You may not be aware, but the world is terrible right now! This generalized terribleness is impacting the soccer world in that the global coronavirus pandemic means there is none of the soccer at all. That… will extend well past any end date in mind.
From Nashville SC release:
NASHVILLE (April 14, 2020) – Major League Soccer continues to regularly evaluate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, including how it will affect our plans for the 2020 season. Although we hoped to return to play in mid-May, that is extremely unlikely based on the guidance of federal and local public health authorities.
Our goal remains to play as many games as possible, and while we currently have enough dates to play the entire season, we recognize at this time that it may become difficult to do so. We continue to learn more every day from the medical experts, and we expect to have additional details in the coming weeks regarding when we can return to play. As we have throughout this process, we will update our fans with every decision, and we thank them for their support and understanding during this extremely challenging time.
“Our goal remains to play as many games as possible” comes with two implications: first, that the season won’t be canceled outright, and second, that playing an entire 34-game schedule is all-but completely out of the question.
A return to organized sports is hardly the most-pressing issue in the country or the world (anecdotally, as the spouse of an emergency room physician, I can tell you that things are a lot more serious than soccer games!), but with that said, this is a soccer blog. Professional leagues will return downstream from many other small steps toward normalcy, but presumably they’ll be back at some point.
MLS Commissioner Don Garber sat with ESPN’s Taylor Twellman yesterday, and gave a little more insight as to some possibilities for a return to play:
“Most of the scenarios we’re looking at have us going into a number of different locations with the concept of a tournament. And then, right after that, being able to later in the Summer, to be able to play regular-season games in our stadiums, likely without fans.”
For Nashville SC – which probably netted out a little bit less disadvantaged than the average MLS team from on-field and business perspectives – it’s not only a frustrating pause after only two games played, it’s also potentially damaging in the quest for a playoff spot, for capturing the hearts and minds of the local community, and more.
Stay home, wash your hands, use social distancing as much as possible, etc. etc.