Late in the 2019 season rumors started to swirl that Major League Soccer would drastically change the structure of their regular season and more so the postseason. The basic idea is that to avoid the long FIFA break in November, MLS will do a single elimination playoff that starts earlier and ends before that break. One year too late for Sporting KC.
Up until recently, it was just heavily rumored. However, two sources inside Sporting Kansas City confirmed that it’s not a rumor but instead a fact. They advised to accommodate the season ending earlier, it will also start earlier. In addition, that means that preseason will early start around “the end of January.” Last season preseason “started” on January 27th, so I’d suspect it will begin before that. Those were friendlies that were closed to the public with the first public preseason game not being played until February 3rd.
In addition it was confirmed that preseason will happen in Scottsdale this year instead of Tucson. In 2017, preseason was split between Scottsdale and Tucson but this season it will reportedly happen entirely in Scottsdale, one would assume at the Phoenix Rising Soccer Complex. Last year four of the seven Sporting KC games were in Scottsdale as they played the Phoenix Rising trialists, Sporting AZ (UPSL), Colorado Rapids and Phoenix Rising (USL Championship) in central Arizona.
The official preseason schedule didn’t come out until January 11th last season, so it’ll likely be sometime before that is confirmed. The same is true for the regular season schedule. It comes out in two waves with each team’s home game being announced and then the regular season schedule coming out later. Last year, it was a day later on January 12th.
There is a lot of offseason still to happen before we get to any games being played. In addition, games that matter were going to start earlier regardless because of Sporting’s involvement in the CONCACAF Champions League.