The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a new guideline Sunday suggesting mass gatherings of more than 50 people be restricted for an eight-week period, which would likely extend the suspension of all sports leagues.
The goal of the mandate is to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic by limiting the amount of large events that could spur mass transmission. Restricting these types of events can also reduce the introduction of the coronavirus into new communities.
The CDC listed sporting events as a form of mass gatherings that should avoided and suggested the cancellation or postponement of any event consisting of 50 people or more for the next eight weeks. While the guideline is not a government mandate, MLS, NWSL and USL have all followed previous CDC guidelines closely, including suggestions to self-quarantine players who have traveled from outside of the country.
MLS originally suspended all matches for 30 days and paused training through Friday this week.
The NWSL canceled all preseason matches and restricted training through March 22.
Both leagues issued statements the past week expressing their willingness to adhere to the suggestions of the CDC and other government health officials.