Major League Soccer is suspending its season for 30 days — effective immediately — due to the outbreak of coronavirus.
“At the appropriate time, the league and clubs will communicate plans for the continuation of the 2020 season and update the status of league events,” MLS commissioner Don Garber released in a statement. “Our clubs were united in the decision to temporarily suspend our season — based on the advice and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Public Health Agency of Canada, and other public health authorities, and in the best interest of our fans, players, officials, and employees.
MLS is the second major sports league to suspend its season after the NBA abandoned play following Wednesday night when Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for the virus.
The United States’ top-tier soccer league began its 25th season just two weeks ago.
On Wednesday, the Seattle Sounders announced that their March 21 match at CenturyLink Field against FC Dallas would be canceled after it was suggested by Washington Governor Jay Inslee.
Seattle remains one of the hotspots of coronavirus with Washington state having reported almost 400 cases.
No players or personnel have tested positive for the illness at this time.
MLS is just the latest professional soccer league that has been affected by the coronavirus. In Europe, Champions League games are being played in empty arenas, the Italian Serie A has been suspended until April 3, Spain’s La Liga has been suspended, and Europa League matches are being rescheduled.
Daniele Rugiani, who plays for Italian club Juventus, tested positive for coronavirus. Italy is the country that has been most affected by the virus outside of China.