MLS sets conferences for 2020 season as Inter Miami, Nashville SC join league

Don't look now, but the 2020 MLS season is just three months away. And on Monday the league's two newest teams learned their conferences for the upcoming campaign. As expected, Inter Miami will be in the Eastern Conference and Nashville SC will be in the Western Conference. Nashville is obviously closer to the east coast than the west, but it was necessary with the league hoping to keep the conferences even when it came to total numbers of teams. Nashville replaces Minnesota United as the easternmost team in the Western Conference.

As a result, each conference has 13 teams with the league total at 26. Austin FC is set to join in the 2021 season, while St. Louis and Sacramento join a year later. The expectation is for Charlotte to be the next city to get an expansion team, but it's too early to tell what that would mean for conference alignment or if realignment will be necessary. 

Here's how things look:

Eastern Conference

  • Atlanta United
  • Chicago Fire 
  • Columbus Crew 
  • D.C. United
  • FC Cincinnati
  • Inter Miami 
  • Montreal Impact
  • New England Revolution
  • New York City FC
  • New York Red Bulls
  • Orlando City
  • Philadelphia Union
  • Toronto FC

Western Conference

  • Colorado Rapids
  • FC Dallas
  • Houston Dynamo
  • LAFC
  • LA Galaxy
  • Minnesota United
  • Nashville SC
  • Portland Timbers
  • Real Salt Lake
  • San Jose Earthquakes
  • Seattle Sounders
  • Sporting Kansas City
  • Vancouver Whitecaps

As MLSSoccer.com points out, each team will play a 34-game regular season with 17 home games and 17 away. Every team plays its 12 fellow conference teams twice, with 10 games coming against the other conference. 

The 2020 season begins on Feb. 29, and the Seattle Sounders are the reigning champions after beating Toronto FC for the 2019 MLS Cup in November.

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Roger Gonzalez is an award-winning writer based in Virginia that has covered pro soccer from Europe's top clubs to Argentina's first division. Roger started out his pro soccer writing career with Goal.com... Full Bio

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