MASL, Utica City FC may return for postseason as league plans for return

The MASL announced a potential outline for the league to conduct a playoff competition and will make an announcement within the next week to formalize potential return to play.

Posted: May 21, 2020 8:22 PM

WKTV - There's a chance the Major Arena Soccer League could return to crown a champion, and with that, Utica City FC would be back on the turf to make a postseason run.

The MASL announced, Thursday, it is putting together a plan for a potential playoff competition to complete the 2019-2020 season.

League Commissioner Joshua Schaub outlined the plan that would contain eight-teams competing in a 10-day tournament at one centralized location.

Teams would take part in a 5-day training camp that would immediately lead into postseason play.

The MASL would execute a detailed safety plan that would call for testing, quarantining, social distancing, cleaning/sanitizing and housing.

The location where the proposed playoffs would take place hasn't been announced, but Utica City FC President Rob Esche told NEWSChannel 2 that there is a "pretty decent" chance that Utica and the Adirondack Bank Center could be chosen as the host site.

There have also been no indications from the league at this time whether or not fans would be allowed to attend the matches during the playoffs or when the competition would take place.

Should this plan come to fruition, Utica City FC would qualify, sitting in third place of the Eastern Conference at 14-6, tied with Milwaukee for the second-best record, but in third due to tie-breaking procedures at the time play in the regular season was halted on March 12.

The top four teams in each conference would likely participate.

Based on the standings on March 12, the Florida Tropics, Milwaukee Wave, UCFC, and Baltimore Blast would qualify in the Eastern Conference. In the West, it would be the Monterrey Flash, San Diego Sockers, Ontario Fury and Soles de Sonora.

The league said it would work with Mexico-based teams, Sonora and Monterrey, on travel across the border. However, if those or any other team were not able to travel to the location of the playoffs, the MASL would award those spots to fifth place teams: Harrisburg in the East, and Tacoma or Turlock, both tied for fifth, in the West.

In the case of the West, a tiebreaker would determine qualification.

The MASL statement said that the league will have an official announcement regarding its plans within the next week.

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