Major League Soccer Announces Mid-May Play “Extremely Unlikely”

Major League Soccer Announces Mid-May Play “Extremely Unlikely”

MLS: No group training until at least April 24th

Major League Soccer had hoped to begin play in mid-May. On April 2nd, MLS announced a target return date of May 10th. League officials, however, announced today that the mid-May restart is unlikely. A training moratorium is still in effect for all clubs through April 24th. Players are being encouraged to train and stay fit in their own homes, upholding social distancing guidelines that are in place in most states and cities across the country.

MLS Commissioner on ESPN: “abridged regular season”

In an interview on ESPN, MLS Commissioner Don Garber described a possible return to play, but without fans in “MLS Studio” games: “From tournament formats and neutral locations, ultimately playing an abridged regular season, but doing everything to get as many games,” Garber said.

What about USL Championship? No team training until at least April 19

Unlike larger leagues, USL Championship does not enjoy large income streams from television contracts. Ticket sales make up a much larger portion of USL Championship income than MLS.

The USL’s training moratorium closely matches the MLS. USL Championship teams are not allowed to train together until at least April 19th. That date could change, however, since COVID19 news seems to change by the hour.

Andrew Vassiliadis: “There will be a 2020 season”

In a FaceTime interview leading up to the USL eCup, SD Loyal chairman Andrew Vassiliadis was clear. Vassiliadis said, “I can tell you this on the record. I was on a conference call with all of the USL Championship chairmen. … There will be a 2020 season. With a champion. It may look a little different. It may be shorter. But there will be games. There will be a season, with a champion. We are very confident about that.”



  • comment-avatar

    As someone who is watching/listening everyday to coronavirus webinars (not cable news) from doctors and scientists around the world, it’s unlikely there will be a normal season this year (that also goes for MLB and USL). “Normal” meaning (1) in a stadium and (2) with fans at full/any capacity. NFL will be delayed and modified sigificantly.

    Based on the virus data from other countries and UCSF/Hopkins/Stanford reviews, I wouldn’t be surprised if the MLS, USL, and MLB seasons are canceled completely but I hope not. Remember, if one state is doing well against the virus and another state (or country) hasn’t reached their peak, you really can’t start a season without any home games for one team. And think about team/fan traveling between states that are at different stages of peak infections. Lastly, fans need money to buy tickets and this economy has been hit really hard and it won’t be a V-shape recovery based on virology and immunology data of this virus (SARS-Cov-2).

    Stay healthy, and seriously, I can’t wait for any soccer season to start, even pick-up!

    • comment-avatar

      I went out to a secret patch of grass yesterday and dribbled around a bit… let’s just say, I hope the pros are better at shaking off the rust! And I think I’ll be in good company when pick-up finally comes back — everyone is going to be so rusty! (on another note, I fear that we will be seeing a lot of injuries at all levels of soccer once competition starts back up. I hope it’s not too catastrophic, but the idea scares me)
      Thanks for your comment! And stay healthy & safe! ~CS

      • comment-avatar

        Very interesting point regarding injuries, haven’t really thought about that. Also, I’ll be on a mission tomorrow to find a patch of grass walking distance from my house, wish me luck!