Major League Soccer just kicked off the 2020 season, but now it's on hold due to the coronavirus concerns. On Thursday, the MLS announced they have suspended play for 30 days as the league continues to assess the impact of COVID-19 (coronavirus). MLS began regular-season play in the final weekend in February.
"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."
During the 30 days, MLS will monitor what's going in the country and the world and will then make a decision about the future.
"The health and safety of League and club employees, players and fans is of utmost importance to Major League Soccer," the league said on its official website. "We have created a League Office Task Force that is closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation and are consulting with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Health Canada (HC), infectious disease specialists and other public health entities to receive the most updated information and guidance."
There were many players, coaches and team officials to react to the news. But the most notable reaction may have came from Kevin Gilmore, who is from the Montreal Impact. He said this move will bring more awareness to the situation.
"I firmly believe that what happened the last couple of days has probably brought more awareness to the situation than anything else," Gilmore said per Dylan Butler of mlssoccer.com. "And I think people now are understanding that if professional sports leagues in America are shutting down it's because this is a serious situation."
Gilmore understands the suspension will hit the league from a financial standpoint. But the MLS will be better for it moving forward.
"I think it's tough on the employees, it’s tough on everybody," Gilmore added. "There's uncertainty, in terms of the workplace, uncertainty with respect to their own families. We know people don't just live here. They've got families and they’ve got their own concerns. It's been difficult, but we've shared with them that what the league has done and what we are going to do is in everybody's best interest."