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NWSL training moratorium extended until May 15

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Current plans call for the season to kick off in late June.

SOCCER: AUG 21 NWSL - Utah Royals FC at Washington Spirit Photo by Randy Litzinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Much like their counterparts in other U.S. leagues, the NWSL announced on Friday that their training moratorium due to the coronavirus pandemic has been extended until May 15. The moratorium was previously scheduled to expire on May 5.

In perhaps the most significant indication that the NWSL feels this extension might be the final one, the Washington Post’s Steven Goff reports that the league has requested all players return to their team market by May 16 for the resumption of training camp. The vast majority of players were already with their teams for the original start of preseason and remained in-market. But several OL Reign players who spent the off-season in Australia are not yet in Tacoma, including Lauren Barnes and Sofia Huerta; similarly, Megan Rapinoe is currently in Connecticut and new signing Shirley Cruz has yet to arrive after finishing national team responsibilities at the Concacaf Olympic qualification tournament.

The league, whose regular season was originally scheduled to start last weekend, now aims to begin play the final weekend of June. Although the NWSL still hopes to play a complete 24-game season, contingency planning is reportedly underway for 20- and 16-game alternatives. As of now no official schedule or details have been announced, and even if games begin in June it is unlikely that fans will be allowed to attend at most venues.