Major League Soccer expressed hope Thursday to play a full 34-game season even after stretching its season’s postponement into May in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s revised recommendations concerning the coronavirus pandemic.
The league in a statement said it “remains focused” on playing its entire 2020 season and is “evaluating all options.” That includes possibly pushing back season’s end to play the MLS Cup in December, as it had done until this past season.
“The league is also identifying other available dates,” the statement said.
MLS has advised players remain socially distance in their teams’ market and not travel. A moratorium on teams practicing extends through Friday, when the league likely will advise teams and players further.
Players have been told not to train individually at team facilities unless they’re rehabilitating an injury, or at public fitness clubs and gyms, which have now been closed statewide since Monday.
Minnesota United players have taken to outdoor runs, workouts in their apartments or running apartment stairs to remain fit.
“I try to take the positive out of it,” Loons veteran midfielder Jan Gregus said Thursday. “We can’t do much about it right now. We just have to accept it and don’t fight it because if we don’t, we’ll go crazy. I just heard they’re going to postpone it again for a few more weeks. That’s sad, but what can we do about it? It’s important everyone stays home and stays safe.”
When told the league still hopes to play a full season, Gregus said, “That’s going to be interesting. I don’t know how they’re going to do it, but I just hope to play soon.”
The statement also said MLS will “continue to prioritize the safety of our fans, players, employees and partners” and will continue to coordinate with federal and local public health authorities as well as other sporting organizations.
The CDC on Sunday recommended no public gatherings of 50 or more people for the next eight weeks. On Monday, a White House briefing recommended no gatherings of 10 or more people.
The Loons started the season 2-0 with victories at Portland and San Jose before MLS suspended its season for at least 30 days last week, before the Loons’ scheduled home opener Sunday at Allianz Field.
The team postponed that game against New York Red Bulls and two other successive home games, March 21 against Montreal and April 11 against the L.A. Galaxy.
Suspending the season for eight weeks also will include games April 15 at Houston, April 18 vs. Dallas, April 25 at Sporting Kansas City, April 29 at Columbus, May 2 against Colorado and possibly May 9 at Orlando and beyond.