A statement released by Major League Soccer (MLS) has revealed that it is ‘extremely unlikely’ that the league will resume play in mid-May, as was originally targeted.
The MLS suspended all play on 12 March due to impacts as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, with the league extending its suspension for a further eight weeks on 19 March. The new target return date of May 10 was revealed after following guidance received by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
With this being said and due to the fact that the health crisis is still ongoing, the return date for the North American football competition is now having to be revised, with the MLS also recently extending the training moratorium on all franchises until 24 April.
The MLS statement read: “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.”
Insider Insight: The ongoing situation surrounding the MLS mirrors that of other European football leagues such as the English Premier League who is set to review its own restart date on or before 30 April.
Unlike across Europe, the MLS season is only two games into its current season due to its 29 February start date and as a result, the league will now have the added pressure of organising a higher volume of fixtures if it aims to complete this season with any delays to its 2021 calendar.