What a difference a week makes. The sports world has pretty much come to a halt.
As the number of coronavirus cases in the United States, and in our region, continue to increase, and with the CDC now recommending that no events with more than 50 people should take place for an eight week period, almost everything related to soccer in our region has been, or will be shut down.
— The Hill (@thehill) March 15, 2020
Most other professional sports leagues, including NBA, NHL have shut down completely. On Sunday, MLS and NWSL closed training league-wide. No announcement has officially come from USL, yet.
However, on Monday, MLS, NWSL and USL representatives convened for a conference call to discuss the next steps for American soccer in the midst of this pandemic.
Following this conference call, and mandate that all non-essential businesses across the board are being ordered to close down by midnight Monday, Pittsburgh Soccer Now has learned from club officials that the Riverhounds SC will now halt team training for at least two weeks.
Pharmacies / grocery / gas to remain open.https://t.co/RuTe2mZv0A
— AltGovCOVID19 (@AltGovCovid19) March 16, 2020
If you haven’t done the math, the eight-week timeline would take us through mid-May.
When the leagues will eventually resume play, if they make an attempt to complete the full slate, the seasons could extend into December. In a best-case scenario, the league returning in mid-to-late May may require some challenging schedule adjustments.
Another soccer-related casualty from COVID-19 is the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, the longest continually running soccer competition in the United States. This year’s Open Cup was scheduled to start with first-round action on March 24-25. The Hounds would have entered the tournament in early April in the second round. U.S. Soccer announced that the first three rounds would be suspended. The USL (with both the second-division USL Championship and third-division USL League One) has since requested not to participate in this year’s tournament in light of the current situation. That would bring the total number of clubs participating down from 100 to 61.
Meanwhile, the club released some information regarding ticket-related questions.
Here are answers to some of your frequently asked ticketing questions.https://t.co/xRvcGuw4qr
— Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC (@RiverhoundsSC) March 16, 2020
In addition, the Riverhounds Development Academy shut things down through the weekend and announced on Monday that they’ve cancelled all youth programming through the next two weeks.
Meanwhile, locally, just about every club has also pulled the plug on all activities.
— PA West Soccer (@SoccerPAWest) March 13, 2020
— BeadlingSC (@BeadlingSoccer) March 14, 2020
— Arsenal FC of Pittsburgh (@ArsenalFCofPgh) March 13, 2020
Coaches will be in contact with personal training options for athletes to do at home!
If you need anything, please reach out!
— Hotspurs Soccer Club (@HotspursClub) March 13, 2020
— Century Soccer (@CenturyV_FC) March 14, 2020