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MLS clubs issue statements, updates on league’s 30-day coronavirus suspension

MLS clubs are making scheduling, training and ticketing accommodations while the season is suspended.

Major League Soccer clubs issued individual statements and updates after the league suspended the 2020 season for 30 days due to the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Xinhua/Sipa USA)

With Major League Soccer suspending the 2020 regular season for 30 days because of concerns surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, the league’s 26 clubs have had to adjust their schedules, training plans and ticketing procedures.

The following are updates and statements each team issued in response to the 30-day stoppage.

This list will be updated as more information becomes available. 

Atlanta United

With Concacaf suspending Champions League play, Atlanta’s March 18 second-leg match against Club America will be rescheduled.

Three Atlanta MLS matches will be postponed: March 14 vs. Sporting Kansas City; March 21 at Chicago Fire; and April 5 at FC Cincinnati. 

“At the appropriate time, the league and clubs will communicate plans for the continuation of the 2020 season and update the status of league events.”

Chicago Fire FC

The Chicago Fire’s homecoming match at Soldier Field March 21 falls within the stoppage window. All tickets already purchased for the game will be honored for the rescheduled date. The Fire will work with ticket holders on appropriate credits or refunds for this and any other games that may be affected and an email will be sent to all season ticket holders from their Account Representative.

The Fire’s March 14 road trip to Orlando and April 4 home game against the Red Bulls also fall within the 30-day suspension.

“We all share in the health and well-being of our community,” Fire President Nelson Rodríguez said. “We will continue regular dialogue with all city, state, national and league authorities on issues relating to COVID-19 and will provide fans and partners updates accordingly.”

FC Cincinnati

More information, including ticket policies, about FC Cincinnati’s affected matches — home games March 14, March 21 and April 5 against D.C. United, Toronto and Atlanta, respectively — will be announced in the very near future. 

In addition to MLS games, FC Cincinnati Academy operations — including training and games — will be altered based on guidance provided from U.S. Soccer and MLS. FC Cincinnati Foundation “Served by the Pros” charitable event on March 22 will be rescheduled.

All scheduled player appearances will be cancelled. The club’s MLS WORKS Greener Goals service projects April 8 and April 14 will be rescheduled, and the FC Cincinnati Downtown Shop’s hours of operations will be adjusted.

The club directed all fans to the Ohio Department of Health for more information about COVID-19, and will provide team updates on social media @FCCincinnati and fccincinnati.com.

“We need to thank our fans and our partners for their patience and continued support while this situation has evolved. We built our club on core values that center on supporting our community and families, and we believe this is absolutely the correct public health approach to help prevent the dangerous transmission of COVID-19 through community spread,” FCC president Jeff Berding said in a statement. “As we noted yesterday, we support Ohio Governor DeWine and his strong stance on limiting mass gatherings. We strongly support the league’s stance to temporarily halt the season as a precaution, and have been working for several days to get to, and prepare for, this outcome. This is an unprecedented situation, and we look forward to further guidance from MLS, public health officials and government officials as we plot the near future.

“We want the opportunity to have a full final season at Nippert Stadium where the exciting experience and vibrant atmosphere of our supporters have created a lasting image over the last four years. But before that happens, the health and safety of our entire community – including our fans, staff and players – are of the utmost importance.”

Colorado Rapids

“At this time, no games have been canceled, and the league is evaluating how best to approach the remainder of the season. Once we are given direction by the league, we will proactively communicate with ticket holders their options. if a game is permanently canceled, you will be presented a range of refund, credit or other options.”

The Rapids matches during the 30-day suspension include March 14 at Vancouver; March 21 vs. Houston; April 4 at New England; and April 11 at Real Salt Lake. 

Columbus Crew SC

Columbus Crew SC’s March 14 home match against Real Salt Lake is postponed, along with a March 21 road trip to Nashville and an April 4 home game against Toronto. The club will issue updates, including ticketing information at a later date.

“We appreciate the work of health and government officials in the context of these unprecedented circumstances. We want to thank all supporters for their understanding. Updated ticket information will be announced in the near future.”

FC Dallas

Club president Dan Hunt issued the following statement: “The health and safety of our fans, staff, players and partners is our top priority. We completely support MLS’ decision to postpone match play for 30 days. We will maintain ongoing contact with medical experts, local, state and federal health authorities as well as the league. The club will continue to provide up-to-date information, including details about future matches, as it becomes available.”

The following FCD matches fall within the 30-day window: March 14 at NYCFC; March 21 at Seattle; and April 4 vs. LAFC.

