A Quick Intro to MLS 101
(Screenshot: Inter Miami CF Youtube)
by Russell Varner
So, you’ve heard rumors about Charlotte getting a MLS team, and now you need to quickly get up to speed? Well that's what we're trying to do here with the Mint City Chronicle. Let's just do a quick intro, and then you can follow along throughout 2020 as we get you ready for what we hope to be the first MLS game played in Charlotte, North Carolina... sometime in early 2021.
It has now been about one month since the 2019 MLS Cup Final, which saw the Seattle Sounders beat Toronto FC 3-1. Seattle and Toronto have fought for the top prize three times in the last four years, and now the Sounders have a 2-1 edge. Seattle joined the league in 2009, Toronto in 2007.
The biggest news since then has been the next stage of major expansion for the league - Nashville SC and Inter Miami both officially joined MLS for the 2020 season. David Beckham’s Miami will be joining the Eastern Conference (now sitting at 13 teams) and Nashville is going the way of the Memphis Grizzlies and being placed in the Western Conference (also at 13 for 2020).
Inter Miami’s MLS debut will be particularly interesting, as it has been years in the making - literally. Do you remember when David Beckham signed with the LA Galaxy years ago (it was 2007)? There was an option in his contract back then that would allow him to be automatically given an MLS team, should he choose to own one. Beckham exercised this option and was given a team - back in 2014.
After years of questions and trying to find a place to play (and still not having a coach mere months before they kick off), Inter Miami CF is finally set to begin MLS play … though there are still questions about whether their stadium will even be ready by then. But hey, their name, logo and color scheme are all really good and unique, so they have that going for them.
With the addition of the two clubs, MLS now has 26 teams and a schedule that includes 34 games. Because of this, the 2020 season will be the first in which not every team plays every other team. From the MLS website:
“Each club will continue to play a 34-game regular season with 17 home matches and 17 away matches. Every team will play their 12 intra-conference opponents twice – once home and once away for a total of 24 matches – with the other 10 regular-season matches coming against the opposite conference. Those inter-conference opponents will be revealed with the full 2020 schedule release.”
In short, 2020 is going to be a very interesting season, with two new teams, a bunch of new faces, and a lot of anticipation for fans in Charlotte. Want to know more? Make sure you join the Collective and get in our members-only Slack: we're talking about the game (and everything else) all day long.