For the first time since what was scheduled to be the home opener in March, COVID-19 has made a quick impact on Minnesota United’s schedule. And for the first time in 2020 the club has confirmed positive cases of their own.
Last night around 7:30 the club sent out a statement saying that two first team players had tested positive for COVID-19 and that the road match with FC Dallas would be postponed and made up on a later date.
This however brings up the issue of when and fixture congestion. The MLS season is scheduled to end in just under one month’s time on Sunday, November 8th with Decision Day. That day the Eastern Conference teams will kick off at 2:30 CT and the Western Conference teams kicking off at 5:30 CT. But that date is becoming more and more unlikely.
Major League Soccer’s decision to cram a total of 18 matches (or 21 if you’re Nashville or Dallas) into roughly 12 weeks was already tight enough and didn’t allow for a ton of room if something happened like this. And based on the schedule there is no time before the 8th of November for the sides to play, unless MLS is going to have Dallas play thrice in one week.
For the entire month of October, FC Dallas has two matches every week except one. That one week is they actually do not play either Friday, Saturday, or Sunday next week. The only option, if everything goes correctly and no one else tests positive, would be for a schedule change. In order to keep Decision Day on 11/8 the league would have to switch MNUFC to playing FC Dallas next Saturday and move the Loons match with Houston to Wednesday the 21st, which is an off day for both the Loons and Dynamo.
That doesn’t even factor in other cancelled matches such as Colorado Rapids last four being postponed (however two have since been rescheduled) including this weekends match with LA Galaxy. It also does not factor in Orlando City’s match with Columbus Crew that has also been postponed, nor does it factor in fixture congestion. Which there will be an article on that later this week.
If all goes well Minnesota United’s next match with be a meeting with Chicago Fire on Wednesday night at Allianz Field in St. Paul. Due to COVID-19 the match will be played behind closed doors but can be seen on Fox Sports North, Fox Sports Go, MLS Live on ESPN+ (in the US), and MLS Live on DAZN (in Canada). You can also listen to the match on SKOR North.