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Life without soccer: MLS extends training moratorium one week

Plus: U.S. Soccer focuses on settling with the USWNT; the Liga MX president tests positive for COVID-19; and Inter Miami unveils a slightly different logo.

Inter Miami CF's Rodolfo Pizarro, left, is defended by Los Angeles FC's Francisco Ginella during the first half of a match on March 1 in Los Angeles. (Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP)

Every day MLS, the NWSL and the USL are suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, Pro Soccer USA will provide the latest news and updates, examples of what the soccer community is doing to pass time and some recommendations for readers to keep busy while hunkering down at home.

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Major League Soccer extended its league-wide training moratorium an additional week through Friday, April 3. Under this moratorium, team training facilities are expected to remain closed and players are expected to remain in their market and not train in groups.

The MLS season is currently slated to resume in less than seven weeks, with a target return date of May 10. This extended suspension was announced last week in accordance with CDC guidelines that called for the cancellation or postponement of all large group gatherings of 50 people or more during the ensuing eight weeks.

On Tuesday morning, MLS commissioner Don Garber emphasized that the league still hopes to play every game of the season and is currently brainstorming solutions to make this possible.

“Once we are comfortable that we can get our players with three to four weeks of training, and that we have the guidance that we can get crowds back into our stadiums, then we will then begin the relaunch of our season,” Garber said. “Our intent is to play as many games as we possibly can.”

U.S. Soccer president prioritizes settling with USWNT

In her first-ever press conference in her new role yesterday, U.S. Soccer president Cindy Parlow Cone said the top priority for the federation is to reach a settlement in its equal pay lawsuit with the U.S. women’s national team before the case goes to trial.

Parlow Cone doubled down on her dismissal of the sexist language used by U.S. Soccer lawyers that caused the resignation of former president Carlos Cordeiro and her assumption of the role. Claiming a “fundamental error” in the federation’s internal process, Parlow Cone said U.S. Soccer is investigating the issue while seeking settlement to begin the process of rebuilding players’ and fans’ trust of the federation.

However, she continued to support the U.S. Soccer defense that the men’s and women’s national teams perform different jobs, claiming the pay disparity came from separate collective bargaining agreements, not gender-based discrimination.

USWNT spokeswoman Molly Levinson fired back a firm response to Parlow Cone’s comments: “The solution here is clear, simple and unequivocal. Equal. Pay.”

Liga MX president tests positive for coronavirus

Liga MX president Enrique Bonilla tested positive for COVID-19 last week. In an interview with Adrenalina, Bonilla said he woke up with a sore throat several days after returning from a FIFA meeting in Zurich. He self-quarantined at home until he received the positive result and will remain home for the recommended 14 days.

The Liga MX season is currently suspended, and the league has not set a date for its return. Teams will undergo a “mini-preseason” before returning to action, and each team is expected to report on the health of individual players during the suspension. In the meantime, the league is creating the “E-Liga” to support online game play between the 18 clubs in Liga MX to fill the time until play can resume.

Inter Miami changes logo to support social distancing

Inter Miami will sport a new graphic in the coming weeks as the team made a slight change to the logo to support social distancing practices. The design pushed the two birds on the team’s crest apart, creating space between them.

The team shared the new logo on social media on Monday, calling for fans to “stay home, be smart and practice social distancing.”

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