What has seem inevitable comes to fruition sooner, rather than later: Major League Soccer will immediately suspend the 2020 season amid concerns of the novel coronavirus global pandemic:
Major League Soccer Suspends Season for 30 Days
NEW YORK (March 12, 2020) – Major League Soccer has suspended match play for 30 days, effective immediately, as the league continues to assess the impact of COVID-19 with its medical task force and public health officials.
At the appropriate time, the league and clubs will communicate plans for the continuation of the 2020 season and update the status of league events.
“Our clubs were united today in the decision to temporarily suspend our season – based on the advice and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), and other public health authorities, and in the best interest of our fans, players, officials and employees,” said MLS Commissioner Don Garber. “We’d like to thank our fans for their continued support during this challenging time.”
MLS is following the lead of other leagues (starting with the NBA), and is making the right decision – where too many decision-makers in power to have an impact on the global spread were too busy talking about how smart they were, rather than, you know, actually being smart.
Fortunately, proactive steps like this should help the coronavirus pandemic die down at a more rapid rate. There will be infections, there will be casualties. But taking steps to minimize those is the right choice.
Soccer is important to all of us – I don’t write about it because I think it sucks – but it will always be here. A few weeks off (assuming best-case scenario in terms of heading this thing off at the pass, you’re looking at 6-8 weeks before the pandemic stage is completely gone, and looking at more isolated cases. More realistically, 3-4 months. 30 days is a stopgap measure, though) is going to suck – and suck badly! But some things are bigger than the game, as well.
Coronavirus graphic courtesy Centers for Disease Control and Prevention