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MLS Reportedly Postponing Games Through June 8 Because of Coronavirus Pandemic

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistApril 15, 2020

ATLANTA, GA - MARCH 07: Atlanta United midfielder Ezequiel Barco #7 dribbles the ball during the match against FC Cincinnati, which Atlanta won, 2-1, in front of a crowd of 69,301 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium during a game between FC Cincinnati and Atlanta United FC at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on March 07, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Perry McIntyre/ISI Photos/Getty Images)
Perry McIntyre/ISI Photos/Getty Images

Major League Soccer will postpone the resumption of the 2020 season until at least June 8 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to ESPN FC's Jeff Carlisle

MLS previously announced a delay through May 10, which followed a recommendation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to halt events with 50 or more people for eight weeks.

The league issued a statement Tuesday confirming a mid-May target date was "extremely unlikely based on the guidance of federal and local public health authorities."

Many wondered whether an additional delay was imminent after MLS extended the closure of all team facilities through April 24. That didn't leave much time for players to prepare for meaningful matches.

League commissioner Don Garber told ESPN's Taylor Twellman officials were discussing a number of alternative plans to a traditional 34-game season, including tournaments and a shorter format, after only completing two matchdays before the suspension of play:

Taylor Twellman @TaylorTwellman

#BanterTT on Wednesday #MLS https://t.co/BJ0P8hNTBC https://t.co/A2RUlzJSS8

Garber added that the campaign could extend well beyond the fall.

"We might be playing further into the winter," he said, per ESPN.com. "That's even hard to imagine because we had a zero Celsius MLS Cup in Toronto in mid-December in 2017, but we're going to have to push this season as far as we can so that we can crown a champion in 2020."

Elsewhere in the world, some major soccer competitions are making slight progress toward a return.

The Bundesliga's chief executive, Christian Seifert, told the New York Times' Tariq Panja that Germany's top two divisions were looking at early May to restart their seasons. In addition, the Mirror's David Maddock reported the Premier League had opened conversations with British government officials to clear the way for a June restart.

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