Soccer Watch: Live Major League Sports Are Back!
The German Bundesliga is back this weekend, with six of the nine games showing live on Fox networks. Looking for a rooting interest? Get up early on Saturday to see two of the best young players in the U.S. and one of the world's great derby matchups: the Revierderby showdown between crosstown rivals Schalke (Weston McKennie) and Borussia Dortmund (17-year-old Giovanni Reyna, who happens to be the son of Austin FC sporting director Claudio Reyna). If you want to get a feel for what an intense rivalry game behind closed doors is going to feel like, this will do it. The full schedule:
Sat., May 16: Dortmund-Schalke, Leipzig-Freiburg (8:30am, FS1&2); Frankfurt-Mönchengladbach (11:30am, FS1).
Sun., May 17: Cologne-Mainz (8:30am, FS1); Union Berlin-Bayern Munich (11am, FS1).
Mon., May 18: Werder Bremen-Bayer Leverkusen (1:30pm, FS2).
And more to come: In all, at least 15 European national leagues have announced return dates, ranging up to July 1 for Finland. This week, the UK government declared that the English Premier League might be able to resume its season June 1, and the president of Spain's La Liga announced that they hope to resume June 12. UEFA, European soccer's governing body, has set a May 25 deadline for leagues to declare their return plans, and leagues in France, the Netherlands, and Belgium have canceled the rest of their seasons.
Major League Soccer may be back as well: According to plans leaked this week in The Washington Post and The Athletic, MLS intends to resume its season by bringing all 26 teams, coaches, and staff to the Disney-owned ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida, where they would be essentially quarantined for two months, including perhaps five weeks of tournament-style games starting June 22. No one was willing to go on the record for either story, but multiple sources confirmed that teams are supposed to be in Orlando by June 1, and there's already considerable pushback regarding the short period for training and the fact that no family members would be allowed to travel with the teams. The plan also presumes, among other things, that there are enough COVID-19 tests available to cover an estimated 1,000 people from MLS and its teams, plus venue, hotel, broadcast, and other support staff, all being tested at least twice a week. So, we'll see.