The United Soccer League announced their decision to suspend preseason activities and delay the 2020 USL League One season by at least two weeks in response to the escalating coronavirus pandemic on Thursday.
“It was very clear from our Championship and League One owners that the health and safety of players, fans and staff was their top priority,” said USL CEO Alec Papadakis. “In consultation with local, state and national health authorities, as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Homeland Security, we made the decision to delay the start of the League One season by a minimum of two weeks.”
Forward Madison FC followed suit and came out in support of the league’s decision after consulting with Dane County Public Health officials,
The club’s April 11 home opener against Toronto FC II will be rescheduled for a later date. The Chicago Red Stars and University of Wisconsin Women’s soccer team will also no longer play their exhibition match at Breese Stevens Fields following the cancelation of the NWSL’s preseason.
Due to the cancellation of @NWSL's preseason, the Chicago Red Stars vs Wisconsin Women's soccer game at Breese Stevens Field will no longer be played.— Forward Madison FC (@ForwardMSNFC) March 12, 2020
Fans who purchased a ticket to this match will be able to transfer it to any 2020 Forward Madison game. https://t.co/z0dO8JmSCW
To help curb the spread of COVID-19, Forward Madison moved its in-person jersey unveiling scheduled for March 14 to an online live stream. The Flamingos will reveal their new away jersey, designed by the club’s supporters, and goalkeeper jersey on the club’s YouTube channel instead. Just Coffee Coop, a Madison-based roaster, was announced as the team’s first sleeve sponsor on Thursday.
All of Forward Madison’s kits for the 2020 season will be made in the United States, a byproduct of COVID-19 shutting down the factory in China that made the club’s inaugural kits, according to The Athletic’s Pablo Maurer. The team plans to continue producing the kits in the U.S. in the future.