Major League Soccer has announced it has suspended the 2020 season for the next 30 days in order to assess the COVID-19 pandemic.
A number of media entities reported through sources just before 11 a.m. ET.
In addition, the second division USL Championship and third division USL League One — which will see the debut of Revs II — will also suspend its seasons 30 days. Both seasons will begin on April 18.
“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, Public Health Agency of Canada, and other public health authorities,” MLS commissioner Don Garber said in a statement, “and in the best interests of our fans, players, officials, and employees.”
The MLS Players Association tweeted at 11:50 a.m.: “The MLSPA fully supports the decision made by the league today to suspend the season. We are working closely with league and public health officials to provide resources and information to all players.”
The Revolution were expected to host the Portland Timbers at Gillette Stadium Sunday afternoon. In addition, games against Real Salt Lake (Mar. 21), and vs. Colorado Rapids (Apr. 4) have been postponed and will be rescheduled at a later date. The club said in a statement that tickets purchased for these dates will be valid on the rescheduled date.
“The New England Revolution support Major League Soccer’s decision to suspend match play for 30 days. The safety and well-being of Revolution fans, players, coaches, and employees is the club’s top priority,” the club said in a statement. “(We) remain in continuous communication with local, state, and federal agencies for real-time intelligence, best practices, and response protocols related to the COVID-19. The league and club will communicate updates and plans for the continuation of the 2020 season at the appropriate time.”
One club, Toronto FC, cancelled its Thursday morning training session of its own discretion, according to The Toronto Sun’s Steve Buffery.
MLS is not the only entity calling off the dogs, per se.
On Wednesday night, the National Basketball Association suspended its season after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19. Earlier in the day, the NCAA announced its Division 1 tournaments will be played behind closed doors.
Following the NBA’s suspension announcement, the National Hockey League said in a statement that it is “continuing to consult with medical experts and is evaluating the options.”
Earlier on Thursday, Spain’s La Liga announced it has suspended league play for the next two weeks; UEFA noted it was looking into suspending the Champions and Europa League competitions.
Also, US Soccer called off its men’s national team friendlies with The Netherlands and Wales for the March international window, as well as the women’s national team friendlies with Australia and Brazil schedules for April.