What to watch out for until the start of the 2020 season
Things definitely move fast in MLS. Did you know that our league is the only one to cover all seasons? MLS Cup was just over two weeks ago and yet, since then, we’ve seen the expansion draft, the end of year waiver process, and the opening of free agency pass by. Although the Impact stayed quiet in most MLS proceedings, sporting director Olivier Renard has already made a splash, bringing in an exciting forward in Romell Quioto in exchange for centre-back Victor Cabrera.
Things will definitely continue rolling for the Montreal side as the new year approaches, so here’s a breakdown of the important dates to keep in your calendar, including the one that will determine the Impact’s opponent in the first round of the Concacaf Champions League.
Free agency opens -November 25
Clubs may engage with players, other than their own, that are eligible for free agency. Free agency eligible players are out-of-contract and option-declined players who are at least 28 years old and who have completed a minimum of eight service years in MLS. The complete list of free agents is available here.
2019 MLS Re-Entry Process stage 2 – December 3
The Re-Entry Process is conducted in reverse order of 2019 season finish, taking into account postseason performance. Per the Expansion Priority Draft, Nashville SC will have the 25th pick and Inter Miami CF will have the final selection in each round.
2020 Concacaf Champions League draw – December 9
The official draw will be executed using four pots. Pots 1 and 2 will contain the names of the 16 participating clubs, while Pots A and B will contain the sixteen possible bracket positions for the first round of the competition.
Pot 1: Montreal Impact (CAN), Club America (MEX), Cruz Azul FC (MEX), Tigres UANL (MEX), Atlanta United FC (USA), Los Angeles FC (USA), New York City FC (USA) and Seattle Sounders FC (USA).
Pot 2: AD San Carlos (CRC), Deportivo Saprissa (CRC), Alianza FC (SLV), Comunicaciones FC (GUA), CD Olimpia (HON), FC Motagua (HON), Portmore United FC (JAM) and Club Leon (MEX).
Early January – 2020 Superdraft
For those familiar with the draft processes of other major North American leagues, the MLS SuperDraft isn’t much different. Each team selects players over the course of two rounds, while the third and fourth rounds will be held via conference call. The order in which teams select players is based on where they finished in the overall 2019 regular season standings.
Mid-January – Start of training camp
This is the unofficial start of the 2020 season for all clubs in MLS and it’s no different for the Impact. Players will be called in a few days prior to report to Centre Nutrilait, and the team will then depart for its training camp location, typically Florida. Here, they train, eat, and sleep together, forming the bonds and getting into the necessary form to succeed when the season comes around.
Mid-February – Concacaf Champions League round of 16 first leg
That’s the moment we’re all waiting for as of now: the Impact will have the opportunity to begin its season by playing in the prestigious continental tournament, the same one they came so close to winning in 2015.