The MLS postponement for COVID-19 has officially been extended until June 8, at the earliest, according to a statement released by Major League Soccer today.
The MLS postponement for COVID-19 began on Thursday March 12 on account of the pressing need to address and assess the impact of the virus. The original goal, stated one week after the initial shutdown, was to suspend play for eight weeks. At the time this was the advisement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The MLS postponement was expected to conclude on May 10, but within a few weeks it became readily apparent that this would no longer be an option. Then, three days ago, the league announced that play would be unlikely to resume by that date as the coronavirus continued its tear through the country and the world.
Major League Soccer also stated that they are aware of and continue to assess the financial ramifications of the extended stoppage to both the players and the league. The league office is actively exploring all options in conjunction with the MLS Players Association, with a primary concern for players on the low end of the pay scale who may be more adversely affected by the long-term moratorium.
Full statement on the MLS postponement for COVID-19:
MLS remains focused on exploring a wide variety of formats for playing the entire 2020 season including pushing back MLS Cup into December or later. Based on the most recent government guidance, we have extended the moratorium on matches until at least June 8.
Like all Leagues, we are in discussion with our players about changes to player compensation due to the financial impact on the league and our clubs from the COVID-19 Crisis. We are seeking to work collaboratively with the MLSPA to find a solution that provides a safety net for all players, opportunity to earn full salary in the scenario where all matches are played with fans, and in particular provides protection for the players at the lower end of the salary scale.
The MLS postponement for COVID-19 came the morning after the NBA officially suspended its season. The NBA was in the final stretch of their regular season when Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz tested positive for the coronavirus shortly after jokingly touching every microphone during a press conference with the media.
Prior to the MLS postponement, two matches had already been postponed in response to measures being taken to contain COVID-19. Seattle and San Jose, two of the areas currently being hit the hardest by the spread of the virus, posted their matches set for March 21 in compliance with local measures.
LAFC set up a page dedicated to COVID-19 to address concerns and answer questions fans may have. Tom Penn, LAFC President and Owner, has left a message atop the page to supporters.
A MESSAGE FROM LAFC PRESIDENT & OWNER, TOM PENN:
To the members and supporters of Los Angeles Football Club, we send out heartfelt wishes and good thoughts to you, your family, your friends, and all of the Los Angeles community.
We love LAFC because it represents our love for Los Angeles and we have a responsibility and an opportunity to work together, stick together, help one another, and get through these unprecedented times.
Let’s be safe, clean, and careful. Let’s stay connected and supportive of one another. We will get through this together and come out on the other side in support of our Club and our city.