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USL Championship announce provisional restart date of July 11

Sacramento Republic are getting closer to coming back.

Courtesy of Sacramento Republic FC

The USL announced Thursday the USL Championship has a tentative return date of July 11, after the Board of Governors approved a return-to-play plan out of the coronavirus pandemic.

Here’s the full statement from the league:

The USL Championship is pleased to announce its Board of Governors voted on Thursday in favor of returning to play for the 2020 season, with a provisional start date set for July 11. While additional information on competition format, scheduling, broadcast and other important details will be made available in the coming weeks, it’s important to note that the league’s return to play will be conducted in strict alignment with all local and state public health guidelines. USL HQ also remains in regular dialogue with the USL Players Association on all matters concerning player health and wellness protocols and looks forward to continuing those discussions.

To USL supporters across the country, we are grateful for your support throughout this process and look forward to being back in action with you all soon.

Details of what exactly the plan is, if teams will play in a centralized location or in their home venues, in front of limited fans or no fans, is to be determined and announced. Furthermore, this move comes ahead of the league coming to an agreement with players regarding the plan, financial concessions, medical concerns and other matters in order to proceed, per the statement from the USL Players Association:

It would appear USL is taking the opposite tack of MLS in crafting a return-to-play plan. MLS reached an agreement with the MLS Players Association on Wednesday, to pave the way for the plan to get back in action, which hasn’t been formally announced yet. USL, on the other hand, decided on a date to restart, and now will need to come to an agreement with players.

Hopefully it goes well and without either side truly taking advantage of the other in this situation. It’s unclear when we’ll get details of the restart, but for now, we have a target date in mind of July 11, when we can see Sacramento Republic FC and the rest of the USL Championship back in action in 2020.

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