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Resumption of the Bundesliga provides soccer’s first test

Borussia Dortmund fans at Heinz Field in July 2018. File Photo by David Hague

KBO Baseball started this week in South Korea with no fans and we are starting to see more and more plans get finalized as sports leagues begin to resume or start their seasons.

We have all been listening to the experts and adhering to social distancing rules, wearing face-masks and washing our hands frequently.

Yes, it is starting to get repetitive, but we have to do it if we want to defeat this virus and start to return to a “relative” normal and slowly get back to normal after that.

We have got some more good news Thursday morning for sports fans as Bundesliga soccer in Germany announced that they would resume the 2019-20 season on May 16 with no fans in the stadium.

German soccer league managing director Christian Seifert told the Associated Press, “That we’re allowed to play again boils down to German politics for managing this crisis, and the health system in Germany.”

This is the first test for soccer, and sports leagues around the world that are still finalizing plans to resume to see what works and what doesn’t for when they restart.

The Bundesliga season will now conclude the 2019-20 season over the weekend of June 26-27, 2020 and this should not affect the start of the 2020-21 season in the fall.

In the United States, you are able to watch Bundesliga soccer on the FOX family of networks including FS1, FS2, FOX and more.

As we get set for the Bundesliga season to resume, let’s take a look at the table and where the top teams currently sit.

FC Bayern Munchen sits at the top of the table with a record of 17-4-4 (55 points) with Borussia Dortmund (15-4-6, 51 points) and RB Leipzig (14-3-8, 50 points) in 2nd and 3rd place in the standings.

You can view the full Bundesliga soccer table here:

Here are a few of the top matchups taking place over the first weekend of matches when the league resumes the weekend of May 16:

  • Borussia Dortmund vs FC Schalke 04
  • FC Augsburg vs VfL Wolfsburg
  • FC Union Berlin vs FC Bayern Munchen

You can view the full Bundesliga schedule here.

As for a few of the other soccer leagues around the world who are trying to resume their seasons, here is how things look currently:

  • Major League Soccer: Individual Training has started, Team Training is still on hold until at least May 15, but a season resumption could happen the weekend of June 8
  • United Soccer League: The USL will allow small group training to start on May 11, but full team training is still on hold until at least May 15.
  • National Women’s Soccer League: Individual Training has started, but full team training is still on hold until at least May 15
    Premier League: Nothing new to report

As we take a look and watch how the professional leagues are ramping things back up, what works and what doesn’t. This could provide clues to see how the NCAA, High School and Youth levels of soccer will resume for the fall season this year as well.

Games without fans in the stands are easier to do at the professional levels and if the NCAA and High School go down that route than we could potentially see more of those matches available on streaming sites or radio. Which could be great for the sport, but is still too far down the road to even think about right now.

We are just starting to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic with still more questions than answers surrounding this virus and we can’t take our foot off the gas pedal yet in this fight.

We are still playing from behind when it comes to this virus and still need to find a way to get ahead of it and that means more testing and contact tracing.

There is still a long way to go in this fight against COVID-19, but seeing a major sports league get back to action and to have live sports to watch on television is a good morale boost.

Also, we will see what this means for sports gambling sites as people start to have more and more to watch and potentially bet on.

Riverhounds MF Danny Griffin

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