D.C. United

D.C. United’s April 3 home match against New York City FC falls within the 30-day suspension window and will be rescheduled. The club will provide updates on the new date as it becomes available. Road trips March 14 and 22 to Cincinnati and Philadelphia, respectively, are also postponed. 

“We will be fully compliant and supportive of plans to postpone upcoming games,” the club said. “The safety of our supporters, players and staff is our No. 1 priority and we feel that these measures are the appropriate response and course of action to support health authorities’ ongoing efforts to flatten the curve of COVID-19 spreading.”

Houston Dynamo

“Part of our commitment to ‘Hold it Down’ for Houston is doing what’s right for our community, and what’s right in this case is to err on the side of safety,” the club’s statement said.

The Dynamo’s postponed matches are March 14 vs. Seattle Sounders FC; March 21 at Colorado Rapids; April 4 vs. Portland Timbers. Tickets for all matches impacted will remain valid for the eventual rescheduled dates. Those dates have not been announced at this time.

The Dynamo advises fans who purchased tickets to these matches through any outlet other than HoustonDynamo.com, BBVAStadium.com or AXS.com, to contact the customer service line where they purchased their tickets.

Inter Miami CF

Inter Miami CF’s home opener against LA Galaxy on Saturday was postponed because of the league’s decision to suspend the season.

“We’ve been in very close communication with commissioner [Don] Garber,” Inter Miami managing owner Jorge Mas told reporters on Thursday.

The club said in a statement it will communicate rescheduled dates with ticket holders and “at the appropriate time, Inter Miami and Major League Soccer will communicate plans for the continuation of the 2020 season and update the status of league and club events.”

In addition to the home opener, Inter Miami’s home games March 21 and April 5 against the New York Red Bulls and Philadelphia Union, respectively, will be postponed. 

LA Galaxy

The Galaxy said as they receive more information, it will be communicated with their season ticket members and supporters in a timely fashion.

“All Galaxy tickets will be honored should the matches be played on a postponed date. Additionally, in conjunction with the state of California and the California Department of Public Health, all LA Galaxy II, LA Galaxy Academy and Dignity Health Sports Park public events and activities have been postponed.”

The three Galaxy matches postponed are March 14 at Inter Miami; March 22 vs. Orlando City and April 4 vs. Sporting KC. 

Los Angeles FC

With Concacaf suspending the Champions League, LAFC’s March 12 home game and March 18 road game against Cruz Azul will be rescheduled for future dates. Two MLS matches also will be postponed, March 22 vs. Portland and April 4 at FC Dallas. 

“Tickets for the quarterfinal match will be honored when the tournament resumes,” the club said in a statement. “Tickets for the March 22 match vs. Portland (and any other MLS matches affected) will be honored for when the game is rescheduled. For further questions contact LAFC at memberships@lafc.com.”

Minnesota United

“With the rapidly evolving situation regarding COVID-19, Minnesota United fully supports the decision by Major League Soccer to suspend the 2020 season for 30 days,” the club’s statement read. “We as a club believe the health and safety of our community, our fans, players and staff is of the utmost importance. 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.”

The Loons happened to have three home matches scheduled in the next 30 days: March 15 vs. New York Red Bulls; March 21 vs. Montreal Impact; April 4 vs. San Jose.

All tickets — whether season, group, premium or individual — that have already been purchased for Sunday’s home opener and subsequent postponed home games will be honored when the games have been rescheduled. Questions about season tickets should be directed to your ticket representative.

Montreal Impact

The March 17 second leg of the Montreal Impact’s CCL quarterfinal against Olimpia is postponed. The club’s MLS matches March 21 at Minnesota United and April 4 at Orlando City SC also fall within the 30-day window. 

The Impact had no home games scheduled during the suspension. The home opener is scheduled for April 18 at 1 p.m. ET.

“The Montreal Impact continues to monitor this unprecedented situation very closely and supports the measures taken to protect the health of its supporters, players, staff and partners,” the club statement read. “The MLS and the Montreal Impact will communicate the next developments as soon as possible.”

Nashville SC

Nashville SC will have to postpone matches March 14 at Toronto FC; March 21 vs. Columbus Crew SC; and April 3 vs. Seattle Sounders FC.

“We are working to keep you as up-to-date as possible with the latest news,” the expansion side said in a statement. “Tickets for all upcoming rescheduled matches will be honored when the match is rescheduled. You do not need to take any action. Further updates will be provided as more information is available. For additional ticketing questions, contact Nashville SC at tickets@nashvillesc.com.”

