Leerenstadion. Tim Sullivan/For Club and Country
From MLS release:
NEW YORK (March 19, 2020) – In accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidance to postpone events involving more than 50 people over the next eight weeks, Major League Soccer has extended the postponement of its matches during this period of time. MLS remains focused on playing the entire 2020 season and is evaluating all options, including pushing back the end of the season and playing MLS Cup in December, as the league did prior to the 2019 season. The league is also identifying other available dates. Throughout this process, MLS will continue to prioritize the safety of our fans, players, employees and partners and to coordinate with federal and local public health authorities as well as other sporting organizations.
That obviously the right decision to make. We all love sports, but the safety and health of the citizenry is far more important. It’s also worth noting that MLS doesn’t paint itself into any corners here: if the CDC guidelines are amended, the league can update its policies, as well. Whether that means closed-door games are on the table if COVID-19 begins to die down, etc. etc. – the league’s very clear that essentially everything is going to be considered.
That takes us through May 14 (NSC is actually scheduled for a May 13 game), and whether that’s a target date for returning to training or gameplay – it sounds like the latter – is significant. For the time being, that means the following games are on hold indefinitely:
- March 14 – @ Toronto FC (date already passed)
- March 21 – Columbus Crew
- April 3 – Seattle Sounders
- April 11 – Sporting Kansas City
- April 18 – DC United
- April 26 – @ New York City FC
- May 9 – FC Dallas
- May 13 – Philadelphia Union
Frustratingly, much of the time built into the calendar during which games could theoretically be made up (off weekends March 28 and May 1) take place during the hiatus. Maybe a room for improvement when making future schedules, MLS!
What can you do?
Follow all CDC recommendations yourself. Stay home in social isolation if possible, socially distance as much as possible otherwise, wash hands diligently, etc. etc.
Those who are trying to show how tough they are by ignoring regulations (fortunately, there will be a lot fewer of those now that the 327 millionth-most intelligent American has agreed that the regulations are important) are not only not doing that, they’re making it take longer for sports to come back. Yes, I understand that a healthy 30-something probably won’t die of the disease. But they will continue to propagate it, and make this whole situation take longer to calm down from pandemic levels. And that’s good for nobody.
Stay safe out there – fear not, there will be plenty more content in these parts to keep getting your soccer fix.