Don Garber MLSAndrew Nelles

'We're more optmistic' - Garber admits that MLS was 'pessimistic' about return several weeks ago

MLS commissioner Don Garber says that he is now "cautiously optimistic" about the league's potential return while admitting that those in the league office were "very pessimistic" just a few short weeks ago.

Like most leagues throughout the world, MLS has been suspended indefinitely as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The league began with its first two matches of the season before shutting down due to Covid-19 in March.

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In the weeks since, Garber has stated that the league intends to come back this year, although the formatting of that return has yet to be decided.

And, speaking in a video interview with Nashville SC, the MLS commissioner said that there is plenty of hope when it comes to MLS' restart.

"We're more optimistic about what a return to play plan could look like. I think a month ago we were very pessimistic," Garber said.

"I think our country has done a pretty good job of flattening the curve, which is what the objective was. We need to be mindful of and focused on continuing to follow local guidelines because flattening the curve requires us all to be very focused and committed to all the guidelines local health authorities set out.

"So I would say we're cautiously optimistic."

MLS players have returned to training this week for limited sessions featuring major distancing and heavy safety restrictions, and Garber says that is the first step in preparing for a return to play, whenever that may be.

"I think every player and every club that has been able to get back to individual training has been very pleased," Garber said.

"There was a lot of coverage as we were one of the first leagues to be able to do that.  That's not anything that matters much in the big swing of things, but you have to remember we only played two games of our season.

"We have a whole year ahead of us to try to get games in, get players back into shape, figure out what our plan will be for broader return to training and then ultimately what will the rest of 2020 look like? 

"It is too premature to talk about that, but obviously there is a lot of planning going into what those scenarios would possibly be throughout the league."