The USL announced last week they are penciling in July 11 as the tentative restart date of the 2020 USL Championship season. The season was suspended just one week into the season back in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Here’s the full statement from the league:
The USL Championship is pleased to announce its Board of Governors voted on Thursday in favor of returning to play for the 2020 season, with a provisional start date set for July 11. While additional information on competition format, scheduling, broadcast and other important details will be made available in the coming weeks, it’s important to note that the league’s return to play will be conducted in strict alignment with all local and state public health guidelines. USL HQ also remains in regular dialogue with the USL Players Association on all matters concerning player health and wellness protocols and looks forward to continuing those discussions.
To USL supporters across the country, we are grateful for your support throughout this process and look forward to being back in action with you all soon.
A subsequent story on the league’s website over the weekend indicated teams will not participate in a “bubble” tournament, as MLS is expected to do in Orlando, but will instead play in their home venues, as long as local authorities allow that. It is unclear if fans will be permitted to attend these games this season and if so, how many will be allowed in. It is also unclear what the backup plan would be if teams do not get permission to play in their home venues.
Now, with USL having set the date, they still need to get players to agree to the plan and to come to an agreement on financial concessions in order to make it official. While MLS has already gotten over that hurdle, it’s not universal in American sports — Major League Baseball and its players continue to be at an impasse and have not yet crafted a plan to get back into action this year. So no guarantees.
Still, initial indications are optimistic the USL players will come to an agreement with the league, hopefully with both sides feeling they got a fair deal.
If they do, then LA Galaxy II will be back at the Dignity Health Sports Park complex before long to play their first home game of the season, after their only game to date, a commanding 5-1 win over Rio Grande Valley FC, came on the road.
We’ll keep you posted on developments, but it looks promising for Los Dos to be back in action, maybe as soon as about a month from now. Stay tuned.
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