Youth soccer coach Bryan Nazor recently described the impacts the coronavirus pandemic is expected to have on professional soccer in the United States.
Professional sports around the globe have been drastically impacted by the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. Some sports seasons have been put on hold, others have been canceled, and all look very different from previous years. Major League Soccer (MLS) is one of those sports greatly impacted by the pandemic. Youth soccer coach and fan Bryan Nazor recently described the impacts the coronavirus pandemic is currently having on MLS.
Major League Soccer is one of few professional sports organizations that has already resumed play in the United States. However, Bryan Nazor explained the season doesn’t look at all like it used to. He stated that a league-wide tournament began on July 8, 2020, roughly four months after the original season was put on hold. The tournament is taking place near Disney World in Florida, a state which is now a hotspot for the virus.
Bryan Nazor described that the tournament is taking place in a controlled environment, which is designed to keep the players, coaches, and staff as protected as possible from the virus. All 26 clubs were expected to be playing in the new setting, which has been a combined effort between MLS and Disney to create. Bryan Nazor explained that the tournament will include 54 games with matches almost every day and mostly during the evening hours. The structure is similar to the structure used during the World Cup, and the final match is set to take place on Aug. 11.
Bryan Nazor explained there are several major reasons why this tournament looks so different than a traditional full season would have looked. First, he stated that the unique Florida setting is different from anything the league has ever used. Bryan Nazor added that all games are played without fans viewing in-person.
Unfortunately, Bryan Nazor added that since arriving in the city of Orlando, nine players from Nashville have tested positive for the virus and numbers are expected to continue rising. The Chicago Fire FC and Nashville SC match set to take place on July 8, 2020, was canceled, and Nashville became the second team to drop out of the tournament.
Soccer coach Bryan Nazor explained that unfortunately it’s impossible for professional soccer to continue in 2020 without the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic affecting teams, players, fans, and the entire season. Bryan Nazor finished by stating that the abundance of cases of the pandemic in Florida coupled with players testing positive and tournament play transforming every day are all signs that the MLS will not return to normal play for months or even years to come.