MLS extends training moratorium until May 15

The league pushed back a potential return date once again as a result of Covid-19

Major League Soccer has extended the league’s training moratorium in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak through May 15.

The league originally announced on March 12 that play would be suspended to combat the spread of the pandemic, joining leagues all over the world in postponing or canceling matches due to the coronavirus.

In the weeks since, MLS extended its initial suspension, with the league initially targeting a return date of May 10 before then setting a target of returning to actual play by June 8.

However, with the world still combating the spread of the coronavirus with self-isolating measures, MLS has pushed back the league’s training moratorium to mid-May.

“Major League Soccer has extended the team training moratorium through, and including, Friday, May 15,” the league said in a statement. 

“MLS training facilities remain closed to all players and staff with the exception of players requiring medical treatment or rehabilitation, under the direction of the team medical staff, that cannot be performed from the safety of their residence.

“While MLS players are expected to remain in each club’s respective market, MLS will continue to review individual requests by players to relocate to another market by car, taking into account the totality of a player’s situation.

“MLS will remain in close contact with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) on this continually evolving situation and provide further updates as they become available.”

The league played just two rounds of matches before suspending play, while the CONCACAF Champions League was also indefinitely suspended as a result of the outbreak.

In the weeks since, MLS commissioner Don Garber has stated the league is currently exploring a variety of options to finish its season, with any games likely to take place without fans in stadiums.

Garber has said that the league could turn to tournament formats to complete the season, while any return to play will potentially occur in neutral locations.

Each of the league’s 26 teams were set to play a 34-game schedule, with the final round of regular-season matches set for October 4, but Garber has stated that the league could push MLS Cup back into December after previously scheduling the league’s final match for November.