With the release of the USL reopening schedules, many of the clubs announced that the matches would be played with fans. Stadiums will be open at 50 percent capacity for the remainder of the season, making it the only American sports league to be restarted with fans.
This is one of the dumbest decisions I have ever witnessed.
COVID Spreading Fast
The US has set a new record for COVID-19 cases in a single day six times in the last ten days, but the second division of American soccer is allowing fans into the park. This decision puts everyone at risk. The fans, the players, the staff, the media, everyone involved is at risk of contracting this deadly disease.
While social distancing guidelines will be in place and masks required, this decision is incredibly reckless and dangerous. To say that this will lead to deaths is not an understatement.
Gate revenue is a big part of the USL club’s funding and how they stay afloat. However, USL is the third highest-grossing league in CONCACAF, the league should have it in place to where they could fund clubs that are struggling. And if they are allowing fans into stadiums due to the fact that they can’t fund their matchday schedule without fans, they simply should’ve canceled the season. This was part of the reason for the canceling of the English pyramid’s seasons below the Championship.
NWSL, MLS are doing Better, but not Well
There is simply no justification for putting people at risk. MLS and NWSL coming back too early is bad enough. But now, USL has come in to win the prize for least intelligent restart in US sports.
While on the topic NWSL, the league is currently hosting it’s restart, the Challenge Cup, in Salt Lake City. The Challenge Cup, like most other sporting events, especially those in the US, is behind closed doors. Salt Lake’s USL club, Real Monarchs, will be allowed to have fans in the stands for the season. The games are being played at the same stadium. (until the semifinals and final of the Challenge Cup, as those games will be at Rio Tinto Stadium)
This Needs to be Stopped Before it Starts
This simply shouldn’t be happening at all, let alone with fans. The simple truth is that the US is no where close to being able to safely host sporting events. That sucks, but it’s the simple truth. The fact that USL is having fans at games, and that US Soccer and local governments are allowing it, is a disgrace that will only get people sick, and possibly killed.