MLS: we will allow five changes during the relaunch

Major League Soccer coaches welcome the possibility of making five changes when play resumes in Florida next month.

The measure was taken for the sake of conditioning the players, combined with the heat of the summer.

The ‘MLS Is Back’ tournament will begin July 8 at the Walt Disney World Sports Complex.

Clubs were able to resume regular training on June 4. In the case of the Montreal Impact, however, it was not until Thursday that the team was able to resume such sessions.

The heat, combined with limited training time, can mean that players will be more vulnerable to injury.

« I think you have to be prepared to make full use of your team from time to time, » Sporting Kansas City coach Peter Vermes said.

Chicago Fire chief Raphael Wicky said his decisions will be dictated by the pace of the matches.

“It will depend on the physical condition. If you feel like ‘okay this is the first game and after 60 minutes there are four very tired guys’ then you are probably going to use those changes. « 

“If you feel the team is ready and the players are feeling good sometimes the coach doesn’t really want to change the squad too much. « 

“Putting in five players is not that they are not good. They are probably very good. But sometimes the chemistry is there, the tactics work. It’s going to be pretty tricky. « 

The International Football Association Board, which sets the rules for soccer, has agreed to let teams around the world proceed

two more changes per game for the rest of the year, due to the pandemic.

The Bundesliga was the first to use the new rule. The Premiership, which resumed play this week, also grants five changes.

The rule allows five changes in a 90-minute game and a sixth in overtime.

Teams can only stop play three times during the 90 minutes to make changes.

MLS teams will also be allowed to expand their roster to 23 athletes.

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