Inter Miami CF and St. Louis City SC will join Major League Soccer’s esports property eMLS for the 2021 season.
The move gives MLS expansion club St. Louis City a chance to engage with fans and integrate into the league ahead of joining on the field in 2023. Started in 2018, eMLS will enter its fourth season in 2021.
Meanwhile, it has been confirmed that the MLS team which finishes with the highest regular-season points total in 2020 will receive the Supporters’ Shield after all.
A decision to not award the annual trophy due to the lack of fans in the stands in the wake of the global Covid-19 pandemic, and an unbalanced league schedule, was reversed by the Supporters’ Shield Foundation following public pressure.
Elsewhere, the US National Soccer Hall of Fame has overhauled its induction process after a series of controversial omissions in recent years and perceived widespread barriers to entry.
Earlier this year, US women’s national team star Hope Solo, who is widely considered the greatest goalkeeper in the history of women’s soccer, did not make the cut in her first year of eligibility, sparking a public outcry despite some off-field transgressions.
Former US men’s World Cup captain Carlos Bocanegra was also the only player elected to the Hall this year, marking the fourth time in six years that just one player has made the cut despite several worthy candidates, including Solo and fullback Steve Cherundolo.
The Halls of Fame of other major sports in the US usually induct multiple players each year.
“Over the past several years, it was apparent the current election process was not allowing us to fully meet our mission of honoring those who have made significant contributions to the game in the United States,” said National Soccer Hall of Fame executive director Djorn Buchholz.