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No Bubble? No Problem! MLS Proves Its Stupidity Once Again

Leaving the bubble could prove dangerous and ignorant.

Zarek Valentin & Mathieu Deplagne by Jamie Smed is licensed under CC BY 2.0

No Bubble? No Problem! MLS Proves Its Stupidity Once Again


Estimated Reading Time: 2 Minutes

Bubbles work. This is a fact. It’s indisputable. NWSL was successful. MLS is approaching their tournament final. The NBA and NHL are thriving.

So what does MLS decide to do now?

Pop the bubble and start copying other soccer leagues that have been able to kick off in their teams’ stadiums without going into a bubble. Unless you’re a Canadian based team. If that’s you, you’re not included.

The utter stupidity behind this move shouldn’t surprise me at this point. But alas, I’m baffled. Instead of looking like the Premier League or Bundesliga, MLS is about to look like Major League f**king Baseball. A league that saw one team have their season suspended after a mere four games, and has another that seems to be postponing theirs one series at a time.

The fact of the matter is, things worked out as they have in European soccer leagues because those countries still have nationwide restrictions in place, and they are significantly smaller. Then in UEFA, in tournaments that are bigger than just the countries of England or Germany, they are finishing out the Champions League and Europa League in Portugal and Germany respectively. Two separate tournaments, two separate bubbles.

Bubbles have proven to be successful. But, instead of creating a more long-term bubble in Orlando or another city, MLS is resuming its season and will send teams into the hotbeds that are Texas, Florida, and really any state that isn’t in the between New Jersey and Massachusetts. Yes, I understand that the schedule released is regional to limit the amount of travel, but it’s still happening. Every team will have legitimate home and away games.

Trusting players to follow protocol has proven to be fruitless across American sports.

And, really, it’s a larger issue and look into how America has handled the COVID-19 pandemic as a whole. However instead of making measured, informed decisions, we continue to try the same thing over and over and don’t understand why it doesn’t work.

One month ago, FC Dallas had to bow out of the MLS is back tournament, despite the fact that it was going to be taking place in a bubble. Who’s to say they won’t have to do the same thing again? But this time, they’ll share that blame with Don Garber and the rest of Major League Soccer.

I’m tired of our inability to get out of our own way. While I would love to see MLS continue to grow, not just in quantity but in quality, I can’t blame players who will look at the way this has been handled and opt for leagues in other countries if the option is on the table for them. For me it would be a no brainer at this point.

Kevin is an actor, director, playwright, and musician who works in tech and lives in Brooklyn. He is die hard New England sports and an avid Tottenham supporter. His qualifications include scoring 1 point in his elementary school basketball career, 4 years of mixed little league results, and breaking his arm with a skip-it days before pre-season workouts started for Freshman football.

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