The first MLS match to be affected by coronavirus is an upcoming meeting between Seattle Sounders and FC Dallas which has now been postponed.
The coronavirus outbreak that has been affecting soccer around the globe has made its first mark on the game in the United States, with the Seattle Sounders postponing their upcoming home match after Washington Governor Jay Inslee announced a ban on large events through March.
Seattle Sounders, the defending MLS Cup champions, were scheduled to host FC Dallas on March 21 at CenturyLink Field.
On Wednesday, however, Inslee announced a ban on events with more than 250 people in three counties, including King county where the Sounders play.
The club put out a statement saying:
As the developments surrounding COVID-19 in our region evolve, Seattle Sounders FC has been working in real time with regional health authorities and government officials to do our part in combating this public health crisis. Our organization must remain flexible in these efforts, and at this time, that includes heeding Governor Inslee’s call to postpone our home match on March 21 versus FC Dallas at CenturyLink Field.
Throughout this process, Sounders FC has stated that nothing is more important than public safety and the wellbeing of our fans. With that in mind, we respect the difficult decision that has been made today, and our club will continue following the guidelines set forth by our public health authorities and government agencies. We will maintain our consistent dialogue with elected leadership, public health officials and Major League Soccer, and as more information becomes available, the club will continue to provide public updates. This includes details about rescheduling the FC Dallas match for a later date.
The spread of COVID-19 has hit soccer especially hard worldwide, with Italy calling off all sports including Serie A for a month, UEFA Champions League matches being played behind closed doors, a Premier League match being postponed and closed-door matches or cancellations announced in many other leagues.
For more information about COVID-19, visit the CDC’s website or the website for your state’s Department of Health.