Major League Soccer has admitted that time is running out for the league to complete a full season due to the global Covid-19 pandemic.
MLS is currently suspended until May 10 but the league admitted that a return to action in that time frame is “extremely unlikely based on the guidance of federal and local public health authorities.”
A league statement added: “Our goal remains to play as many games as possible, and while we currently have enough dates to play the entire season, we recognize at this time that it may become difficult to do so.”
MLS is exploring different formats to completing the season, which will most likely involve playing behind closed doors, MLS commissioner Don Garber told ESPN this week.
“From tournament formats and neutral locations, ultimately playing an abridged regular season, but doing everything to get as many games,” Garber said.
He added: “We might be playing further into the winter. 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.”
In the absence of competition, MLS is teaming up with domestic broadcast partner Fox Sports to create a new esports competition featuring MLS and eMLS professionals.