of the New York Red Bulls as well as local rivals New York City FC for now.

On September 27th, Toronto FC will host Columbus Crew at Rentschler Field in Hartford, Connecticut, while the Vancouver Whitecaps will play host to the Portland Timbers at their opponents’ venue Providence Park in Portland, Oregon.

With the coronavirus scenario still very grim in the US, the Canadian-US border is still essentially closed, it is a similar situation that has forced Major League Baseball’s (MLB) Toronto Blue Jays to relocate to Buffalo, New York, this season.

“We were approached by MLS to serve as a host venue during this unprecedented 2020 season, and in the interest of helping our league resume play, we agreed to host these additional matches,” said Red Bulls General Manager Marc de Grandpre.

“The playing surface, facilities, and broadcast operations make Red Bull Arena an ideal venue for teams and fans watching from home,” Grandpre added.

MLS has also declared that its playoffs will consist of single-elimination matches hosted by the higher-seeded team and follow a straight bracket format through the MLS Cup final on December 12th.

The MLS Cup is the annual championship game of Major League Soccer (MLS) and the culmination of the MLS Cup Playoffs. The game is held in early November and pits the winner of the Eastern Conference Final against the winner of the Western Conference Final. The MLS Cup winner is awarded the title of league champion. This year it has got delayed due to the deadly pandemic.

Elsewhere, the third-tier National Independent Soccer Association (NISA) announced that the 2020 NISA Fall Tournament will be played at Detroit’s Keyworth Stadium from September 21st until October 2nd.

It will be a closed door fixture but matches will be broadcast on beIN Sports Xtra, the network’s free, 24/7 English-language channel.

The National Independent Soccer Association (NISA) is a professional men’s soccer league in the United States. The league is in the third tier of American soccer and began play in 2019.

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