TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – The United Soccer League announced Saturday that the 2020 USL Championship Final, which was scheduled to take place Sunday at Al Lang Stadium in St. Petersburg, has been canceled.
The decision was made after several positive coronavirus cases were reported from the Tampa Bay Rowdies following a second round of rapid testing Saturday morning in addition to three positive cases announced Friday afternoon.
According to the Rowdies, “all impacted personnel are under the care of team physicians and infectious disease experts and are following the protocols set forth by the USL in accordance with state and local health authorities.”
USL said that in collaboration with the Rowdies and Phoenix Rising FC, they determined “the season will conclude after Tampa Bay and Phoenix each progressed through their conference playoffs to win the Eastern Conference and Western Conference titles, respectively, last Saturday.”
“First and foremost, we want to applaud these two teams on an incredible season,” said USL President Jake Edwards. “They deserved the opportunity to play for the USL Championship Final trophy and we are disappointed that we won’t be able to watch them on Sunday night. With that said, we want to thank all of our clubs, our supporters, our players and our staff for all of their time, hard work and energy this season. We’ve grown closer under difficult circumstances and we can’t wait to be back together again soon.”
“The pandemic has made the 2020 season challenging across all sports, and while we are disappointed, we understand that the USL’s decision… is the best possible outcome for the health and safety of our fans, players and staff,” the Rowdies said in an Instagram post. “We are proud to be Eastern Conference Champions and share this accomplishment with our loyal fans, season ticket holders, corporate sponsors, members of Ralph’s Mob, the Skyway Casuals, and the entire Tampa Bay Rowdies family.”
USL said each team and the league will explore the possibility of a 2021 season kickoff game between the two clubs prior to the start of the 2021 Championship season.
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