New England Revolution

The New England Revolution’s goal is to reschedule affected games for future dates to be determined. The suspension impacts the Revolution’s home games scheduled for March 15 vs. Portland; April 4 vs. Colorado; and April 8 vs. Seattle. A March 21 road game against Real Salt Lake is also in the suspension window.

“All tickets purchased for the club’s home games during this period will remain valid for the rescheduled dates. Season Members can contact their customer service representative with any questions,” the Revs’ statement read. “The New England Revolution remain in continuous communication with local, state, and federal agencies for real-time intelligence, best practices, and response protocols related to the COVID-19. The league and club will communicate updates and plans for the continuation of the 2020 season at the appropriate time.”

New York City FC

NYCFC CEO Brad Sims released a statement, saying the club will ensure season tickets, group and individual tickets already purchased for Saturday’s home opener and other postponed matches will be honored once rescheduled. Updates will be provided on NYCFC.com and the team’s social media channels. 

“If a decision is made to cancel any games — or to play behind-closed-doors — NYCFC will work closely with fans to provide refunds and/or credits for future games,” he said. “Together, we will be diligent, using this break to evaluate and respond to the rapidly changing situation. We remain committed to the health practices outlined by the CDC and encourage all NYCFC fans and New Yorkers to do the same. We would like to thank NYCFC fans for their understanding and support during this challenging time.”

NYCFC will have four games total postponed, including three MLS matches — March 14 vs. FC Dallas; March 21 vs. Vancouver; and April 3 at D.C. United — and one CCL match — March 17 at Tigres UANL.

New York Red Bulls

The Red Bulls’ have four MLS matches within the suspension window: March 15 at Minnesota United; March 21 at Inter Miami; March 28 vs. Orlando City; and April 4 at Chicago Fire. 

The Red Bulls also created a FAQ page for all COVID-19 information relating to the club.

“The Red Bulls have been continuously monitoring developments surrounding Covid-19 in the New York/New Jersey metro area and have worked closely with MLS, USL and local authorities to maintain up-to-date plans and protocols consistent with recommendations from organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. … As an organization we will continue to take precautions for the well-being of players and staff during the suspension and urge all of our supporters and the general public to do the same. The Red Bulls remain in close contact with MLS’ and USL’s task forces and local officials and will communicate further updates as information becomes available.”

Orlando City SC

Orlando City games March 14 vs. Chicago Fire FC; March 22 at LA Galaxy; March 28 at New York Red Bulls; and April 4 vs. Montreal Impact have been postponed.

Access to Exploria Stadium and the Orlando City SC training ground will be limited to essential employees only for the next 30 days. MLS is currently planning to reschedule all matches impacted by this suspension, and previously purchased tickets will remain valid for those games. Additional ticketing questions can be directed to tickets@orlandocitysc.com.

“Our top priority as a Club is the health and safety of everyone from our players, employees and fans. We are clearly dealing with an unprecedented health crisis and remain committed to keeping everyone within our Club and community safe,” Orlando City SC CEO Alex Leitão said. “We will continue to work with local, state and national health officials along with the CDC in monitoring the situation.”

The statement also said the club will remain in contact with NWSL and USL stakeholders regarding their upcoming seasons and will remain “committed to assisting the local community and its members that are currently suffering from the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak as well as educating the community on proper safety protocols.”

Philadelphia Union

“The Philadelphia Union is in full support of Major League Soccer’s decision to suspend match play for 30 days as the evolving situation surrounding COVID-19 is assessed. The safety and well-being of our players, coaches, staff, and fans is of utmost importance.

“The league and its clubs are continuing to monitor the situation and will communicate information as it is made available. Fans can contact Philadelphia Union Fan Services with questions at fanservices@philadelphiaunion.com

The Union will postpone the following matches: March 14 vs. San Jose; March 22 vs. D.C. United; March 28 at Portland Timbers; and April 5 at Inter Miami.

Portland Timbers

Four MLS matches will be postponed for the Timbers, including three road trips and one home game: March 15 at New England; March 22 at LAFC; March 28 vs. Philadelphia Union; and April 4 at Houston Dynamo.

The Portland Timbers said they have worked with local health authorities to help keep fans, staff, players and the community safe from the spread of COVID-19.

“In accordance with the March 12 mandate by the State of Oregon to cancel public gatherings of more than 250 people, the Timbers have canceled the Portland Thorns FC preseason tournament, scheduled to take place from March 29-April 4,” the club statement read. “The status of future matches for both clubs will be determined at a later date in conjunction with Major League Soccer, the National Women’s Soccer League, public health authorities and government agencies.

