MLS and Union could soon follow NBA’s lead on coronavirus


The first 12 days of March have been a wild roller coaster ride filled with twists and sudden turns. The whole year so far, just barely three and a half months, has been hectic.

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For Philadelphia Union Head Coach Jim Curtin, the early season hurdles just got even higher. After battling through pre-season without a full roster due to non-injury related immigration issues while also handling (or mishandling) an undisclosed calf injury to starting left-back Kai Wagner, Curtin may now see his team play in front of no fans Saturday.

And maybe not coach at all for the foreseeable future if Major League Soccer decides to follow the NBA’s breaking newsworthy decision from last night.

Official press release from the NBA regarding COVID-19 or Coronavirus. The season is suspended until further notice.

While it’s important to note the NBA’s decision came as a result of learning one of its players tested positive for the now pandemic causing coronavirus, MLS officials could simply post-pone the season now rather than wait until players, coaches, or team staffs test positive later on.

As for Curtin and the Philadelphia Union, they released a press statement of their own yesterday morning in regard to their 2020 home opener Saturday night.

A section of that press release reads as follows:


“There’s been memos sent from the league. There’s been memos internally. It’s a very serious situation,” said Curtin yesterday. “You’re starting to see a lot of leagues take serious precautions. Shutting games out to fans and some even shutting down… taking a four-week break.”

Local schools and universities have shut down as well. Villanova, West Chester, Penn State are just a few so far to take serious precautionary measures to keep people safe and virus-free.

“We’ll do whatever we’re told to prevent the spread. We’ll take every precaution that’s issued to us,” said Curtin.

One precaution may be playing in front of no fans at all Saturday night. It’s a precaution that’s been a go-to of sorts for sports leagues recently. And it may be one that fans and coaches alike disagree with.

Curtin would rather the game be canceled as opposed to playing in front of no fans. Other notable athletes like LeBron James have mentioned similar stances when asked. They’d rather not play at all than have fans lose access and play for nobody.

As of right now, this weekends home opener is still on as scheduled

The spread of the virus shows no signs of stopping anytime soon. The MLS would be wise to take some lessons from the NBA’s current situation. But will that decision come before Saturday? Time will tell.

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Mandatory Credit: Philadelphia Union

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