It was a foregone conclusion, seeing as they’d hardly trained since a coronavirus outbreak hit the team last month, but Monday night Major League Soccer made it official, postponing the Wednesday match between the visiting Colorado Rapids and Seattle Sounders.
Conceding that the Rapids would likely not be in condition to play games for the next couple of weeks, the league also announced that a total of three Rapids games over the next ten days would postponed. According to a release from the league, there have been no new positive tests since the last round of testing, and players who have tested positive can resume training.
As it pertains to the Sounders, the postponement will allow the team a full week’s rest before traveling to San Jose Sunday to take on the Earthquakes. While the team said in postgame interviews that they were looking forward to returning to play quickly after a disappointing 3-1 defeat Sunday to a depleted LAFC squad, eliminating the mid-week matchup will surely come as a relief to a team that has not rotated their lineup much since Phase 2 of the MLS restart began.
This is the second match the Sounders have had postponed, though the first due to the coronavirus pandemic. The August 26 matchup against the LA Galaxy was postponed due to the George Floyd protests in the aftermath of his death. That match has been rescheduled for November 4.
The MLS season is scheduled to end on November 8 with “Decision Day,” with the playoffs scheduled to start shortly thereafter. There are no more open dates for the Sounders to fit this match in the existing schedule, meaning the game will have to be cancelled, or the start of the playoffs postponed.
Jeff Carlisle of ESPN is reporting that the league is considering moving to a points-per-game system to determine playoffs and seeding, though the league has not made any decisions on what to do with the Rapids’ specifically, as they have only played 13 games and also have limited dates with which to make up the lost games. MLS Commissioner Don Garber previously hinted at a points-per-game system as a way to deal with lost games. “Major League Soccer is evaluating options for rescheduling the impacted matches which include Oct. 14 at Seattle Sounders FC, Oct. 18 vs. Real Salt Lake, and Oct. 21 vs. Sporting Kansas City,” the league said in a release.