UPDATE (March 18): The United Soccer League announced Wednesday that it had extended its suspension of play in the USL Championship and USL League One to align with recent guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on restricting public gatherings of 50 or more people through Sunday, May 10.
USL Championship Extends Temporary Suspension of 2020 Season pic.twitter.com/bsITTQzkS8— USL Championship (@USLChampionship) March 18, 2020
The USL originally announced on March 12 the decision to suspend play in the Championship for 30 days delay the start of the League One season (scheduled for March 27) by two weeks due to the impact of COVID-19 (coronavirus).
The USL Championship will suspend play for a minimum of 30 days due to the impact of COVID-19 (coronavirus). Twelve MLS teams currently either operate USL Championship clubs or have affiliates in the league.
Not long after, USL League One announced that it would delay the start of its season — scheduled for March 27 — by a minimum of two weeks. Six more MLS teams operate or are affiliated with teams in League One.
“It was very clear from our owners that the health and safety of players, fans and staff was their top priority,” said USL CEO Alec Papadakis while announcing the suspension of the USL Championship. “In consultation with local, state and national health authorities, as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Homeland Security, we have temporarily suspended match play for a minimum of 30 days.”
Read the league's statement:
USL Championship Temporarily Suspends Play pic.twitter.com/lUwfXvnIbl— USL Championship (@USLChampionship) March 12, 2020
USL League One Delays Start of 2020 Season pic.twitter.com/ve7Ji0C1zd— USL League One (@USLLeagueOne) March 12, 2020
The USL is following major sports leagues around the continent and the world. The NBA announced its decision to suspend play Wednesday night, while many others have followed on Thursday morning. That group includes MLS, which has also suspended play for 30 days, and the Concacaf Champions League. U.S. Soccer additionally canceled upcoming matches and events for the men's, women's, and youth national teams.