MLS: 3 questions for coronavirus impact

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SEATTLE, WA – NOVEMBER 10: Don Garber, Commissioner of the Major League Soccer greets his fans with two thumbs-up during the match between Toronto FC and Seattle Sounders as part of the MLS Cup 2019 at CenturyLink Field on November 10, 2019 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Omar Vega/Getty Images)

The coronavirus has knocked MLS play on the head for 30 days. But there will be more impacts as time passes by. Here are three questions we have.

Major League Soccer is currently in the midst of its 30-day postponement. The coronavirus has been labelled a worldwide pandemic by the WHO and it has stalled almost all sport across the entire planet. MLS has not been spared.

On Thursday, Don Garber and the owners decided to postpone the league for 30 days. In a statement, the league said, ‘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.’ Until that time, then, we will have to wait.

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However, that does not leave us without some serious questions. So, here are three questions for the future of the league regarding the COVID-19 breakout.

ATLANTA, GA – AUGUST 27: Atlanta United celebrates defeating Minnesota United 2-1 in the U.S. Open Cup Final at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on August 27, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

3. What happens with extra tournaments?

Obviously, the 2020 season is going to be hugely impacted by the coronavirus. You cannot take a month out of a scheduled campaign and expect things to return to normality upon the restart of action. The league must be completed at some point. It cannot hang in limbo forever.

When it comes to potentially cutting down the league to conduct play over a shortened period, thus squeezing in all the action in before the offseason, one obvious solution is to amend the extra tournaments that MLS teams partake in.

The U.S. Open Cup, the Campeones Cup, the Leagues Cup and even the CONCACAF Champions League can all be amended or even cancelled to help fit in the added games that will have to be rearranged. It remains to be seen just how much time MLS and other leagues have to play with, of course, but expect to see some changes to these competitions, not just the league structure.

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