The Seattle Sounders have announced that their upcoming match against FC Dallas has been postponed after Washington governor Jay Inslee banned large gatherings.
Inslee stated that the ban runs through March, but the governor said it is “likely” that the precaution will be extended beyond that point.
As a result, the Sounders’ March 21 match against FC Dallas has been postponed, while the club’ USL team, the Tacoma Defiance, have also seen a match delayed.
“As the developments surrounding COVID-19 in our region evolve, Seattle Sounders FC has been working in real time with regional health authorities and government officials to do our part in combating this public health crisis,” the Sounders said in a statement. “Our organization must remain flexible in these efforts, and at this time, that includes heeding Governor Inslee’s call to postpone our home match on March 21 versus FC Dallas at CenturyLink Field.
“Throughout this process, Sounders FC has stated that nothing is more important than public safety and the wellbeing of our fans. With that in mind, we respect the difficult decision that has been made today, and our club will continue following the guidelines set forth by our public health authorities and government agencies.
“We will maintain our consistent dialogue with elected leadership, public health officials and Major League Soccer, and as more information becomes available, the club will continue to provide public updates. This includes details about rescheduling the FC Dallas match for a later date.”
Matches all over the world have been impacted by the outbreak, with several Champions League and Europa League games being postponed or played behind closed doors.
Serie A, meanwhile, has been suspended indefinitely while Wednesday’s Premier League match between Manchester City and Arsenal was postponed.
The Sounders are the first MLS team to see a game impacted, although several others could be announced in the coming days.
Recent developments in the area will likely impact the San Jose Earthquakes over the coming weeks, while the Houston Dynamo will likely be affected by the city’s decision to start cancelling events.
The Sounders are scheduled to face the Dynamo this week in Houston for their third match of the MLS season.
Last year’s MLS Cup winners topped the Chicago Fire in their season opener before settling for a draw against the Columbus Crew.