Black Thursday

Chaotic Thursday sees mass cancellations due to COVID-19 and Cordeiro’s resignation

Soccer is now scarce. We enjoyed it and we hope to enjoy it again. When that will be, who knows? That will be whenever we get COVID-19 under control. Meanwhile, US Soccer's hierarchy continues to be shaken up, this time with the resignation of its president. ASN's Brian Sciaretta looks at day of bombshells
BY Brian Sciaretta Posted
March 12, 2020
2:50 PM

IN ONE OF THE WILDEST days in American soccer history, the coronavirus forced an indefinite suspension of the MLS season, the CONCACAF Champions League, and many other European leagues, cancelled the upcoming U.S. men’s national team friendlies, the U.S. women’s national team friendlies, postponed the men’s Olympic qualifying tournament, and the upcoming U-20 national team camp. On top of it all, U.S. Soccer president Carlos Cordeiro resigned, effective immediately.

Here is a brief look at the news.

COVID-19’s mass cancellations

World soccer has essentially been brought it its knees by the COVID-19 virus. A growing number of European leagues are suspended or being played behind closed doors. Those that still have spectators are on the serious decline and the trend is that it is that not much soccer will be going on in the months ahead.

MLS today announced suspension and it falls in line with other North American sports leagues like MLB, NBA, and the NHL. The USMNT cancelled its upcoming friendlies in March against the Netherlands and Wales.

CONCACAF postponed its Olympic qualifying tournament indefinitely and players have been notified that they will be returning home. Will this tournament take place? If so when? If not, how will CONCACAF decide which two teams represent it at the Olympics? That is all dependent on whether or not the Olympics take place..

There really isn’t too much to analyze on this. This is a story that goes well beyond soccer and will test how the numerous countries of the world can deal with a global pandemic that threatens many, but primarily the elderly, in society.

Hopefully a return of soccer, along with many other things the world enjoys, can serve as a reward down the road if we handle the current crisis well.

As for how MLS will handle the season once it resumes, it will come down to how much time is missed. If it is a month, one potential solution will be having the season end in December – which is how it was done a through 2018. The benefit is that it would shorten the offseason. But it might also force teams to limit involvement in other tournaments such as the U.S. Open Cup.

Robinson to undergo heart procedure

United States national team left back Antonee Robinson today announced that he will be undergoing a procedure later this month to correct an irregular heart rhythm.

This rhythm was picked up in January when he was nearing a transfer to AC Milan. That deal fell apart during a medical examination but an explanation was never given and Robinson has not played for Wigan Athletic since then. Now we know why.

While this is a setback for Robinson, he was extremely lucky to have picked up on this condition in a medical room and not in an emergency on the field. This is treatable and it might be a similar situation to what Clint Dempsey faced later in his career.

It remains to be seen when Robinson will return to the field but it could have been worse. He remains a very talented young player and we look forward to his return down the road.

Cordeiro resigns

In a bombshell of an announcement, Carlos Cordeiro resigned as president of U.S. Soccer effective immediately. Cordeiro put himself in a brutal situation following the release of the federation’s answer to the lawsuit filed by the U.S. women’s national team for unequal wages with the men’s team.

Cordeiro, who was only elected in 2018, claimed he never reviewed the answers and that is why he is resigning. He insists that had he read the lines of defense, he would not have objected. The outcry of the stances U.S. Soccer took in its defense was widespread – not just from those mostly associated with the women’s side. MLS Commissioner Don Garber wrote a harshly critical statement on Thursday towards U.S. Soccer. Sponsors were also publicly siding with the women’s team as well.

Now U.S. Soccer will continue to move forward with yet another major disruption at the top of the federation. Cordeiro will be replaced by Cindy Parlow Cone as president. In recent months Dan Flynn retired as CEO and Jay Berhalter, who was expected to be in contention for that position, left US Soccer as well.

ASN in the coming months

Obviously without much soccer going on, ASN will have to adapt. We will obviously cover the news and look forward to the club and international games returning. But there won’t be as much soccer to cover. ASN is going to take the opportunity to write pieces we’ve wanted to do in the past but lacked the time. We’ll have more player interviews, coaching interviews, and interviews with other important people to soccer in this country.

We are also looking forward to doing broader pieces that could be statistically based or simply analyzing the depth chart at various positions on the national team. We might even delve into historical pieces that look back on major moments in American soccer from previous decades and do so with a modern perspective.

But we’d love to hear your suggestions. We’re going to have more time on our hands so we’d like to hear from you about what you’d like to read about in this period without much soccer being played.


Post a comment