The Seattle Sounders and San Jose Earthquakes have observed games postponed in the aftermath of the current outbreak.
MLS has announced that forthcoming matches in Seattle and San Jose have been postponed because of recent government rulings about the coronavirus.
The San Jose Earthquakes’ match against Sporting KC and the Seattle Sounders’ forthcoming battle with FC Dallas have been formally postponed while MLS has announced further precautions after the current outbreak.
“After Santa Clara County’s legal order prohibiting all parties of 1,000 people or more and the state of Washington’s decision to limit parties of over 250 individuals in King County, Major League Soccer matches in San Jose and Seattle on March 21 are postponed. The league and its clubs are assessing the options for rescheduling the games at a later date,” a league announcement read.
“MLS clubs and arena operators have implemented processes to ensure the safety of fans and communities by raising cleaning employees, disinfecting high-traffic locations, sanitizing the facilities before and after every game, and making hand sanitizer available throughout places. MLS stadiums are also allowing guests to bring in their own bottles of hand sanitizer and inviting fans who feel ill or are in vulnerable people to enjoy the game at home. Clubs will also communicate with fans in the progress of games and article in-stadium signage to further educate about regular preventative activities proposed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC).”
Moreover, the league has limited locker room access, postponed player looks and restricted fan adventures during team warmups. Players, coaches and team staff will also be mandated to fly charter flights for the near future.
“Providing a safe and healthful environment for our fans, players and everyone at MLS matches is our top priority,” MLS stated. “During this fast-changing issue, MLS stays in direct contact with the relevant government agencies such as the CDC and PHAC and is also coordinating with other athletic associations regarding COVID-19. Additionally, each MLS club is in constant dialogue with regional and local health authorities.
“We’ll continue to monitor the situation and will offer any updates at a suitable time.”
The Sounders had declared earlier on Wednesday that their forthcoming match against FC Dallas was postponed after Washington Governor Jay Inslee banned large gatherings.
Inslee said that the ban runs through March, but the governor said it’s”likely” that the precaution will be extended beyond there.
Because of this, the Sounders’ March 21 match against FC Dallas has been postponed, while the club’ USL group, the Tacoma Defiance, also has seen a game delayed.
“Since the developments surrounding COVID-19 within our area evolve, Seattle Sounders FC has been operating in real-time together with regional health authorities and government officials to do our part in combating this public health crisis,” the Sounders said in a statement. “Our organization must stay flexible in these attempts, and at this moment, that includes heeding Governor Inslee’s call to postpone our home game on March 21 versus FC Dallas in CenturyLink Field.
“During this process, Sounders FC has said that nothing is more important than public safety and the wellbeing of our lovers. With that in mind, we respect the tricky decision that’s been made now, and our team will continue to follow the guidelines put forth by our public health authorities and government agencies.
“We will keep our constant dialogue with elected leadership, public health officials and Major League Soccer, and as more information becomes available, the team will continue to provide public updates. Including details about rescheduling the FC Dallas game for a later date.”
The Earthquakes, meanwhile, made their statement following the County of Santa Clara Public Health Department’s mandate barring parties of 1,000 or more individuals through the end of March.
“We are very supportive of this mandate from the County’s Public Health Department,” said Earthquakes Chief Operating Officer Jared Shawlee. “We want to thank all our community partners, including the City of San Jose and the County of Santa Clara, for their help and we’d also like to thank our fans, players and staff for their patience and understanding during this unprecedented moment. We’ll continue working with local agencies and league officials and supply updates as available.”