“Tickets purchased for postponed events are good for the new date of the match. With regard to canceled games, the Timbers and Thorns FC will reach out to fans with next steps.”

Real Salt Lake

Real Salt Lake’s chief business officer Andy Carroll issued a statement saying, “The MLS suspension was followed shortly thereafter by the USL.  As the NWSL season start is planned for April 18, no decisions regarding that schedule have been made as I write this note. At present, no games in any of the leagues have been canceled. If the duration of the suspension is fairly short, we are optimistic that we can reschedule any games. We are diligently working and coordinating with all of our leagues to get information out to our staff, fans and partners as soon as possible.”

The MLS matches postponed are: March 14 at Columbus; March 21 vs. New England; March 28 at Sporting KC; and April 4 at Vancouver. 

RSL directed fans with additional questions to its ticketing department at 844-REAL-TIX or email fanrelations@rsl.com.

San Jose Earthquakes

“The Earthquakes organization fully supports Major League Soccer’s decision to suspend the season,” the club’s statement read. “The health and well-being of our fans, players and staff remains our top priority. We appreciate the support and patience of all of our fans and partners during this difficult time.”

The San Jose Earthquakes’ matches March 14 at the Philadelphia Union, March 21 vs. Sporting Kansas City and April 4 at Minnesota United are postponed.

The club also announced a number of cancellations and postponements for other events at Earthquakes Stadium, including the April 14 friendly between the U.S. women’s national team and Brazil. The March 28 friendly between Liga MX’s Club Leon and Chivas de Guadalajara was also rescheduled to Oct. 10.

The Bacon and Cheese Classic was also postponed, with a new date to be determined, and the Hearts and Soles Run March 28 will go forward as a virtual run where participants receive a shirt, bib and medal but complete the run on their own at a time and place of their choosing.

Seattle Sounders FC

Seattle Sounders FC is not traveling Thursday to Houston for its originally-scheduled March 14 match against the Dynamo. The Sounders’ home game March 21 against FC Dallas and April 3 road trip to Nashville are postponed as well.

Operations also halted at Starfire Sports, the complex that houses the Sounders’ offices and training facility. That includes MLS training and any USL or Academy activities. The Sounders will issue further information when it becomes available.

The club urges fans to call 877-657-4625 or email CustomerService@SoundersFC.com with questions. Some FAQ related to the virus are answered on the team’s website as well. 

Seattle has been the epicenter of the United States’ virus outbreak.

“With each day bringing new developments related to COVID-19, the uncertainty locally and worldwide is understandably difficult,” the Sounders’ statement read. “As an organization, nothing is more important than public safety and the wellbeing of our fans, and our hearts go out to all families who have been directly affected.

“We are working to keep our fans as up to date as possible with the latest news.”

Sporting Kansas City

Sporting Kansas City reiterated the league’s statement on its website, and set up a COVID-19 FAQ page for fans. 

“As the developments surrounding COVID-19 evolve, Sporting Kansas City is working diligently with national and regional health authorities and government officials to help combat this public health crisis,” a club statement reads. “Sporting Kansas City will remain flexible with all parties involved as the situation unfolds. We will continue to follow the guidelines set by public health authorities and government agencies and respect the difficult decisions they must make during this time. We will continue our active dialogue with local leaders, public health officials and Major League Soccer and will provide additional public updates as more information becomes available.”

The following four SKC matches are impacted by the 30-day suspension: March 14 at Atlanta United; March 21 at San Jose Earthquakes; March 28 vs. Real Salt Lake; and April 4 at the Los Angeles Galaxy.

Toronto FC

Toronto’s March 14 home match against Nashville SC has been postponed, followed by two road games March 21 at FC Cincinnati and April 4 at Columbus Crew SC.

Toronto FC will determine its training plan over the weekend.

“The safety of our players, staff and fans is our primary concern,” Toronto FC president Bill Manning said in a statement. “We completely support the league’s decision.”

Vancouver Whitecaps

Like the rest of the teams, the Vancouver Whitecaps issued a statement in support of the league’s decision to suspend the season.

“We will continue to follow the guidance of health authorities and MLS to ensure that appropriate procedures are in place to protect our community,” the statement said.

The Whitecaps’ postponed matches are March 14 vs. Colorado Rapids; March 21 at New York City FC; and April 4 vs. Real Salt Lake. Supporters who purchased tickets for home games will be granted admission at the rescheduled match once new dates are confirmed.

The club also created a FAQ page with resources about COVID-19; links to Health Canada, the BC Centre for Disease Control and the World Health Organization; the league’s 30-day suspension and club-specific concerns. 

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