MLS 2020 And COVID-19: When's The Soccer Coming Back?
How Did We Get Here?
On March 12th 2020, MLS 25 was suspended following the increasing number of infection cases from COVID-19 across the United States and the wider world. Whilst that weekend's games, matchday 3 in the calendar, were originally planned to go forward, the news came in that weekend that sides like Seattle were being pressured into closing their doors for the weekend.
Four MLS sides announced fixture postponements between Tuesday and Wednesday, and the league was officially put on hold following emergency meetings with its powers that be.
Players, coaches and club staff all followed Government recommendations and entered into a period of self-isolation, meaning all stadiums and training grounds have been deserted since March 12th. Much like the rest of the sporting world, there hasn't been much to report since then.
Philadelphia Union Cast A Long Shadow
On the eve of what would be the league's fifth matchday and just shy of a month of self-isolating from each club, the MLS had its first reported case of a player contracting the virus.
On April 1st, Philadelphia Union announced via their website that an unidentified player on their first team roster had tested positive for COVID-19 after displaying 'mild symptoms'. Thankfully the player is reported to be in good spirits and carries no threat of passing the virus onto anyone, however the case serves as an important reminder as to why these restrictions are in place, and why they will continue to disrupt the sporting calendar for some time still.
Training Delayed. Again.
A training moratorium had been put in place by the league since the postponement of fixtures on March 12th, a necessary precaution that has already been pushed back first to April 3rd, and then to April 24th. During this period, all training grounds and facilities are closed to players and club staff, unless they are attending for injury rehabilitation or treatment.
At the time of writing, the return date for the MLS is May 10th, though we wouldn't be prepared to back that with our money just yet.