While we wait for the games to resume, here’s this morning’s USL Championship tea.
Leadership throughout the USL Championship’s clubs affirmed the league’s decision to temporarily suspend play in the 2020 season for a minimum of 30 days on Thursday afternoon, citing the importance of the health and safety of fans, players and staff to be paramount during the current COVID-19 pandemic.
“From day one, we have been proud to be part of our community,” said New Mexico United majority owner and CEO Peter Trevisani. “Part of being a community means taking steps to keep everyone healthy. We will be playing whatever role necessary to ensure the health and safety of our fans, players and staff.”
“We fully support the USL’s decision to suspend play for the safety of our players, staff and community,” added San Diego Loyal SC President Warren Smith. “In keeping with that decision, the club is suspending all SD Loyal match play, including friendlies, for the next 30 days. We are committed to doing everything possible to reschedule these matches so that San Diego can see their club play. We appreciate the support and understanding of our fans during this time.”
After a successful and entertaining opening weekend to the 2020 Championship season, there was understandable disappointment the measure of temporarily suspending play was needed, but fans across the league’s clubs were also supportive of the league’s decision on social media.
“In times of hardship, sport can be a welcome distraction,” said USL President Jake Edwards on Twitter. “While I wish we could play that role for USL Championship supporters across the country, the health of our players, fans and staff comes first. Looking forward to getting back on the field as soon as possible.”
The decision was also supported by the USL Player’s Association, which had been in regular contact with league officials as decisions were made by the Board of Governors.
“We have been in regular communication with the USL and are supportive of their decision to suspend operations in the USL Championship and USL League One,” the USLPA said in a statement. “The USLPA wants all players to compete and continue to grow the sport, but we also recognize that the health and safety of all USL players, coaches, club employees, and fans comes first. We’ll continue to work together with the league towards the best interests of all involved.”
The USL Championship was among numerous national professional leagues to suspend their seasons in the past 48 hours, including Major League Soccer, the National Basketball Association and the National Hockey League. The USL and its clubs will now work over the 30-day period toward appropriately resolving an unprecedented situation.
“We will make every effort to reschedule games we may miss during this suspension of play,” said Louisville City President Brad Estes. “This is obviously a fluid situation, and we hope to have more updates for our fans as soon as is feasible. We will continue working with our league, local and state authorities, and our partners at ASM Global, which manages Lynn Family Stadium.”
In times of hardship, sport can be a welcome distraction.— Jake Edwards (@EdwardsUSL) March 12, 2020
While I wish we could we could play that role for @USLChampionship supporters across the country, the health of our players, fans and staff comes first.
Looking forward to getting back on the field as soon as possible. pic.twitter.com/XpVfLxIMZ9
- USL League One’s Forward Madison FC gave control over its 2020 away uniforms to its fans. The Athletic’s Pablo Maurer found the supporters, led by The Flock, didn’t disappoint with its design.
- USL President Jake Edwards and Vice President of Communications & Public Relations Ryan Madden visited Hartford-based podcast Nutmeg State, hear what they had to say about the new season.
- Did you catch this week’s Banter on ESPN? As well as interviews with Julie Ertz, Alexi Lalas and USL League Two alum Josh Sargent, host Taylor Twellman also looked back at the coaching showdown between San Diego Loyal SC’s Landon Donovan and Las Vegas Lights FC’s Eric Wynalda.