ST. PAUL -- With momentum at their back in a 2-0 road start to the 2020 season, Minnesota United sat in a pole position to improve on a first place standing in the Western Conference with Sunday’s home opener against New York Red Bulls.
That, like everything else in sports, is being temporarily shut down. Major League Soccer postponed its season for 30 days due to the spread of the novel coronavirus, the league announced Thursday.
The Loons are determining how to handle the public shutdown and how the players might continue training sessions, a club spokesman said.
MLS said it will consult with its medical task force, public health officials and clubs to assess the impact of COVID-19 and will communicate plans for the continuation of the 2020 season.
“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 (CDC), Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), and other public health authorities, and in the best interest of our fans, players, officials and employees,” MLS Commissioner Don Garber said in a statement. “We’d like to thank our fans for their continued support during this challenging time.”
United said in a “rapidly evolving situation” the club “fully supports” MLS’ decision.
“We as a club believe the health and safety of our community, our fans, players and staff is of the utmost importance,” United said in a statement. “We will continue to work with MLS and the Minnesota Department of Health on next steps.
“We look forward to welcoming our community and all fans and stakeholders back to Allianz Field in 2020.”
Minnesota sprinted out of the gates with eight goals in two wins against Western Conference foes and had four straight home games scheduled through March and into early April. The 30th day in the window would be the Loons’ previously scheduled home game against the Los Angeles Galaxy on April 11.
On Wednesday, the Loons said Sunday’s game in St. Paul would be played as scheduled after consulting with the league and health officials. This came around the same time the NCAA announced fans would be kept from events and hours before the NBA suspended its season after Utah Jazz players tested positive for COVID-19.