TAMPA, Fla. – The United Soccer League cancelled its League Two season Thursday, while extending the suspensions of the Championship and League One campaigns and delaying the start of the Super Y League due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Last week, all six teams in the Metropolitan Conference announced they had withdrawn from playing in 2020. The clubs were Cedar Stars Academy, FA Euro, Long Island Rough Riders, Manhattan Soccer Club, the Red Bulls and Westchester Flames.
In a press release, the USL said that it will instead spend the coming weeks and months working with numerous League Two clubs in areas of the country where it is deemed safe to help facilitate regional exhibition schedules during the summer and fall months.
“The momentum our clubs have built in League Two across the country in recent years has been tremendous, and today’s announcement – while disappointing – will do nothing to alter that,” USL League Two vice president Joel Nash said in a statement. “We will continue to support soccer being played when and where possible in 2020 and use this time to get even stronger as a league and look forward to returning to competitive action better than ever before in 2021.”
Here is an update on the rest of the USL leagues and competitions:
Championship and League One
With approval of the Championship and League One board of governors, the USL has extended its suspension of the 2020 Championship and League One seasons. The previous suspension ran through May 10, but with that timeline no longer tenable, the USL will await further guidance and clarity from local, state and national health authorities before announcing a new earliest return to play date.
Both leagues have also extended their team training moratoriums through May 15.
The USL is also exploring scenarios that would allow for players to return to training facilities to conduct individual or small group work before May 15. Any re-opening of club facilities will be done in accordance with local and state guidelines, and with all involved adhering to strict social distancing protocols.
In the press release, the USL said it was still in a position to reschedule all matches in both leagues affected by the COVID-19 crisis to date, and will continue to receive guidance from public health experts, as well as a national medical task force comprised of other professional sports leagues and organizations. While a complete season remains the preferred outcome of any return to play scenario, a variety of alternative competitive formats in the Championship and League One also are being explored.
Super Y League
The Super Y League, which has more than 10,000 athletes on over 500 teams, has announced its 2020 regular season will not open before July 1, with exact start dates also dependent on local, state and national health guidelines. In conjunction with the league’s clubs, the months of May and June will be used to determine an updated return-to-play timeline as well as competition formats for each division.
Due to the delay in the opening of the 2020 season, the Super Y League will extend the window for clubs to submit membership agreements for the 2020 season.
“To every USL supporter across the country, we continue to thank you for your support during these extraordinary circumstances,” USL president Jake Edwards said in a statement. “As always, your safety, health and wellness are our guiding light and we want to extend our support and best wishes to all the individuals and communities who have been impacted by COVID-19. We look forward to being back together again soon.”