In the latest sports news, it has been announced that the 26th season of Major League Soccer Is set to go ahead starting April 17 as a new collective bargaining agreement was agreed. However, confusion still remains as to how and where Canadian teams will play.
Initially scheduled to start on the 3rd of April, the season will now start two weeks later due to ironing out the ratification for this new agreement. Players and league have agreed on new terms which allow the already postponed season to get underway.
The major sticking point seems to be the three Canadian teams that take their part in the MLS. Toronto FC, Vancouver Whitecaps, and CF Montreal had to complete many of their home games at stadiums in the USA last season as travel restrictions prevented US-based teams from travelling to Canada.
What happens with these teams going further is causing quite the concern. While most teams are unlikely to play at home stadiums with fans present, it is deemed unfair on Canadian teams to have to play in stadiums that are not theirs. That said, all three teams are working with the authorities and the MLS to come up with a solution that suits all.
The Favourites for the New MLS Season
With the new season now confirmed to start, many of you will be thinking who are going to contest both the Eastern and Western Conferences, make it through the playoffs and ultimately, win the MLS Cup in 2021.
The early favourites according to the bookies are New York City at 7/1 but they are closely followed by FC Dallas at 7.5/1, and Columbus Crew who won the 2020 MLS Cup joining the Portland Timbers, and Seattle Sounders at 8/1. In terms of the least favourites, that is FC Cincinnati who are at odds of 100/1 to become the 2021 MLS Cup champions.
Sports Betting sites are clearly not convinced of a standout favourite and this explains so many teams receiving similar odds. This will all change once a few matches have played. Now is a good time to get your bets on if you do have a hunch before the odds do decide to fluctuate. Some sites as listed on the freebets.uk no deposit page will even let you have a free bet without depositing. Just register an account and pick your bet.
MLS Expected to Lose $1bn in 2021
As with most football leagues around the world, the COVID-19 pandemic has hit the sport hard in North America. Fanless matches have meant that the league predicts it will lose around $1 billion in revenue for 2021 on top of what was already lost in 2020. Fans are unlikely to return until at least the latter stages of the season and that does not bode well for the finances of the league or the clubs within it.
Fortunately, one area of concern has been averted with an agreement between the league and the players that have resulted in a 7-year CBA that protects players and their salaries. The league originally invoked a force Majeure clause which allowed them to re-enter negotiations on the original contract it had with players.
Brought on by the financial stress of the pandemic, if a new agreement was not made in time, there was a chance that the MLS season as a whole could be cancelled. That agreement has been made as both sides settled on beneficial numbers for either side so as to ensure the competition can still continue throughout these challenging times.
Hopefully, 2021 sees the end of this pandemic and the continued struggle it has been for the sport of football around the world. The sport, particularly in America, can continue to grow and develop at the same rate that it has in recent years.